Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: rats!  (Read 2556 times)


  • Joined Oct 2010
« on: July 01, 2013, 11:09:14 pm »
Hello can anyone advise me please.
Have had pigs on our land for three years , been around at all times of day and night but have never seen a rat. I keep food in sealed in bins.
Well in last two days have seen a rat three times. I have a pig that has just farrowed in a large pig ark, she just had four piglets my others have been in our outhouse when they farrowed.
I have set a trap now but will the rat attack the piglets, and or pass on disease? Assume there will be more than one, am I being niave in thinking because I have never seen them before they have always been there anyway?
Any thoughts or advice much appreciated.
Thanks very much in advance.


  • Joined May 2013
Re: rats!
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2013, 11:36:07 pm »
we have rats though never seen one, but the holes are there and they nest in the haylage during the winter. when my pigs/hens were here is when i noticed alot more nests, as i fed them loose on the ground.
i dont know about the piglets but i would guess one squeak from the piglet would send mum charging over, but then iv had sows who have left their babies and walked off a long way so sows can be careless with protecting them. they grow so quick, i think you would be unlucky to lose one to a rat. badgers can eat newborns tho.

Fowgill Farm

  • Joined Feb 2009
Re: rats!
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 10:21:25 am »
You'll probably find the rats are living under your pig houses. We push bags of rat poison well underneath the houses and this does work, but be prepared to find dead rats in your water troughs as the poison drives them to water. If you can find their 'rat' runs you can also bait the enties and exits of these providing no other animal can get at poison. Have a word with the local 'rat' man (environmental health) for advice they're usually quite helpful. Also make sure you clear up any food that the pigs have spat out or left.
Mandy :pig:

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: rats!
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 10:41:24 am »
If you're feeding a grain-based feed and don't have rats or mice you're the only place in the country!  Under buildings is a favourite.  We always stack bales and feed at least 30cm from a wall then we can put down bait as any "corridor" will become a rat run.  Frequently used ones will have a greasy look - droppings are black and torpedo-shaped.  Rats carry many diseases, some of which are serious for humans and can cause abortion in ewes - when a young cat catches rats for the first time it excretes the disease and we all know how cats love to have a comfortable lavatory in the hay barn!

Some rats have become resistant to particular poisons - if you try one based on, say, difenacoum, switch to bromadialone if it doesn't seem to be working.  If the baiting area is safe from birds and hedgehogs you can just put the bair under a stone flag set on a few low bricks.  They'll take a while to accept the new layout (or bair station if you prefer to go the more secure route) so don't be discouraged if they don't take the bair straightaway.  Scrub your hands or wear disposable gloves when setting bait - they'll smell your human smell and it'll make them suspicious.  If you find a rat hole simply pour the bait down it - works for me!


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: rats!
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 10:42:24 am »
Thanks very much for the replies - much appreciated

Would I not have seen them before now tho' I just thought it was strange that I had seen one rat over three days... but never seen one since( keeping pigs which over three years now and other livestock before that),  when I am out in the fields / land during the night and at dusk.. or are they just really good at keeping out of of the way and this one was an extra bold one?

btw - the borrowed rat trap is empty this morning - but baited it with dark chocolate as that was all I had in..! :) Might prefer milk chocolate!

Thanks Again


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: rats!
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 10:47:37 am »
thanks again for your help  - looks like I need to get tough and be careful!!


  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
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Re: rats!
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 01:10:51 pm »
They are really clever, as I'm sure you know! the rat trap will need to be hidden in a way, ie. drape something over it or cover it in straw but leaving the entrance free of blockages, it might take a few days as they will know its new and will be reluctant to investigate at first.  We bait ours with peanut butter covered crusts and chocolate.
I also let Snowball loose in the barn for a while and she catches loads of them (she's a cat, siamese cross)  the dog has a terrier mum and he's desperate to get in there too  ;)
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...



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