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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rats. I have rats in the barn. Very smart rats it seems. I'm from "rat free" Alberta so not used to having these giant mice in my life.

I've tried live traps, dead traps and once a broom. I've tried cheese (various kinds), sausage (again various kinds), peanuts, bread, peanut butter, bread and peanut butter, goat feed, fried chicken and a few other things. Nothing seems to work. I catch about one rat a year in the barn. I know there are lots more around, and I want to get them out of the barn.

Any suggestion would be appreciated!!!!
 

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We have mice and rats, about 14 completely useless cats and 2 cats that do hunt but not enough. I'm now in the market for a terrier. (No, seriously- I'm waiting on a litter!) Snap traps work to an extent but there are just so many of them. When I had pet mice/rats, their favorite treats were cheese flavored crackers like Cheezits or Goldfish, so that's my bait of choice.
 

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We had just a couple of rats a few years ago. The bucket traps were #2 on our list to try. We first got the traps that electrocute the rat (and texts you if you connect it to wifi!) and they worked great. I don't remember what bait we used but it's always something sticky, and we put it right in their path along a wall. We didn't catch any with the sticky traps where we knew they were going. Our cats also helped a lot. We zapped the big ones and found nests in the stupidest places (inches from electric net fence in the middle of lawn?) and brought the cats over.

Good luck. They are not pleasant creatures to live with.
 

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I got a feral cat from a rescue who has a barn cat program. She doesn't like people, but she's a great hunter. We tried trapping first, but didn't seem to be making much headway. Haven't had an issue with any rodents since we got her.
 

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We got ours all cleaned out pretty quickly....used the electric traps, snap traps, and poison. i think the poison prolly worked the best, we'd find them laying around.. .. .. with the snap traps they'd eat the bodies tho, so in the morning we'd come down and only the head would be left.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Now I know that my barn rats are smarter than I. I set a trap by the chicken coop and caught about 8 rats in 11 nights. The nights with no rats the bait was taken - probably by mice that did not trigger the trap. I used a variety of bait (cooked meat, bits of cheese), and it all worked. Using the same bait in the barn ... nothing. A couple of days ago I set a trap in the barn with a bit cheese. I then placed a few bits of cheese around the trap. The next day all the cheese was gone except for one piece. I could hear the rats snickering. How do they know not to eat the cheese in the trap?????
 

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I keep rat poison out in all my sheds were my goats are. I made my rat bait holder out of a 18” piece of PVC sewer pipe. Put caps on both ends and drill a 1-1/4” hole in one of the caps, about 3/4 inch up from edge of cap. Keep the hole to the lowest point and take a piece of 1 x 4 about 12-15 inches and mount on the other end to keep pipe from rolling. I use 2-3 decking screws to attach board. I take a whole stick of rat killer and drop it in the hole all the way back and lay the pipe under a table or around feed bins, any where you need. I keep about 4 or 5 out all time and check and refill it needed once a month. I have baby goats that have slept next to the pipes until I sale them at 4 months of age. With the hold being almost an inch from ground level it won’t let the poison fall out. Dogs, Cats nor goats can get to the poison, but rats can.
 
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They also hate disturbance so if you can move all the buckets, wood pallets, fencing, grain bins, etc that are stored on the barn floors or around the outside walls of the barn they begin to dissipate. Keeping the weeds and grass eliminated around a few feet away helps too.
 

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This is a rough draft drawn on my phone to give an idea. They work and are safe around pets, goats and cows. Not safe for rats. TC
 

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Poison is the only thing that worked for me. Once the numbers got down I relocated several snakes to the barn. I tried cats but they always ended up at the house instead of in the barn. The snakes keep them under control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Poisons

I have found a few dead rats near my chicken coop with no physical damage. I have also seen a few rats with what look like neurological issues. Jittery, running in fits and starts, inability to run in a straight line, falling over. I have seen two wild rabbits with similar symptoms. Even had a chicken with the same issues.

This could be "natural" disease. I suspect it may be rat poison. We've been here for 5 years and have never used any poison so I'm guessing it was used by the previous owners. I really don't know anything about poisons, so this is all speculation.
 
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