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Author Topic: Rats in my enclosure  (Read 1857 times)

Celli

  • Joined Jun 2016
  • Fife
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2016, 01:49:58 pm »

Oh gosh. That IS a worry. I had a rate decimate my aviary bird population one by one once, but a mink and chickens....not a good mix.  :-\

Unless it can bite through the weld mesh it won't get in, it could dig in I suppose but there are a lot of slabs to get under first so I'd spot any entrance holes before it managed that.
I'll put out my live trap and see what I catch.

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2016, 02:11:50 pm »
We have more rats than we can ignore so I'm just about to buy some traps - the live catch type.
I'd be glad of advice about what bait to use and how to encourage the rats to go in.
Thanks very much!
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 4 chickens, 2 donkeys and 3 dogs

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2016, 02:20:02 pm »
We have more rats than we can ignore so I'm just about to buy some traps - the live catch type.
I'd be glad of advice about what bait to use and how to encourage the rats to go in.
Bait with what they normally eat (e.g. layers pellets) with something like wheat and make sure it's the only source of food through the night.  Rats are neophobic so they may well ignore it for a week or two and use their feed stock first.  Handle the trap with gloves so it doesn't smell of human.  Once the alpha male and female eat the bait the rest of the colony will follow.

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2016, 02:23:07 pm »
Thanks MarchesFarmer, that's excellent.
I'm looking at ordering the Defender small rat and squirrel trap - is there any particular trap that's better or are they all the same?
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 4 chickens, 2 donkeys and 3 dogs

penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #19 on: December 29, 2016, 06:29:36 pm »
For stoats we set a Fenn trap, building a tunnel with bricks, and a woodtunnel the gamekeeper gave us. Since then caught mink and rats. Set along the wall side where the rats run, leave baited but not set till food goes regularly,  then set, should catch fairly quickly.  Also the giant 'mousetrap' type again put blocks round so innocent critters don't get caught.
Another idea I read was to leave bran in a bucket, when they've got used to going in for it, put water in and float bran on top.
Hopefully our cat keeps them down, occasionally a big one moves in, cat doesn't like going in barn.

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2016, 11:45:42 am »
Treadle traps can be baited with chicken feed scattered on the bottom. Make sure nothing gets under the treadle plate and stops it from moving. One Winter we left a rabbit trap out baited with apples. About two weeks later and I spotted a rabbit in the trap, but when I got closer I realised it was the biggest rat I've ever seen (with the exception of the Coypu the dog cornered last month).


Traps with a hanging bait on a hook do well with a slice of corn-on-the-cob. This has been bay far our most successful method of live trapping.

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2016, 11:51:46 am »
Can rats climb trees? There are definitely rats at the bottom of an apple tree in the garden but the dog spends ages looking up into the branches of the tree with the same stance and tail wagging as when she spots them elsewhere. Maybe she's confused but I wonder if they run up the tree when she's after them at the bottom?!
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 4 chickens, 2 donkeys and 3 dogs

penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2016, 12:44:52 pm »
Can rats climb trees? There are definitely rats at the bottom of an apple tree in the garden but the dog spends ages looking up into the branches of the tree with the same stance and tail wagging as when she spots them elsewhere. Maybe she's confused but I wonder if they run up the tree when she's after them at the bottom?!
Grey squirrel?

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2016, 12:48:47 pm »
It's not a squirrel Penninehillbilly, and i can't actually see anything when I look where the dog is staring! I think perhaps the rat runs back into a hole to get away from the dog and she thinks it's run up the tree?! But she really stares up into the tree and it's made me worry that we have particularly agile and acrobatic rats!
The live catch traps have just been delivered so hopefully we can start getting on top of the problem...
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 4 chickens, 2 donkeys and 3 dogs

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2016, 02:03:41 pm »
The dog will still be able to smell a squirrel, even if it jumped to another tree.  Rats can climb most things but generally prefer ground level nests.  We've had nests in old rabbit holes, piles of stone, under pallets with haybales stored on top, under sheds and chicken houses and under sheets of tin that stop the chickens scratching the muck heap all over the yard (this is particularly popular as it's warm next to the decomposing muck!)  Once you know where to look around your property it saves a lot of time as new rat colonies that set up camp once the crops are off the adjoining fields tend to go for the same sites.

Celli

  • Joined Jun 2016
  • Fife
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2016, 03:43:50 pm »
Can rats climb trees? There are definitely rats at the bottom of an apple tree in the garden but the dog spends ages looking up into the branches of the tree with the same stance and tail wagging as when she spots them elsewhere. Maybe she's confused but I wonder if they run up the tree when she's after them at the bottom?!

Yes they can, I watched two rats scamper up the tree outside my living room to get at a bird feeder.

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2016, 04:10:23 pm »
That's not good news Celli although I'm pretty sure it's not squirrels here as we never see them in our garden or field. I'm not going to stand under the apple tree until we've got the rat situation well under control!
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 4 chickens, 2 donkeys and 3 dogs

penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2016, 04:34:01 pm »
We very rarely see squirrels, but they are about, just the other day I walked down by our old beech trees and there was one there. Pity I didn't have the gun. Been down 3 times since and not seen it.
Dog once 'treed' one, stood underneath wagging his tail. left him sat there, came back, bang. One pest less.

laurelrus

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Quainton,Buckinghamshire
  • Hobby farmer
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #28 on: January 05, 2017, 03:21:20 pm »
Have used the Defender cage for the last two nights and caught a rat each night.
Which brings me to the next question - how do we dispose of the dispatched rats?
Thanks
2 pygmy goats, 3 Ouessant sheep, 4 chickens, 2 donkeys and 3 dogs

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Rats in my enclosure
« Reply #29 on: January 05, 2017, 03:32:21 pm »
Have used the Defender cage for the last two nights and caught a rat each night.
Which brings me to the next question - how do we dispose of the dispatched rats?
Thanks
When you say dispatched do you mean already dead? If so then bury them in a place away from water, I usually pop the dead rats into the flower borders and bury them deep and that is ok for the soil. But if not dead surely you could put a bullet in their heads from an air rifle? or alternatively let the dog kill them or a cat. If that doesn't work, then drop a stone on their heads and that usually kills them, or use a shovel and chop off their heads or bash their skulls in, do it quickly though. Sorry if this sounds gruesome, but once caught you can't let it free.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 03:34:10 pm by waterbuffalofarmer »
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