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Friday, July 27, 2012

Rats in the chicken coop

We completely rebuilt the 1950's coop this year.  I toyed with tearing it down and building another but we looked at the lumber and realized the framework was milled on site and still good so we just gave it a new roof, new siding and new windows.  And I guess we also gave it a healthy population of rats.  I cannot quite express how much I dislike rats running across my open-toed shoes in the dark. Where I could feel their little toes running across mine. (insert squeamish high pitched scrinchy faced BLECH here from a woman who is never squeamish or high pitched)  In all honesty I am sure the rats were always there but we just made their home so much more conducive to good health and breeding that they run in front of me drunk with chicken feed and water.  I am declaring an all out war.  Traps. Poison. I am not a gun person but if I was I'd be sitting in a rocker with a shotgun waiting for them. Shotgun? Rat? Can we say overkill? Not when they run across my toes in the dark.  I will try not to look at their faces however.  Because to tell you the truth they have very cute faces and I don't want to have any second thoughts.  Rats make me consider getting rid of chickens.  Seriously.  But first I have to try the war thing.  Maybe more cats, too!  The unfortunate thing is this coop is closer to my neighbors house than mine -- I really don't want them heading over there. 


Karen Anne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen Anne said...

There is supposedly a type of rat poison that doesn't take out the animals that prey on rats through secondary poisoning. I am not able to find its name at the moment.

Not that I've used it, I live and let live, myself. I flip on the light before I go into the garage, to give any critters time to hole up. I only know about it because of the situation in NYC, where they are losing a lot of red tail hawks in the parks through secondary poisoning.

I would be careful of cats and poison coexisting for that reason.

Karen Anne said...

Here it is. It may not be available in the U.S. yet, also, no idea if the claims are true:

Buffy said...

I've never heard of rats coexisting with chickens. Is it possible the rats could pass on some disease which would affect the eggs?

I know nothing about raising chickens, but had a friend who had a really nice coop which was all fenced in with straw and she kept really nice and she never mentioned having rats.

Blue Shoe Farm said...

Thanks, Karen Anne. I will look it up. That was my worry about poison, but then I just decided to lock the cats up for two weeks while I am doing the deed. Cats would like them while they are moving, not when they are dead.

Buffy: If you have chickens, somewhere, at some time, is a rodent. We built a beautiful fortress when we lived in the city and they showed up. Rats carry ticks and fleas that can do great harm.
I am trying to be humane and quick about killing them. I read all sorts of ways online but wow, some are not quick or humane. Its sucks to be a rat competing with a human. But I am still getting rid of them.

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