Rats in the Barn?

Discussion in 'Beginners Goat Raising' started by MellonFriend, Aug 25, 2017.

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  1. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    When we used to have chickens in a barn on a previous property, and we had problems all the time with rats eating the chicken feed. Will rats be a problem in a goat barn?
     
    capracreek likes this.
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    They certainly can be. Barn cats are great to have.
     
    capracreek likes this.

  3. ShireRidgeFarm

    ShireRidgeFarm Active Member

    807
    Sep 24, 2015
    Northern WV
    I've seen a few rats in the barn over the years, but the biggest problems have been mice running all over the place, and English sparrows and starlings living in the barn and pooping on everything. It got so bad that we trapped over 70 mice last year over the course of a month or two, and anything left along the edges of the barn got covered in literally three inches of dried bird poop. Once, just in the process of walking through the barn doing chores, I stepped on a mouse - that's how high their density was!

    It all changed a couple months ago when we got a barn cat. She was a near-feral, unadoptable cat from a local shelter who would have probably had to been euthanized eventually. We weren't sure if a cat would be willing to stay and live in the barn, or if it would be smart enough to keep clear of our donkey, so we decided to rescue a cat and give it a chance at life it probably wouldn't get otherwise. She has been just perfect! I can't remember the last time I saw a mouse in the barn (a live one, anyway) and the birds have all but moved out entirely. I definitely recommend getting one!
     
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  4. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Those varmints don't care if it's goats or not. It's the feed they're after. Keep all feed in tight containers that cannot be chewed.
    We have resorted to the old fashioned rat traps since my barn kitties have been taken by coyotes.
     
    goatblessings likes this.
  5. MellonFriend

    MellonFriend Well-Known Member

    That's what I figured. The rats were always after the feed. So sad about your kitty :(.
     
  6. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    The rats here burrow down in the built up litter or the dirt under the stalls during the winter and have kits all year long because it's warm. Grrrrr.......goats, horses, chickens, they don't care what animals you have as long as there is a chance for spilled grain.

    Those with feral or barn cats- how do you keep then from spreading fleas to your dogs? I am finally totally flea free. I have 8 big hairy/woolly dogs who are near impossible to de-flea once they get them. I would love to adopt a feral barn cat or 2 but am scared of the fleas.

    Nancy, which old fashioned rat traps? The wooden spring ones? If so, what do you bait them with? I can't seem to get them to go near the traps, blasted things. I have several Hav-a hart traps for rats that don't work either. I have to resort to poison, which I hate because they seem to end up in the walls of my house when they die.
     
  7. nancy d

    nancy d Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Oct 5, 2007
    near Seattle
    Yes, the wooden spring traps. We tried plastic ones that you step on to set, they are supposedly a one time use but some never did set right. The sticky traps haven't caught any.
    We use peanut butter.
    Stupid rats are smart though, they can steal it without springing the trap/tripping the trap? I've considered poisen but don't want dead ones in places I can't reach either.
    There is one brand of pellets that is safe around chickens & other critters but I don't remember the name of it. I don't think it worked though.
    If you have feral cats you just gonna have to keep up on flea treatment. So easy with ferals, right?
    Once used the old water in a 5 gal bucket with a dowel & peanut butter on that, scored one mouse one time.
    If you have the time patience & eyesight a 22 works wonders.
     
  8. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    If you have friendly barn cats, you can put flea treatment on them.
     
  9. lottsagoats1

    lottsagoats1 Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2014
    Middle Maine
    If I got cats, they would be from the "Barn Buddies" program. Those are cats that are mostly feral and therefore un-adoptable. So, the flea problem would remain a problem. I just can't bring a cat here that would infest my dogs with fleas.
     
  10. Northwoods-Farm

    Northwoods-Farm New Member

    12
    Sep 30, 2016
    ~T
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2017
  11. ShireRidgeFarm

    ShireRidgeFarm Active Member

    807
    Sep 24, 2015
    Northern WV
    Our rescue cat was really scared for the first two days she was here, but now she greets me every morning and every night to get pet. I've even picked her up! And she'll paw at me when I go to leave, because she wants me to stay and pet her longer. She's probably an exception, but not all unadoptable cats end up being unmanageable.