Rats

Discussion in 'Chickens & Poultry' started by aliciaaperez, Jul 1, 2019.

  1. aliciaaperez

    aliciaaperez Member

    34
    Jul 1, 2019
    tacoma, wa
    Rats keep getting into my chicken pen even though it's indoors and on concrete. They have killed three Rhode Island red pullets about 12 weeks old. When will the chickens be able to defend themselves because right now I've been locking them up at night but its getting harder as they get bigger. Their boxes are off the ground.

    It's getting really annoying we put rat poison down but they still seem to be around or coming from neighbors property. They have chewed a hole into my goat pen to but haven't done anything to the goats but the goats are all hopefully pregnant so I don't know if they would try to attack a baby too.

    Any advice is helpful. 20190701_151422.jpeg 20190701_151429.jpeg 20190701_151113.jpeg
     
  2. ksalvagno

    ksalvagno Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    They aren't going to be able to defend themselves from rats. The rats can kill baby goats too.
     
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  3. Nigerian dwarf goat

    Nigerian dwarf goat Well-Known Member

    Sep 24, 2017
    Texas
    I know you have a beautiful chicken coop, but truly, i dont like chicken coops. I never lock up my chickens, because it is easier for a predator to get to them if they are confined and cant get away. I just set up perches here and there and the chickens sleep on those. They can get away from any kind of predator if needed. Also, rats cant get to perches because they have nothing to climb up on. Just my personal opinion though.
    @goathiker i know you have dealt with killer rats before. Any advice?
     
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  4. aliciaaperez

    aliciaaperez Member

    34
    Jul 1, 2019
    tacoma, wa
    Oh okay. I have their outdoor pen set up to where I can just open the window so they have access to outdoor and indoor and I can put more perches in their Coop area as well. Their outdoor area has a dead tree upside down (for decoration and fun for them) they can jump on that and Jump Indoors.. they also have perches in their outdoor area. I have dogs so I have to have them in a coop and there's coyotes around. I can put my dog outside the goat pen when they're kidding. (Hes will kill rats but makes chickens look tasty as well so cant use him for the chickens.)
     
  5. aliciaaperez

    aliciaaperez Member

    34
    Jul 1, 2019
    tacoma, wa
    Omg I did not know that. I have them in a pin inside of a building. I can put my dog outside of their pen to catch any Rat entering. But cant with the chickens because he doesn't distinguish the difference between the rats and chickens.
     
  6. aliciaaperez

    aliciaaperez Member

    34
    Jul 1, 2019
    tacoma, wa
    I added these 20190701_174817.jpeg
     
  7. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki
    You really should put up roosts for them to sleep in at night. By teachin them it is ok to go into the nest boxes at night you will have very dirty eggs. Also roosts might help keepin the rats from bein able to get to them at night while they sleep. They are old enough to be able to easily get to roost bars. You will most likely need close off the nest boxes and put them up on the roosts at night for a bit to get them used to it though.
     
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  8. aliciaaperez

    aliciaaperez Member

    34
    Jul 1, 2019
    tacoma, wa
    Oh I see. Ill put one in tomorrow.
     
  9. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki
    Sorry if i sounded harsh! I really did not mean too. I have somethin else weighing on my mind tonight. So my reply now that i reread it seemed that way. :(.

    Also. Take down the ramps when you put up the roost bars. :). They will be able to get in them just fine when it is time to make business. It will also make cleanin much easier on you as well. You will jist need clean under the roosts mainly. You wont have to clean out nest boxes much at all once they learn that nest boxes are only for makin business not for sleepin. :)
     
  10. aliciaaperez

    aliciaaperez Member

    34
    Jul 1, 2019
    tacoma, wa
    Oh no worries I didn't take it harsh at all. That's all great to know I will definitely be changing up my coop a little bit. I was just afraid if they had babies how they would get them in the nesting boxes. That's why I put up the ramps. Clean boxes sound much better to me. I feel like that should be wider known because everyone I know puts them in nesting boxes.

