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Author Topic: Rats  (Read 1077 times)

Christoph262

  • Joined Nov 2020
Rats
« on: November 30, 2020, 04:59:24 pm »
I have a small rat problem ,I have 8 chickens in a small paddock and rats are burrowing in from field next door
I do not want to use poison as I have other animals,can anybody give me any ideas to the best erradicate them
Thank You

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Rats
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2020, 08:10:01 pm »
Remove all feed sources, snap traps can be useful but obviously don’t work in a chicken run. You can buy a bait box that stops rats running off with the bait though (wire in blocks inside the bait box and no other animals should be able to access the bait). If you have a real rat problem poison can be the only thing to bring them under control and control them in the future.

Christoph262

  • Joined Nov 2020
Re: Rats
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2020, 08:47:20 pm »
Thanks for that I shall start with food sources first

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Rats
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2020, 10:29:14 pm »
 
Rat catchers tell us, and my own experience backs it up, that deterrents (along with removing the sources of attraction and the means of ingress) are helpful in stopping rats from taking up residence.  But that if there is already a problem, deterrents will have pretty much no impact.  First of all, the current incumbents have to be removed.  Poison or terriers, or terriers followed by poison, are the only ways that seem to work once there is an active infestation.  (And believe me, I have tried so many alternatives over the years!  I hate having to use poison, but I have grudgingly accepted that it's necessary once the rats have moved in.) 

Then, once there is no longer a resident rat population, the deterrents (coupled with sealing holes and removing all attractors of course) may help to reduce the likelihood of, or at least delay, another lot moving in.

Anyway, that's my experience.  Just thought I'd share it; you will make your own mind up of course.  (Everyone told me the same and I had to find out the truth of it for myself...  I think most people do, no-one likes having to use poison!)
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Scarlet.Dragon

  • Joined May 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: Rats
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2020, 10:49:29 pm »
If you want to try some "natural" poisons, then sweet potato and dried sugar beet are worth a try, providing, of course, that you can put them in locations where they can't be accessed by stock that may also be susceptible to their use.
Excellence is the result of caring more than others think is wise, risking more than others think is safe, dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.

Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Rats
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2020, 09:14:34 am »
With only 8 birds it should be pretty easy to just feed them a measured amount first thing in the morning and again pre roosting time. That way they clear up all the food and don't leave any for scavengers. I know a lot of people do it but leaving a feeder in the pen all day long is a sure way to attract rats and other pests. If your pen is not big enough to provide entertainment in the way of foraging for the hens then hang cabbages or other greenery up during the day which the hens will like but the rats wont be so keen on.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
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Re: Rats
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2020, 10:12:16 am »
With only 8 birds it should be pretty easy to just feed them a measured amount first thing in the morning and again pre roosting time. That way they clear up all the food and don't leave any for scavengers. I know a lot of people do it but leaving a feeder in the pen all day long is a sure way to attract rats and other pests. If your pen is not big enough to provide entertainment in the way of foraging for the hens then hang cabbages or other greenery up during the day which the hens will like but the rats wont be so keen on.
Totally agree.  I used to have 6 ducks and 12 hens in my last home and had a really bad problem with rats coming from the adjacent railway and burn.

I only have 4 hens here, with a small coop enclosed in a weldmesh 6 foot high run, but with access to rough ground during the day.  No sign of rats in a year but I know from neighbours they are in the woods behind their house, which is behind me.  All farmland around too.  So I scatter enough for the girls to eat in the morning, and keep them occupied, then they get a little more when they go inside their coop at night. I have a tarpaulin over the run per APHA recommendations for bird flu

The run is positioned below the balcony from my lounge (house is on two levels)so I will hang greenery from that soon as the foraging ground is almost trashed
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Rats
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2020, 02:35:12 pm »
Unless your poultry house is a) on wheels and b) moved very regularly you will have rats living underneath - food or no food available - because it is warm and dry (same goes for your compost heap, though no idea yet how to put that on wheels). Only thing is to send a ferret down. Even if your shed is on a concrete plinth/foundations, the rats will just burrow under at the edge of that. If the floor is made of wood you will need to check it regularly, or the rats will chew their way in... we have lost goslings that way. All our chicken houses now have double floors with wire mesh bewteen them.


