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question about leaving food out at night

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After reading the post about rats I was wondering about people that leave their eglu door open all night what they do with the food?

Originally we took ours in as we don't want rats, and put it out in the morning before we let them out, but now we've trained them to push their door open in the morning so they can get themselves up and make the most of the shortening days, but we don't want to take the food in as they'll be hungry in the morning

Does anyone else have any suggestions about what to do, we really don't want rats but will the girls be starving hungry - they are getting up at the crack of dawn, even before it's properly light so I don't know what to do - how likely is it that we'll get rats if we keep leaving the food out?

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Hi there, well I've always left the food out and we've never had rats. I don't personally see the problem with rats anyway, we have squirrels and mice and people never seem to be as horrified as if it's rats. In London you are never more than 50feet from a rat wherever you are. I'm not saying I encourage them, far from it, I just don't see that they're any worse than a hedgehog, or a fox. Just not as cute!

Anyway, personally I would leave the food out.


Mrs B

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We put the food on top of out cube (in a home made run, with roof) so it doesn't attract rats, but they can't get in anyway because the holes in the mesh are about a centermeter small.

I don't see the problem with rats, if one of our cats gets one then I always feel just as bad as when they get birds (and the occasional bat :shock:) They are just a living creature, just like everything else, they just don't have anywhere nice to live. I feel a bit bad on them to be honest :oops:


Ok, I'll stop now!


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.... I don't personally see the problem with rats anyway, ....Mrs B


:? I don't want to start a big debate, but if you had rats in your chicken run (or garage, or house!) then you might see it as a problem!


Because, there wouldn't just be one...there could be a couple of dozen and multiplying...and they are hazardous to the health of both hens & humans.


Also, (xChicken04x) the mesh wouldn't stop them if they tunnelled in!


Yes, in some areas you are never far from them, and yes, live & let live etc. But, they will go for the easiest food & water source, so chickenkeeping may bring them nearer.


But, we have sewer rats running around over the road in the woods, in the road, up the drains, in the gardens. They are not welcome in my chicken run!


I am not talking about people's pet rats, or the balance of a few wild animals, some areas are infested with them & it's not healthy!


As for bringing food in...I think it ends up as a personal choice. I've ended up with a big galvanised feeder that the hens can access but not the rats. I think maybe I would leave feeders out if there weren't rats about, I think compost heaps, poo & a water source may be just as attractive. But, once they've come, they'll be having the food.

Same as you, Arowland, I find the hens can be semi independent if they have access to breakfast. :)


I did shut the Eglu doors when I knew we had rats, but generally I leave them open, within a Fort Knox chicken pen.

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I would say: Never leave food out at night. The rats will come eventually.


Once you have rats, even if you leave the eglu/cube door open at night, there is no point in leaving food out for the hens' breakfast, as the rats will clear it out every night and there won't be any food left for them in the morning anyway.


The Eglu is particularly vulnerable to rats, and quite a number of us now have had them nesting underneath it, because it is warm and cosy. You end up with a massive network of tunnels, and you see rats every time you go out in the garden. It isn't nice. Ours are sewer rats. They eat their way through anything.


I can't see the problem with bringing food in at night. It enables you to keep it clean, make sure the old stuff is eaten first, and you don't get slugs in it. Unless you like sewer rats to multiply in your garden (I know that there are some people who seem to think this is fine!), it is unfair on your neighbours to leave the food out, as it contains the antidote to rat poison.


But I would also say close the Eglu/Cube door at night. That is what it is for! I think that all you people who leave it open are living dangerously.

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Ditto Gallina & Sheila.


Since finding evidence of Rats we have been bringing the food in.

During the week it usually gets put back out at around 7am, but at the weekends it may not go out until 8.30, & the hens survive.


It is personal choice, but as has been said,if the food is left out,Rats will come & they are really determined & will get in or thorough almost anything :?

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We always leave our eglu door open and no food has ever disappeared. However, we do have a Burmese cat who is a very good mouser, so perhaps that is the answer. No matter how early we go out to see the girls, they are always up and wanting to be let out of the run, so I'm dreading very cold weather when I might have to close the eglu door. I think they'll hate it. Does anyone leave their door open all winter?

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i do too, unless it is minus as Egluntine says. Unfortunately i work away from home 2-3 night s per week, but the girls are fine with the door open, even when it is really cold. They snuggle up together to keep warm as in nature.


Just need to find a way of stopping the water freezing when i'm away :?

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