Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Drat that Rat! (Not for queasy stomachs.)

We have chickens. Therefore, we have rats! Yeah. The big buggers!

We don't have just any ol' rats. We have smart wood rats. We bought this to humanely catch and release them.
Humane Small Animal Trap
We baited with yummy peanut butter. We tried yummy bacon. We mixed peanut butter and seeds. We sprinkled a light trail to the trap. We did everything we could think of, baited with everything we thought a rat would find yummy, and the rats are way too smart to take the bait.

Then, we tried the rat poison blocks. I'm not keen on them because if your pet gets a hold of them, the Coumadin in the blocks could kill your babies. Now, if you have 15 rats climbing the rafters a few inches from your head when you walk into the coop, this sounds like a pretty good solution, right? Guess again. They wouldn't touch it.

Then, we tried the spring-loaded traps. We caught a few with these traps. This was our best weapon, but it wasn't foolproof. Yeah. They snapped the traps without getting caught and ate the bait. I even attached the bait with dental floss so they couldn't take the bait without snapping the trap. The rats wouldn't touch it so the fire ants ate all of that bait.

When's the best time to catch rats? In the winter when the fire ants aren't so active. Otherwise, you'll lose your bait to the ants by morning.

Sorry for the bad post, but such is the life on the little farmstead.

Take care.


  1. All I can say is get ferret droppings and put it around the coop. That should help out to keep the rats out since the ferrets were used for that anyway many years ago. Pet stores will save the old bedding if you ask.

    1. That sounds like a good one, but I have never seen ferrets being raised in my area. I haven't even seen them in local pet stores. I wonder if doggie doo-doo would work? I have lots of that!

  2. Maybe try chicken pellets and some broken eggs, since that is what they are in the coop for anyway!

    I don't like harming any animals, but rats are a worry, and you don't want them harming your chickens.

    Do you have any cats? I find that they are the absolute best deterrents in the first place to keep the field mice in the field!

    1. You're right. I'll change bait tonight. All of the neighbors' cats are not coming around any more. I think my one dog scares them off. She's my mouser, but she'll let a rat pass by. As for harming the chickens, they get along really well with the rats. I'll go out in the evening and rats will be eating alongside of the chickens. Snakes don't even bother my chickens! The chickens just walk over and around them.