Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I am having a big problem with rats at the moment. A few months ago I was sat watching the chickens from the sun room. A movement caught my eye and when I looked again there was a huge rat going in and out of the one of the coops. My hubby got his air rifle and managed to wing it. It flew into the air then dived into a hole under the coop. He couldnt get a good view because the chickens were in the run. We then paved over where the coop stands. This last week or so we have notice a hole starting to emerge where the end of the slabs are.

 

Yesterday I went into the second run and was just checking if there were any eggs when something shot past me. As I bent down to check the nestbox another "thing" shot past me - causing me to jump and scream. Of course hubby who was further down the garden totally ignored me. Couldnt tell if they were mice or small rats - they definately werent the size of the previous one, but from the way they jumped I think they could have been young rats.

 

We have put down a bait box previously but they didnt seem to take the bait. We now have a trap in one of the runs which is supposed to catch them so we can shoot them but so far they havent touched that either.

 

I am at the end of my tether with it. I think part of the problem is that the next door neighbour has loads of junk in his garden on the hedgeline between the run and them. I dont know what else to do, as I feel sure that if we get in a pest controller they will say it is the chickens which encourage rats, but i have never had them before. :(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well first of all loads of people have rats whether or not they have chicken, so don't let that put you off. A compost bin is rat heaven :vom: Of course, you mustn't encourage them by leaving food out, or food spillages, or storing food in bins which aren't rat proof. The first time we had rats I got the pest controller in and it worked. I shadowed him and he put the bait under spare roof tiles in darkish out of the way places that wouldn't be disturbed (and which the cats couldn't reach) in quite large quantities. Rats took bait, and died stinkily under a shed. Since then I've baited places myself - choosing dark places near where I've seen evidence of ratlife like under spare hen houses, near compost bins, under roof tiles or similar in long grass. Make sure you wear gloves when handling the bait box/tile etc so your smell isn't transferred and also for safety. I have heard that they like peanut butter, no idea if its true, but I do smear that about too to lure them to the bait boxes :D I have always managed to get rid of them, even when I've seen them gaily chomping out of the chooks feed bowl and getting in and out of the run via tunnels under the coops. We are semi-rural, and neighbours help with a bit of shooting, and ratting as we all have the same problem, whether we have chicken or not.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Daphne. I remove the food from the run before nightfall. Twice this week I have found droppings in the nest boxes as if they are going in to sleep. Now the weather has got warmer I had started leaving the coop doors open at night but think I will probably have to start closing them up again. I dont like the thought of them being in there with the hens even if they dont seem to mind them. I will try putting in bait in dark corner etc too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rats are neophobes, so they will take a while to get used to the boxes; just leave them there, and bait with peanut butter. If you're still having problems, then call the council out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had / have a chicken problem too (i say had / have as were not sure they've gone!)

We booked in a pest control company to try and rid them for us, but the rat(s) just kept by-passing the bait boxes they put out!

The netting we have up for the run has been chewed through, and you could see a definite trail where they were running the whole way across the run floor. The bait boxes were left for 3 weeks with no luck.

To the pest control company, the problem is resolved (!) but to us we just aren't sure.

There is also a hole under the 6 ft wooden fencing we have in the garden, which is one boundary to the run, as if they run through the pen and out the other side.

Not seen a rat for a while but i think they may be living under our shed which is slightly jacked up on plinths of wood due to an uneven patio, meaning the shed was soaking up water!

 

Not sure what else to do really as rats are crafty and know when something changes, but it doesn't bother them!

 

OH shot one with his air rifle once, but not sure it eradicated the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have bate boxes and humane rat cages that I bate with peanut butter, the rats neither go in the bate boxes or the humane rat cage. :roll: My local farmer told me to put it down the rat holes ensuring animals and wild life can't get to it. I've also put slabs over the ruts they make and put poison under. So far I've found two dead rats and where they usually tunnel under the ducks paddling pool this has stopped so I'm getting there. :wink: I've also noticed that the food is lasting longer during the day. :D Now I need to stop the wild birds blatantly steeling the layers :!: Only kidding I don't mind feeding the birds. :lol: Infact I have bird feeder. :D

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Guest
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...