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Rat Control

 
Kathleen Payne
Posts: 5
Location: Three Oaks, Michigan
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We have a dairy farm and have a rat problem. Aside from fixing holes in walls and setting out poison and traps, what is another way to take care of this problem? Another farmer told us about using lime. Any and all suggestions welcomed. Thanks so much!
 
Troy Rhodes
Posts: 572
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Get a feist or a rat terrier. Or a big cat or 6.

there is a definite art to placing and baiting rat traps. My preferred bait is a cheap kibble dog food, mixed with bacon grease. Add a little cheap fish and you have supreme raccoon bait.

 
Mat Smith
Posts: 125
Location: Gold Coast Hinterland QLD, Australia
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I've heard of farmers using a 44 Gallon drum, water in the bottom, and then a plank.
The plank goes from outside the outer rim into the centre of the drum, and it's either too slippery for them to grip, or on a fulcrum so that when the rat walks onto the plank is drops down, the rat slides off into the drum, and them can't get out.
 
Mountain Krauss
Posts: 130
Location: Northern California
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Cats aren't really domesticated, they just started hanging around humans once we started farming & storing grain. The stored grain attracted rats, and the rats attracted cats.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2014-11/wuso-tcm111014.php
 
Nick DePuy
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Will a GP or similar be able to handle rats up to coyotes? We have rabbits and just moved to the country and are concerned that our stock will be killed off by any number of predators in the area. Should we add a rat terrier or 2? Our plan is the have goats, pigs, chickens, and rabbits. Thanks in advance.
 
Rick Valley
Posts: 101
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I had a cat who was amazing at rodents. She was a small medium-length fur tortoiseshell with a 2/3 length tail. Rats, Townshend's ground squirrels, wood rats. rabbits, fox squirrels, voles- she'd get them all and generally eat what she caught. She would take care of herself for a week at a time if I was gone, and come running up when I drove in to say hello and go through the meeting ritual. Female cats in general stay closer to home. She made living and gardening on the edge of the wild possible. (ever have a pack rat move in with you, or nightly squirrel soccer games with walnuts in the attic?) She took care of all that, and mostly left the birds alone; over 15 years I had ample time to observe her hunting.
I met a Schipperke dog who was a rodent specialist. They originally controlled rats on river boats. He was all business and kept rats and gophers off 5 acres. I'd always thought the breed was a yappy old lady dog, but I guess they go crazy in a city apartment. (I can relate) This one came up to me, looked me in the eye, and seemed to say, "good to meet you, I'm on duty" and resumed his rounds. Not sure what I would do with a cat that turned out to be useless, but I might find it in me to be a force for selection. (take the beast to the high desert to play with the raptors and coyotes?)
 
Tracy Kuykendall
Posts: 165
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A major deterrent would be to get rid of nesting and cover, remove any old piles of trash and brush, had rats terrible at my sons farm, cleared about an acre of old overgrown pasture to where we could keep it mowed, there's still a few rats but their numbers are down enough to keep them under control with conventional methods.
 
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