Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Advice needed - we have rats  (Read 8757 times)

Btrobe

  • Joined Jan 2009
Advice needed - we have rats
« on: February 07, 2009, 11:47:17 am »
 ??? I understand that if you keep chickens you get rats. Looking out of the window yesterday at dusk, I saw a rat running from underneath a large bush to the chicken feeder and helping itself to the remaining feed. I googled 'rats - how to get rid of' but all of the solutions seem to be traps or poison. How can I get rid of them and not harm the hens?  Any advice would be most welcome thanks

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
  • Qui? Moi?
    • ABERDON GUNDOGS for work and show
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Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2009, 12:20:50 pm »
There is another thread running on this but basically the advice is threefold:
1. get a cat - preferably one from cat protection which is known to be a good hunter.
2. Get a rat box which poultry can't get their beaks in and stuff it with rat poison
3. put rat poison in placcy bags and push into crevices out of reach of birds
4. take all feeders inside at night - just before dusk preferably
Hope this helps
Annie.
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

Btrobe

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2009, 12:35:13 pm »
Thanks doganjo

I did look for a thread on rats but couldn't find one.  That advice seems really sound and I will try it. We don't have a cat because we work away but I have a 'hen partner' who feeds and looks after the hens - we buy the feed and share the eggs. I'll check to see if he would also feed a cat - it could live in our stable at the bottom of the garden.

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2009, 01:04:42 pm »
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

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2009, 01:08:02 pm »
A cat will happily live in the barn if it has a nice hay bale to sleep on.  You can leave a cat fro a few days as they will only eat their food when they need it, unlike a dog which would gobble everything left for it then be starved for the next few days!
If you get a cat it will need to be kept inside for about 2 to 3 weeks till it becomes accustomed to its new home, otherwise it would wander off to find another cosy billet.  They are free spirits, but very useful ones, and sometimes cuddly like my two. ;D
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

Btrobe

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2009, 02:02:27 pm »
Thanks once again.  I've been on the thread and as a result have bought a rat box.  I'll think about a cat when I know we will be at home for a few weeks to settle it in.

Brenda

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2009, 04:51:09 pm »
Try your local Cat Protection League - they are often looking to home feral cats. They will be vaccinated and neutered but will pretty much look after themselves ( with feeding, of course)

Castle Farm

  • Joined Nov 2008
  • Hereford/Powys Border. near Hay-on-Wye
    • castlefarmeggs
Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2009, 05:03:24 pm »
A cat will impact on birds as well as the odd rat.
The rat is drawn to a feeder it has got used to feeding from..thats good..Because it feels safe..If you add something new it will ignore it, especially if you still have the feeder in use.
If you can lock the birds away from the feeder over night and refill the feeder with rat bait you are sure it will feed from it..
Clean out and re fill with chicken feed and put your birds back in...or have 2 feeders and remove the baited 1 each morning before you let the birds out.

If your scatter feeding stop at once and it will have to feed from the feeder.

If you do not get to grips before it breeds you will have even more problems..
Traditional Utility Breed Hatching Eggs sent next day delivery. Pure bred Llyen Sheep.
www.castlefarmeggs.co.uk  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Utility-Poultry-Keepers/231571570247281

johnmac

  • Joined Dec 2008
  • Perth
Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 05:19:56 pm »
A cat will only eat their food when they need it, unlike a dog which would gobble everything left for it then be starved for the next few days!

You haven't met my cat then!! He'd eat 25Kg of food in one sitting if i gave it to him....then vomit all over the beck step..... little swine!!  :cat:  :D

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2009, 07:38:36 pm »
We have three cats and a Jack Russell keeps rats a bay  :)

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2009, 10:36:54 pm »
I've often thought about having a Jack Russell!  I like their style! Not sure what the rest of the gang would think though. ;D
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

garden cottage

  • Joined Sep 2008
  • forest of dean
Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2009, 07:14:56 am »
we did have a  rat problem especially near the poultry arcs and feedshed, 4 cats have now completely solved this and i havent seen one for months. definite down side is wild birds killed by them. we have used poison in the past in bait boxes which was very effective but again if birds of prey or owls pick  up dead rats it has a knock on effect as well.

ballingall

  • Joined Sep 2008
  • Avonbridge, Falkirk
Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #12 on: February 08, 2009, 11:23:20 am »
Jack Russell. Everytime. Ours is a fantastic ratter. We lived in Kinross, which is horrendous for rats, and I swear she got depressed when we moved here and there were no rats. Of course the rats have started to appear here now, so she is happy again!

Beth

Btrobe

  • Joined Jan 2009
Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #13 on: February 08, 2009, 07:57:31 pm »
Thanks so much for the advice everyone. I have got so much to go on now. As I have bought (from ebay) rat boxes, I will try them but if I still have a problem I will try the feeder suggestion ie putting rat bait in, and changing the feeder for through the day.  We lock the hens up at night anyway so this seems a good idea. I'll also get in touch with the local cat protection league. My daughter has a Jack Russell so I may bring it into the garden when the hens are locked up and see what happens. I presume it would attack the hens.
Cheers
Brenda

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: Advice needed - we have rats
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2009, 10:03:25 am »
I have four dogs, two being German Shepherds, Jake the Jack Russell and Lizzie Staffie cross. Chasing hens or the cats is not allowed. Train them right and there is no problem. Jake knows if he gets a rat he gets a treat so his nose is always to the ground when I working outside.

 

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