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We've had an Eglu cube plus a large walk in Omlet run for a few years now and never had any problems with unwanted visitors.

All food is stored in our garage.

This winter we have noticed tunnel holes from outside the run, under the fox lip and then into the run. It started with one hole, but now there are about 10 all around the run and we have spotted a rat out there. Has anyone got any tips of how I can adapt the run to stop them?

 

 

 

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The Omlet run is not rodent proof.

Last year, I posted a video on here of a pretty big rat squeezing through the bars of the run. It was gross.

We overcame this by covering the cube run in strong cm squared wire mesh.

We also have patio slabs covered in wood chips on the floor of the run to stop him digging in and under.

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Wiremesh and patio slabs on the floor of the run.  Bring food in at night and make sure that the rats don’t have an easy water source 

I moved the Guinea pig hutch this morning and found a rat hole under the fence from next doors wilderness.  

I’ve been bringing all the animal food in every night, sometimes with little helpers. My youngest owned up that she has been tipping left over guinea good under the shrubs for the birds rather than bin it right next to the hutch 🤦‍♀️  Spent the afternoon moving pet proof bait boxes under that shrub and adding extra smaller  weldmesh to the hutch doors.  

Daughter is now supervised when feeding the animals  

Edited by ajm200
  • Haha 1

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Slab under the run and for at least 18" all round. That will prevent the tunelling but not them getting through the mesh.

Put down bait boxes!

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I was feeling pretty smug that we had outsmarted the rats ......until yesterday. A bit like you ajm we moved rabbit hutch and found multiple tunnels. Our wiremeld WIR is on large paving slabs that must be good 18 inches across and still they tunnelled under. OH filled in tunnels with post concrete and another is there this am. Grrrrr,we are going to slab whole run which poor chooks will have no scratch area when in run. Will rethink in better weather wire meld then earth. I am afraid to check them as I have vivid picture which was created in my mind by someone in forum posting about her poor girls having their feet chewed off while roosting. 😓

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2 hours ago, Grandmashazzie said:

are going to slab whole run which poor chooks will have no scratch area

You can put wood chip or aubiose or similar on top of the slabs to give the girls something to scratch about in.

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2 hours ago, Grandmashazzie said:

I was feeling pretty smug that we had outsmarted the rats ......until yesterday. A bit like you ajm we moved rabbit hutch and found multiple tunnels. Our wiremeld WIR is on large paving slabs that must be good 18 inches across and still they tunnelled under. OH filled in tunnels with post concrete and another is there this am. Grrrrr,we are going to slab whole run which poor chooks will have no scratch area when in run. Will rethink in better weather wire meld then earth. I am afraid to check them as I have vivid picture which was created in my mind by someone in forum posting about her poor girls having their feet chewed off while roosting. 😓

 

We’ve avoided the rats for 16 years but next door is disgusting so surprised we haven’t been overrun sooner.  The garden is an unkempt wilderness and he’d rather climb into the bin to compact 3 week old rubbish than wheel it down the side of his house to the curb.  We had to complain to the council as the patio was covered in maggots from his bin in hot weather

My cube is currently on the patio as we lost all the grass in the summer drought and the clay soil is sodden.  The girls have hardwood chips from flytes of fancy to scratch in and they are quite happy pecking around in it.    Our new run will have wire under slabs as they can squeeze through tiny gaps and my hubby isn’t great at laying slabs 

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As DM says, the runs aren’t rodent proof.  So it’s weldmesh, slabs, bait boxes, take food and water in.   I just aim to keep them out of my garden as I can’t be responsible for neighbouring ones.   It’s about time Omlet rethought the specification for the runs.  There are more rats than foxes! 

Edited by Patricia W
Typing!

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Here is a video of the fat rat getting into and out of my Omlet run.

 

  • Sad 1

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4 minutes ago, Luvachicken said:

Here is a video of the fat rat getting into and out of my Omlet run.

 

Such a shame that Omlet didn’t spec the runs with rat-proof wire.  The rat under our guinea pig/rabbit hutch managed to eat every bit of peanut butter off the spring trap,  trigger the trap and escape.  Something has nibbled the poison on the box though

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We caught a huge rat last night.  Didn't know they grow so big and fat.  It’s been doing well on the guinea food.  It’s nearly as big as them.  Peanut butter spread on the spring trap worked.  I feel guilty for killing any living thing but we have a legal obligation to deal with rats

Going to invest in rodent proof netting lower few feet for the new run.  Will have to add more later if needed as can’t afford enough to cover the whole greenhouse frame 

Edited by ajm200

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Gosh, thank you all for your replies. It sounds like its a common problem which heartens me somewhat - the realization that we are not doing anything wrong. I guess we are lucky we've been rat free for so long. Going to buy a rat proof feeder, rat traps and then have a think about how to adjust the run. That video clip is freaky 

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11 hours ago, Henergy said:

. That video clip is freaky 

Yes, sorry about that.

