NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Rats  (Read 4188 times)


  • Joined May 2009
  • Fife
« on: November 17, 2010, 09:03:17 pm »
Hi folks
I have (had!) 6 4 week old chicks that I will fatten for meat. They are in a shed in the garden and will be put out onto the veg bed when they are a little older. However this morning i went in to find one (the smallest) missing and one of the bigger ones in a bad way. This one was on its side, very cold and looking like it was about to die. I have subsequently brought it into the house and it looks better after warmth and oral sugar solution. It has no signs of any wounds.

I was wondering if this could have been due to rats? - there are a couple in the garden and the shed (a straw bale build) has a rat sized hole in through the wall I have discovered (now patched!)

Do rats take small birds?
And do you think the other one will recover - it is stronger, cheeping lots but is very lopsided?

Live well: Laugh often: Love much
Voss Electric Fence

little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Rats
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2010, 10:08:12 pm »
Do rats take small birds?

we've just lost a beautiful, snowy white quail chick to the blasted rodents - its was quite grim so I wont go into details.
we moved the others, left the corpse so Ratty returned and we got the b**ger!
they dont seem to bother once the birds are bigger (in my experience... and we get plenty)  :<

hope your littl'uns recover   
Little Blue


  • Joined Oct 2008
Re: Rats
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2010, 10:17:18 pm »
I had a run full of quail that i thought was fox/vermin proof so i didnt shut the house door at night,the run was fully enclosed with very fine chicken wire but i kept losing the odd one and then all gone,couldnt understand it so then as space was short moved a hen with 6 chicks in to the same pen next morning all gone will never make that mistake again now i always make sure that i shut them in at night,it could have only be a rat.


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: Rats
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2010, 08:14:58 am »
Sorry to hear that!! rats can squeeze in through tiny spaces - so can stoats. But I would guess the'll have to wait and see, the wee one might have inner injuries or just shock.  :chook: :&>


  • Joined Feb 2010
Re: Rats
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2010, 05:29:09 pm »
Poor things, have a friend who had her turkey babies taken by a stoat/ polecat through chicken wire. She thought they were safe behind wire as well. Dont get many rats up here at the moment but they are getting nearer to us now, a farm around the way is having a real problem. My husband went into a croft being done up and found loads of rats nests, so they are getting a problem to be taken seriously after years of Shetland being rat free.Farmers say they are coming up in big bale hay and have seen then run out of bales when split.


  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Rats
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2010, 04:34:10 pm »
I had fifteen out of seventeen chicks taken by rats! I know that they know no better and that to them food is food however they find it. BUT I poisoned the buggars >:( >:( and have left down bait in safe boxes permanently.
I will get rid of rats by whatever method I can.


  • Joined Jul 2010
Re: Rats
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2010, 11:04:47 pm »
Please shoot me if it doesn't work as we haven't had a rat problem to try it out, but... black pepper is supposed to keep rats and mice at bay. Don't know how much you'd need, though. Or if the chickens wouldn't eat it?

It's apparently one of those supposed old wives' tales that are actually true, so I just thought I'd mention it.


  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Rats
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2010, 10:14:29 am »
I've never heard of that but I'll keep some down in my kitchen cupboards this winter!


  • Joined Aug 2010
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Re: Rats
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2010, 10:54:02 am »
mint it also ment to keep mice away, again not sure if it works but anything is worth ago  :wave:


  • Joined May 2010
Re: Rats
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2010, 11:18:47 am »
Invest in a couple of cats.  I came down on sunday morning to find the rear 3/4 of 'daddy' rat, just head and front foot missing - must have been enough to fill up my Top Ratter.  ;D All four of my cats are profecient at killing most rodents, one of them even brought a mole in.  That combined with a rat trap and an air rifle is enough to 'deter' them...


  • Joined Mar 2010
Re: Rats
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2010, 12:07:44 pm »
I started loosing first eggs, then chicks and finally adult birds. It turned out to be an animal called a Fouine it's a type of weasel, it had set up home in the gable end of my chicken shed under the roof tiles. If you loose anything bigger it is probably a stoat or weasel. They can be caught with a cage trap baited with an egg. I gave up chickens as I eventually lost the lot. I only have ducks now as they are too big for them to tackle.


  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Rats
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2010, 12:40:29 pm »
.........That combined with a rat trap and an air rifle is enough to 'deter' them...

You have cats so I hope you have the humane 'catching' type traps, otherwise they or other animals may get injured (or worse) in them.



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