OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

The place to discuss worms, mites, lice, rodents, wild birds, foxes, badgers, dogs etc.
Post Reply
dye29
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:43 pm

OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

Post by dye29 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:32 pm

bloody rats have took my silkie bantams the vermin , does anyone else have good ways to catch rats i never leave food out and have 6 live rat cages i rather catch them than poisen then i know there gone but i do also have 6 poisen boxes too i though ive been keeping on top of rats as i was catching loads then got to nothing but yesterday i found my bantams under the hut half eaten obviously dead , so ive had to take m others away for time being .
User avatar
rick
Part of the Flock
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:52 pm
Location: Warwickshire UK

Re: OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

Post by rick » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:27 pm

So sorry Dye, that's gutting.
Your not alone here in unfortunately being too comfortable in presumptions that turned out wrong - its usually foxes.
I don't think poison is the answer. Too dangerous with chickens in the same area. I think the only real answer is to exclude the rats - make the main daily run and coop rat proof then they can't get at the food or the hens.
... they are living under the hut, of course. It's winter and they are hungry - and are getting at the chicken food somehow. Catching lots of them is a bit like seeing lots of rabbits on the road, its just a fraction of an exploding population. I know it can be expensive to make a secure run but at least it is a one shot investment that will solve the problem. With us it was a fox that I didn't think would pass through several small rear gardens with dogs and walls and kitchen lights etc - not when the bins and discarded pizza and chips are available on the front. It took 3 years to happen but in early spring, probably hungry cubs to feed, sure enough... Lined the whole run with puppy wire. Its fox proof but not rat proof so I should really go over that with half inch mesh!
valeriebutterley
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 831
Joined: Tue Nov 23, 2010 3:08 pm
Location: N.W. Surrey

Re: OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

Post by valeriebutterley » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:45 am

So sorry Dye to hear of your rat problem, with baited trap or cages, I do not know what else you can do. I have never seen rats near my chickens, mice yes, cheeky little b.....s. I put out a trap, and twice in the morning it has been triggered.
Everything short of shooting is poisonous. I know a lot of people shoot them. Do you shoot?
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 5677
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm
Location: Hampshire, U.K.

Re: OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

Post by Marigold » Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:53 am

Oh Dye, I'm so sorry this has happened. That's a really difficult problem.
I totally agree with Rick about excluding them being the only answer. As they make long tunnels underground, the only way to exclude them is to cover the floor with 1/2" weld mesh and then join this to a 50cm. weld mesh skirt round the bottom of the sides of the run. Ideally, all the mesh in the run sides should be 1/2" - what size is yours? If it's big enough for rats to get through, or for foxes to get their teeth into, predators will get in somehow. Alternatively, lay slabs over the coop area - but they will still tunnel under the slabs and up at the sides unless the slabs are secured to the sides of the coop with mesh.
Have you found where they actually did get in? Even if you remove food to a secure place overnight, they will be eating it during the day, and that's how and why they get in. When the food isn't available overnight, unfortunately they get a sleeping bantam.
If this isn't practical because your run is too big, maybe you could make a secure area under and around the coop, and make a mesh division which would close off this end at night?
dye29
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 168
Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2017 2:43 pm

Re: OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

Post by dye29 » Fri Dec 22, 2017 10:27 pm

hi guys upto now ive not caught anything in traps but the poisen i put down all rat holes totally away from hens has gone so ive re done this today im just feeding my hens day to day for now and locking bantams in on night now , i do shoot i went to allotment last night with gun and lamp sat few hours not saw a thing . my mesh i sunk in ground a good 8inch all around and they have gone under that
User avatar
rick
Part of the Flock
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:52 pm
Location: Warwickshire UK

Re: OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

Post by rick » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:29 pm

Following your problems Dye I finally got the camera back in the run, mostly to see who was going into the nest boxes in the day but left it pointed at the floor last night and it seems my mouse population is bigger than I thought. That is a 6 inch dog bowl in the picture so they are rather fat little youngsters. Time to line the run in half inch mesh again over the bigger fox wire which will be quite an effort - *sigh*
Screenshot from 2018-01-15 19-46-44.png
Screenshot from 2018-01-15 19-46-44.png (15.78 KiB) Viewed 956 times
User avatar
chrismahon
Forum Guru / Wise Bird
Posts: 4842
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 10:29 am
Location: Gascony, France

Re: OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

Post by chrismahon » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:02 am

We had quite a bad mouse problem here Rick- note 'had'. I put 14 traps down in the outbuildings baited with initially Nutella, then as it got colder Peanut Butter (which is very expensive here). Caught 70 so far and our dog has been digging them out of the fields and bringing them back to exchange for treats- 30 from her, but we don't know how many others she has eaten. Her record is 3 caught in 5 minutes!

Best traps are 'Lucifer'- the black plastic snap traps. Put them in the run at night facing something solid, so the mice can only approach from the side. Obviously they must be removed in the morning and kept well away from chickens. The mechanism does wear out quite quickly and means they won't set, so buy more than you need. They do a larger version for rats Dye29, but some rats are pretty big and can run off with the trap so they need to be drilled so they can be tied down to a peg in the ground. We had a massive rat problem in England, not on our land but coming in from the neighbours and along the canal. We only lost the rats when we left- it was too big a problem to control there.
User avatar
rick
Part of the Flock
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:52 pm
Location: Warwickshire UK

Re: OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

Post by rick » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:12 pm

Thanks for the 'Lucifer' recommendation Chris. Its good to know what works well. I'm going to try to exclude them tomorrow, just because it should be possible with our run, although as that effectively means death by starvation (for most anyway) its no better outcome for the little squeakers.
Our neighbor is away at the moment and i am going round to feed the cats. When I was filling up their saucers with crunchies this morning, while they sat on the rug next to the heater, I couldn't help thinking that they should get a work ethic - seeing as the mice are having a party next door!
RUFUS
Forum Contributor / Grower
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:04 am

Re: OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

Post by RUFUS » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:09 pm

I have an easy home made remedy - crush up 2 paracetamol and mix into a ball of peanut butter approx 1 teaspoon full and they ate it all
Icemaiden
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 625
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:05 am
Location: Kent

Re: OMG not happy BLOODY RATS

Post by Icemaiden » Thu Jan 25, 2018 12:18 am

Rufus: how do you stop your hens from eating it?
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
Post Reply

Return to “Pests & Predators”