Jump to content

Damn and Blast!

Recommended Posts

we have rats. I am seriously cross. We have always been scrupulously vigilant about bringing in food at night etc but still - a couple of months ago we spotted a couple of rats burrowing under the old wooden house we had for the girls then. We moved the house onto concrete.... then ordered the Eglu, placed the whole thing including the Eglu run on slabs. However, the main Eglu run is surrounded by a large penned area for the girls to free range in:



Anyways, tonight, I was looking out of the window and saw something dash into the Eglu run. I blinked and looked again. Rat. I walked down the garden and watched what it did - the rat burrowed under the wire of the main pen area, ran down the side of the Eglu run, then into the run and hopped right into the Grub feeder!!!


So, for tonight, I have stuffed some rocks over holes, disinfected everything and shut the girls into the Eglu run. I am pretty certain rats cannot get in there as it is all totally laid on slabs with woodchip on top. But, the question is, what to do in the longer term? I want to let the girls free range (cos I have 5 and 2 of them are ducks!) but can't leave the Eglu run door open! Could I let them have a feed in the morning and then let them free range, taking in the food?


Obviously, I can get some traps/bait etc but would digging a trench around the pen and sinking in wire right down work as a preventative measure?



Oooohhh, I'm so cross.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know just how you feel :evil: !! Hubby built me a wonderful "bird flu" pen last year but it didn't take long for the rats to find a way through the stone wall from the barn and into the pen :evil: . They can find their way through the smallest hole imaginable and digging their way in somewhere is just a bit of a challenge to them :evil:


We're really lucky because our neighbouring farms have lots of cats that keep the population in check, and my terriers do their bit in hunting them down - or at least telling us which stone wall they're nesting in now!


Regarding trapping, I would recommend contacting a pest control expert to do the job properly for you. Hubby has managed to shoot quite a few over the years and we've trapped some to. But a big word of warning - be extremely careful about where you place traps as you will catch other things to. In our case it was a red squirrel :cry: and some birds too :cry: . That's with the traps under cover and inaccessible too :cry: .


Don't beat yourself up too much though. Rats are a fact of life, whether you keep poultry or not. It's just a case of keeping on top of the population in the best way you can. Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have rats too. There are traps and bait stations right left and centre. The bu**ers can remove the peanut butter from the traps as easily as blinking, but if I go near them , they snap shut if I glance at them.


I used to bring the feed in at night but I stopped because it disturbed the hens, and I read that as the rats are opportunist feeders, they will sneak in during the day and help themselves if the coast is clear, so I didn't think there was much point.


I try to keep the garden tidy, to minimise the hiding places, and I flood anything that I think might be a nesting place with the hosepipe every so often. I couldn't care less if I drown a few baby rats.


Unfortunately rats are a fact of life, I reckon you are just more likely to spot 'em if you keep poultry.


I wish Jules lived a bit nearer, I'd be inviting her and her terriers round for tea. If only I could find someone in Sheffield with a pack of ratters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys - reassuring to know I am not alone!


OH and I have had conflabs this morning. we are going to dig wire down around the outside of the pen area. We are also going to order a 2nd Eglu or *whispers* maybe a cube! That will go in the pen area on slabs as the Eglu has done. It seems that when the Eglu and run are on slabs, the rats can't get in, so we have decided that when we are not around, the girls will have to stay in the run - not what we wanted, but hey-ho. A second Eglu - or cube!!!! - will give them more space and I'll feel better about them being in the run for longer periods of time.


I think Egluntine is right - it's the opportunism that is so difficult to prevent!


Beach Chick - do get metal dustbins etc. We have all that, it's just that the door to the run was left open so that the girls could free range. They just hopped right through the door! We also have a brook at the bottom of the garden which is a bit notorious for rats.


Martin - it's a pretend duck on the pond!! Our 2 ducks are elsewhere on the pic! :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Burying the wire should help, but I see that two (?) sides of your pen are simple wooden fencing. The rats will get under that as quick as a flash, so you'll need to add some wire skirt under the fencing, too.


(You'd probably realised, but I thought it was worth mentioning!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rats are amazing. They can always find a way. I have three cats and don't have a problem. I keep the food in dustbins as well. You seem to be taking all sensible measures. One of my cats also catches the odd grey squirrel and is really hardcore!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like yourself get the wanderings of a rat in my garden. Like yourself I take in the food each night, but I put it down to living near the railway as well. I tried every type of rodent control out there and in the end it was a 99p trap that caught one. After feeling rather jubilant about that, another little blighter has come to visit.

All I've done is just leave traps bated with sausage about where I know they come in. Perhaps I'll hear another"SNAP" in the night :!::!:


Susan :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Right well, have blocked off holes and the girls have been kept in the Eglu run for a couple of hours in the morning until they have had a good feed. We then let them out to free range, removing the food from the run.


For the time being, this seems to have kept him (them!!) away!


Best news is though..... I have ordered a new Eglu - yayyyy!! Have decided to sit it on slabs in the large pen area and the ducks can live in there with a big splash bowl.


MH x

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...