I wouldn't have believed it myself if we hadn't had caught on camera.

I love how he gets his bottom stuck on the way out and needs to have a wriggle to escape.

We haven't managed to get one in the trap either and it always sets off the spring without getting caught. I don't know how it manages to do that.

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OH believes the rat was getting into the trap from the ‘wrong’ end and was able to steal the food and trigger the trap without getting caught.  He positioned it in a corner so the rat had to stand on the trigger plate properly to get the bait.  We caught it 2 hrs later 

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15 minutes ago, Luvachicken said:

We haven't managed to get one in the trap either and it always sets off the spring without getting caught. I don't know how it manages to do that.

OH believes the rat was getting into the trap from the ‘wrong’ end and was able to steal the food and trigger the trap without getting caught.  He positioned it in a corner so the rat had to stand on the trigger plate properly to get the bait.  We caught it 2 hrs later 

He found and followed this advice

A typical mouse trap is not big enough to catch rats. ... Remember to place them touching a wall since rats like to run along walls to avoid detection’

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10 minutes ago, ajm200 said:

A typical mouse trap is not big enough to catch rats. ... Remember to place them touching a wall since rats like to run along walls to avoid detection’

Yes, we bought a rat trap, you can see it in the video, but he still manages to evade the spring. We have caught a couple of mice in it though.

Might try sticking it in a corner though so there is only one way in. 

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I've not been on here for ages, but have logged back on to check for a solution to our rat problem.

Has anyone who tried the "double mesh" solution found it works, long term? Since we blocked up the holes, I've seen rats literally squeeze through the bars, and big ones too!

I don't want to have to put traps out, and I certainly can't risk poison with the chickens around - far less any neighbourhood cats etc.

I'd rather just encourage them to move on...so, other than getting ourselves a cat, the double mesh seems like the best idea.

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Our hens are in a greenhouse with glass walls.  No way the rat can get in but it is still tunnelling under!  The floor is paved so no way up into the run.  It is trap savvy so we’ve had open traps down for 3 months now and  bait boxes with traps inside too.   We have caught others with a spring trap smeared with peanut butter as long as the trap is against a wall not this one though.   I will be flooding its tunnels tomorrow then laying wire flat to the floor for 3ft all round the greenhouse and cover with slabs 

The improving weather means the days of glass walls are limited.  The wire mesh with 13mm homes arrives tomorrow.  I will be removing one complete glass wall to replace with mesh.  The mesh will run floor to ceiling inside the greenhouse bars.   I’m getting the glass panels cut in three (approx 18 inches tall) and refitting them on the outside around the base against the wire to keep the bedding in and make it harder for pests to climb.  We will put chicken wire inside the mesh to make it hard for anything to squeeze through.

Top triangle will be removed from each end wall and replaced with mesh for air flow.  We have windows in the roof that are permanently open.  The whole roof and one wall will be lined with 98% shade cloth.  The wall cloth will be on wires so I can pull it aside like curtains in winter. The 60% shade cloth works well atm. 

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Just a note about the 'rat proof feeders' for anyone that uses them - I have a Grandpa's feeder and it is great and definitely helped with our rat issues in conjunction with an air rifle. However, this does not stop the rats with fluffy tails (I find a squirrel sat there on the treadle having breakfast every morning) so I would think it will not stop a large rat either.

 

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Does the grandpa feeder work with bantams?

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39 minutes ago, ajm200 said:

Does the grandpa feeder work with bantams?

No, they aren't usually heavy enough

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6 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

No, they aren't usually heavy enough

Thought that might be the case.  Thanks

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We seem to have sorted the problem with full grown rats getting into the MK 1 cube run and the WIR.  The MK 1 cube run is now on a base of weld mesh dug 6 inches deep so the elderly chickens don’t dig down to it.  That stops them digging under.  I suspect babies can still get through the bars but haven’t seen any.    

The top section of the Omlet WIR is covered in Weldmesh.  I haven’t seen any incursions this year.  Yet.   

I take the food and water in each night which helps.  

I also use bait boxes in strategic places. Inaccessible to chickens.  I don’t like using poison but it seems to be the only way to control them.  

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Our weldmesh has arrived and the squares are tiny.  I can’t push my finger through the squares so it should stop all but the smallest mice.  It is 16g so heavier than the avairy wire some places sell.  

Hopefully that’s the foxes and rodents dealt with.  Next in the agenda will be a few new fence posts as done of ours are rotten then we can install electric fencing round it 

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