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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Default Homebrew for rats?

    A friend swears by this mix for killing rats:
    Equal parts:
    cocoa powder
    baking soda
    cornmeal

    She claims it kills them because they can't burp (sorry - is there a medical term for that?).
    Bonus is it is nontoxic to her chickens and my coop is where the little vermin have taken up residence.
    I am wary of using poison bait due to secondary poisoning if the hens eat dead rat.

    Has anyone used this?
    Success?
    Failure?
    Rats making hot cocoa? Cornbread?
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2006
    Posts
    2,896

    Default

    I have never heard of it, but would be curious if it did indeed work.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2009
    Location
    Silvana, WA
    Posts
    1,044

    Default

    FWIW I keep poison in a pet proof container (those black ones they sell for rodent poison) out by my hen coop. It's not in their actual yard, but outside the fence where the rats like to exit through a tunnel. The hens are usually NOT locked in their yard, so are out where the poison box is. Never had a problem with the hens getting a secondary dose, nor with the barn cats or the dogs.



  4. #4
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    Default

    The 1st time I saw a rat in the coop I bought poison bait and tossed it down any hole I could find inside the coop.

    The very next morning I saw my hens playing keepaway with a dead rat.
    Which I took away from them like a good Chicken Mom.
    Coincidence? Maybe, but it made me leery of using poison.

    Now the rats are so bold they peek out when I feed the hens!
    I figured the homemade poison was worth a try & I'll report if it seems to work.

    If not I may try the bait again in the holes since the hens don't seem interested in hunting/eating their "roommates".
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    12,976

    Default

    It is true that rats can not regurgitate. I am just not sure what about the mixture is supposed to kill them?
    Rats can have chocolate, it is not toxic to them.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
    Posts
    36,095

    Default

    I would suspect the cocoa is to entice them to eat it, and it's the baking soda that causes internal problems. Not sure what role the cornmeal plays - cheap filler to also entice?
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 2, 2005
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    12,976

    Default

    I would guess the cornmeal is based on that old wives tail that it expands and causes things to explode. Which like the beet pulp stories, is not really true.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2005
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    831

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
    The 1st time I saw a rat in the coop I bought poison bait and tossed it down any hole I could find inside the coop.

    The very next morning I saw my hens playing keepaway with a dead rat.
    Which I took away from them like a good Chicken Mom.
    Coincidence? Maybe, but it made me leery of using poison.

    Now the rats are so bold they peek out when I feed the hens!
    I figured the homemade poison was worth a try & I'll report if it seems to work.

    If not I may try the bait again in the holes since the hens don't seem interested in hunting/eating their "roommates".
    I had a HUGE rat problem (smart rats too, they stayed where the dogs couldn't reach) and rat excited JRTs. I learnt if you want to use poison but not worry about the rats poisoning pets or wild life is to pulse bait. It takes days for poison to kill a rat (or more) it must be metabolized first. These metabolites are NOT toxic to dogs, wild life etc. So as long as the rat doesn't have a belly full of poison they are not toxic to those who want to play/gnaw on the bodies. (eww)



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov. 27, 2001
    Location
    Canton, MI
    Posts
    363

    Default Pulse bait?

    Can you explain what this is? I never want to use poison as my JRT once got a mouse that had consumed the poison and I almost lost her Would love to know of some alternatives to poison and live traps for catching vermin Thanks!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2005
    Location
    Ontario
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    831

    Default

    Pulse baiting uses poison. But what it does do is makes sure that a dying rodent is not going to have poison in its system. (so no risk to dogs) the only risk is if the dog gets a rat with a full belly and eats the entire stomach contents (the amount a mouse would have in it is not enough to hurt a healthy dog over 10 pounds) I had rats taking over my HOUSE! (not just barn) so I had to do something.

    So you put out enough bait (poison) for the rats to eat in a day or two then remove it. The rats will live for days till the metabolites attack them. These metabolites are not poisonous to wildlife or pets. So when a pet finds a dead rodent its not poisonous.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,455

    Default

    Try a Rat Zapper. Works great and is 100% safe around livestock and pets.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2005
    Location
    Ontario
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    Default

    I have a rat zapper.. my rats never went in no matter where I put it or what I baited it with. (lol if anyone wants it, I will sell it cheap) The electric mouse trap worked fantastically well.

    One thing if you have small dogs they CAN stick their head in the rat zapper.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Default

    I've read up on the Zapper, but frankly it just sounds like a load of maintenance work for me - emptying, replacing batteries, etc.

    Pulse baiting doesn't sound good for my situation either.
    How the heck do I determine when a rat died & is "safe" for the hens to take a chomp on?

    Even the use of neurotoxins vs anticoagluants seems like a way to lose an innocent hen.

    I'm afraid my only surefire way to adios my little Disneyesque vermin will be to refloor the henhouse with cement containing a layer of hardware cloth and going a foot up the walls

    So since they cannot burp - ructus is the medical term, TYVM Dr. Google - I will try the homebrew and let you know how that works.

    So far no eggs have been lost or hens injured.
    But the day I hear the little ratvoices serenading me with "Cinderelly, Cinderelly!" or find a teeny dressform in there is the day 2dogs goes medieval
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 21, 2011
    Posts
    42

    Default

    I have heard for Mice putting out a bowl of Pepsi works wonders.. Not Coke but Pepsi.. refill daily



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,871

    Default

    If you're in a position to do so, put up an owl box to encourage Barn Owls. They are the world's greatest rodent controllers. One pair of barn owls, having 2 clutches per season, with an average of 4 owlets per clutch, can consume 2,000 to 3,000 rodents.

    Why NOT to use Rodenticides (PDF Brochure Download) –http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/Ima...tcm6-16130.pdf

    Using Barn Owls for Rodent Control: http://tommy51.tripod.com/aboutbarnowls.html

    Attracting Barn Owls in the U.S. http://www.barnowlvideo.com/attract.html & http://www.raptorcenter.org/barn-owl.asp

    Plus, many folks install a Box Cam so they can watch the antics during breeding season
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2010
    Location
    Texarkana, AR
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    Default

    Not to mention Barn Owls are totally cool. We have a pair that nest in an old house next door to my house. They are quite chatty, you can hear them all the time at night making little shrieks and chirping noises. They don't hoot like Barred Owls or Great Horned Owls. Since my owls moved in, I don't have much of a rodent problem.



  17. #17
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    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Default

    There are owls in my area - I've had the "pleasure" of hearing the whoosh! of wings in the pitchblack <yes, I realize I am too large to get carried off, but...

    But won't owls endanger my barncats?
    I really enjoy my girls - they keep the barn a vermin-free zone and one is a superb cuddler
    I would hate for them to become owl fodder

    ETA: read your links CMare, but what if I have larger owls?
    I realize the barncats are in/out anyhow, but why attract a possible predator.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
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    Default

    The only two owls that could take a barn cat would be a Great Horned or a Barred Owl. Barn owls are too small to take down a cat. Their biggest rodent would be a rat or pocket gopher.

    Plus GHO or Barred Owls don't nest in boxes.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 19, 2011
    Location
    Coastal Marsh of Texas
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    1,086

    Default

    We have a Barred Owl couple that lives in the woods near our barn. If I go out early enough in the morning, I find them plucking lizards out of the grass. I imagine it's their 'bed-time' snack; it's neat to sit and watch them while sipping my morning coffee.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2005
    Posts
    511

    Default

    We used to put out our own rat formula. Mix equal parts of sugar and cement mix. Place a pan of water next to the pan with the sugar mix. Rats are drawn to the sugar, eat some of the mix and are immediately thirsty...drink some water, and presto! Dead rats.



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