    Sorry something's Weighing on your mind.
     
  11. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Wow your coop looks like Fort Knox, I can't believe rats are getting in there and killing your pullets! I'm so sorry!

    Perhaps you could take a look around your property and eliminate rat hiding & nesting areas? They love big firewood piles, under sheds, etc.

    But yes, you definitely want your chickens sleeping on roosts. Nesting boxes are for egg laying and egg laying only! Naughty hens sleep in nesting boxes. I have no idea if sleeping on roosts will prevent the rat killing, I don't think our rats in New England are quite are large and vicious as described here!
     
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  12. aliciaaperez

    aliciaaperez Member

    34
    Jul 1, 2019
    tacoma, wa
    I've been locking them in the nesting boxes at night so the rats can't get to them and I've even seen the rat hanging from the side of the nesting box trying to chew in through the front of the door. I'm just worried if I put them on a roost if a rat still gets them. I have two roos in there to. I have no obviouse areas rats can hide but my neighbors do.
     
  13. aliciaaperez

    aliciaaperez Member

    34
    Jul 1, 2019
    tacoma, wa
    I added a roost and closed off the boxes. The only issue I see is if a rat accesses the roost through the window ledge 20190702_130510.jpeg 20190702_131007.jpeg 20190702_131609.jpeg 20190702_131631.jpeg 20190702_131421.jpeg
     
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  14. NigerianDwarfOwner707

    NigerianDwarfOwner707 Well-Known Member

    May 17, 2018
    East Coast, USA
    Rats hate the smell of peppermint oil. I would be spraying the borders of your coop with this. I don't believe it would bother the chickens at all -- someone correct me if I'm wrong (not a chicken person).
     
  15. SalteyLove

    SalteyLove Well-Known Member

    Jun 18, 2011
    New England
    Your pullets are adorable and looks like they like the roosts!
     
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  16. grace4every1

    grace4every1 New Member

    23
    May 1, 2019
    Franklin, TN
    My chickens love peppermint leaves. I have one growing right outside their coop for easy feeding so I don't think the smell of peppermint oil would bother them. I'm going to add more plants now that I know rats don't like them though.
     
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  17. aliciaaperez

    aliciaaperez Member

    34
    Jul 1, 2019
    tacoma, wa
    Thank you. One more question. Do these three all look like roo's or is the middle one a hen? I know forsure both on the ends are roo's. The middle one I just havent been able to tell yet lol 20190702_185245-1.jpeg
     
  18. Sfgwife

    Sfgwife Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2018
    North Cakalaki
    Roosts look great! I say the middle is a pullet most likely. As they get bigger 2x4 turned up so the two inch side is up makes great sturdy roost bars. :). You want one sq ft of roost space per bird. Did you have put them on the bars or did they do it themselves? They look comfy up there.

    Do you only have the chicken wire securing them in? That could be how rats get in. Those nasty beast can fit through tinny holes. If so... hardware cloth might keep rats out better. It is a much stronger fiber and holes are 1/4 to 1/2 inch squares. :). We use the quarter inch in ours. It will keep most predators out but still give ventilation. We have windows in our coop as well but added the cloth inside them so we can leave windows open in the heat without frettin of somethin comin in. Anywhere there is a hole has the cloth. We have has ours for over two years and no losses at night inside the coop.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  19. aliciaaperez

    aliciaaperez Member

    34
    Jul 1, 2019
    tacoma, wa
    Awesome, thank you. Im going to go look for some of that cloth Friday. I put yhem up there but they know the sticks they can jump on sense their outside section has a bunch of branches to jump on. Now I just hope they make it through the night sense not locked into a box :-/. I just checked them and they are all still on the roosts. The good thing is it should hold then even once they are bigger the way I have it.
     
    Sfgwife likes this.
  20. Trollmor

    Trollmor Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Goatless in Sweden
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