But we still have rats... you will not be able to eradicate them. And even if you do, others just come as quick to take up the residences vacated... you will have to learn to live them to some extent.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Rats
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2020, 03:31:32 pm »
I would work on the theory that you have a bigger problem than you think. A free food source always attracts rats. Garden bird feeders being a one of the biggest. You can never be sure that your chickens have eaten everything and as Anke says they like warm, dry places to nest. Lots of good advice above. It is possible to use bait safely.


Q

  • Joined Apr 2013
Re: Rats
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2020, 07:18:13 pm »
I cannot abide having rats around - I use cameras just to check when they are about and where they enter the chicken pen and where they go. 
I especially keep a note of what time they turn up because they are habitual. I wait and shoot them if I can.  Rats become very wary of snap traps after a few near misses - but putting two side by side sometimes gets them.

The worse is when they take up residence under the shed - I will empty the shed out and lift the removable floor to get at them(spade usually).

I never let them settle once I know they are in and i will chase them down every day until i have got them all.
More than once i have been around in the evening at the right time and panicked the rats into a trap 

does that sound too much or did I forget to mention I dont like rats?
If you cant beat 'em then at least bugger 'em about a bit. :innocent:

LeeHambone

  • Joined Jun 2017
Re: Rats
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2020, 07:31:34 pm »
I keep fen traps down all year around now. You must enclose them in wooden tunnels that no other species can access though. You can bait them or not, although I've had more success with baiting using grain

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
Re: Rats
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2020, 11:00:25 pm »
I never had rats untill this summer. Now I see them every day. I caught some in traps. They definitelly have a nest underneath the chicken coop - flooded it with  a hose. Another small chicken coop is moved every day. They dig underneath every day.
I never leave food all day any more. Only feed the chickens and ducks a bit in the morning a a bit in the evening. Try to feed them in different spaces - obviously birds see where i feed them so they follow me. Unfortunately rats are very clever. First they made their nest under the garden shed - were they had access to feed, which was soon blocked of course.
I'm setting up more traps now. Was thinking of getting some poison but was worried poultry might eat it too...
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, geese rabbits and a little boy on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Rats
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2020, 11:30:19 pm »
Using bait doesn't have to be a danger to your other animals. Target carefully where rats are nesting so under huts and in walls, not putting out anywhere. They like to carry bait back to their nests so save them some work and take it to them. Nail blocks to wood and slide under huts. Push bait into their runs in walls, well back so nothing else pulls it back out. Spend sometime working out where they are nesting before you put bait out. Think of the term "rat runs". Bait until they don't take anymore. Most people don't bait for long enough.


Yes, more rats are likely to move in but usually it isn't immediate and hit them again as soon as you see the evidence.


Do the obvious stuff like not leaving food out and storing in rat proof bins but also don't give them cover. They like to stay close to buildings and love it when you put stuff against the wall they can run along the back of out of sight.




Richmond

  • Joined Sep 2020
  • Norfolk
Re: Rats
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2020, 09:01:00 am »
If you can put your hen house on legs, or a few concrete blocks at each corner if its a big house, to raise it off the ground significantly (about a foot) then rats will not nest under it. All our houses are raised and there are no rats underneath.  It also provides a dry area for the hens to shelter from the rain and to dustbath under.

vfr400boy

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • one life live it
Re: Rats
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2020, 08:12:19 pm »
I keep fen traps down all year around now. You must enclose them in wooden tunnels that no other species can access though. You can bait them or not, although I've had more success with baiting using grain

Cant beat a well set fenn in a tunnel i have 4 permanently set around my hens and compost bins check them ones a day if any thing is creeping about they get snaped up some times I don't catch for months then get 3 or 4 adults in a row must be as rats looking for a new home

 

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