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RATS! and how to get rid of them

 
Posts: 20
Location: Portland, OR
dog chicken bee
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i lost all of my chicken flock to rats last fall as soon as i got rid of my roo (illegal here in portland and someone complained).  chickens were secure, but i kept finding them picked clean and all these little holes dug up in the middle of their 30'x40' run from the ground out, and i found a couple of rats floating in the duck water.  i had half-hoped that with the chickens and their feed gone, they would move along, but portland is a port town and that equals rats, it seems, as i have been seeing them in broad daylight hanging out under my bird feeders!

some have suggested i get a rat terrier.  others have suggested a cat.  i already have a siamese cat and a siberian husky but they are both pretty lazy!  i'd rather not use poison as i don't want my pets to get into it too.  thinking about a terrier, but i do not want to get another animal for a specific job if it's possible they will not kill the rats.  looking forward to hearing your ideas!

thanks,
christine
 
pollinator
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I did an in-depth search regarding rats last winter when we had a creature that I was sure was a rat chew a hole into our wood siding and move into our house. The video below is a man describing and reviewing a particular rat trap. He is quite interesting, actually. He has done many, many videos testing all kinds of traps, both ancient and modern. Anyway, he says that this one works very well:

The one thing that I would do is add some hard liquor such as vodka to the water to have the drowning happen much faster and perhaps in a more oblivious way for the rats. We aren't trying to have them suffer, after all.

Good luck with the whole thing!
 
pollinator
Posts: 407
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
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I experienced something similar with Rabbits - they ate them alive, through the wire! There is no "getting rid of rats"; only control and protection.

Floors must either be concrete or triple wired with hardware cloth. Metal roofing (new or recycled) surrounding the first three feet (minimum, 4-5 is better), then hardware cloth for the upper portion and roof. Coop must also be on concrete, metal roofing on top for roof and on sides.

The only other alternative is hardware cloth (welded wire, 1cm or half inch openings) that is electrified, or has the addition of electrified netting.

The good news is this will ensure the flock is safe from everything (mink, rats, raccoon, birds of prey, lynx, bobcat...).

Rat traps are generally activated by simply running over the trap that is in their way, rather then attracted to bait. Standard snap traps can be "improved" with the addition of a couple of screws, protruding, upwards from the underside, through,  on either side of the "bait" - this ensures a quick death as the rat is impaled on the spikes (screws) when the snap arm comes down.

Lastly, keep feed in a dead freezer, DO NOT scatter feed, keep feed to as confined a space as possible as it alone is a rodent attractant.

Metal roofing is chew proof, climb proof and essentially maintenance free. We use it for animal enclosures, perimeter fencing, compost bins, and of course, roofs.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1507
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, suburban, nearish coast, 50x50, full sun, 40" year-round even distribution
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what is a "roo"??  if they are illegal and rats are illegal, couldn't Portland legalize them, whatever they are?? thanks.

christine shepherd wrote:i lost all of my chicken flock to rats last fall as soon as i got rid of my roo (illegal here in portland and someone complained).  chickens were secure, but i kept finding them picked clean and all these little holes dug up in the middle of their 30'x40' run from the ground out, and i found a couple of rats floating in the duck water.  i had half-hoped that with the chickens and their feed gone, they would move along, but portland is a port town and that equals rats, it seems, as i have been seeing them in broad daylight hanging out under my bird feeders!

some have suggested i get a rat terrier.  others have suggested a cat.  i already have a siamese cat and a siberian husky but they are both pretty lazy!  i'd rather not use poison as i don't want my pets to get into it too.  thinking about a terrier, but i do not want to get another animal for a specific job if it's possible they will not kill the rats.  looking forward to hearing your ideas!

thanks,
christine

 
pollinator
Posts: 214
Location: Gulf Islands BC (zone 8)
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Rooster.

Rats are moving in here now that my best ever cat has gotten too old to keep up with them. I was starting to think about whether a terrier would be useful but then my livestock guardian dog killed two rats last month. She is young and still learning the job but didn't hesitate. She shows no aggression at all to chickens and chicks.
 
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if you don't want to get a new cat with lots of pep in it. the 5 gallon bucket trick works wonders on rats and mice. 5 gallon bucket or bigger 10 gallon for big rats. make two holes across from one another on sides under the top lip. put a stick or dowel ithrough the holes 31/2" to 3/4" works well. smear some peanut butter on the middle of dowel. put a sloped wood ramp up to top of bucket next to dowel. fill bucket about 1/4 way with water. vermon will walk up ramp got on dowel to get peanut butter and fall in water and drown
 
Andrea Locke
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Location: Gulf Islands BC (zone 8)
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My car mechanic claims that Bounce dryer sheets will repel rats from a space. My car was parked almost continuously from March through July this year (daughter who lives with me has disabilities and a sketchy immune system so we were being super careful of potential COVID exposure) and I ended up with rats making a home under the hood. My mechanic claims that they hate the smell of dryer sheets and to put one in each corner under the hood. I haven't tried it - but now I try to drive the car every week or so, and that seems to be keeping them from nesting under the hood again.

They are obviously keeping an eye on the car, though. I forgot a bag of chicken feed in the trunk the other night instead of moving it to a metal garbage can which is where I keep the feed, and when I went to get it the next morning there was rat poop on the bag and a hole in the bag where they had been eating. I'm tempted to put a rat trap in the trunk, but with my luck I'd forget and reach in for something and set it off and break a finger. Besides, I don't want to encourage them by leaving food in the car as bait. Until that happened I thought they had given up on the car now that it moves around again. Clearly I will need to be more diligent about immediately removing feed and food.
 
Joshua Myrvaagnes
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Posts: 1507
Location: Massachusetts, 6b, suburban, nearish coast, 50x50, full sun, 40" year-round even distribution
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Rooster!  of course, I knew there must be some function for them other than alarm clock and getting the neighbors to frown on chickens.

Yet another reason why everything is easier in the country.

"And f*** you roosters with your cocka-doodle-doo
"We invented alarm clocks we no longer need you"


Andrea Locke wrote:My car mechanic claims that Bounce dryer sheets will repel rats from a space. My car was parked almost continuously from March through July this year (daughter who lives with me has disabilities and a sketchy immune system so we were being super careful of potential COVID exposure) and I ended up with rats making a home under the hood. My mechanic claims that they hate the smell of dryer sheets and to put one in each corner under the hood. I haven't tried it - but now I try to drive the car every week or so, and that seems to be keeping them from nesting under the hood again.

They are obviously keeping an eye on the car, though. I forgot a bag of chicken feed in the trunk the other night instead of moving it to a metal garbage can which is where I keep the feed, and when I went to get it the next morning there was rat poop on the bag and a hole in the bag where they had been eating. I'm tempted to put a rat trap in the trunk, but with my luck I'd forget and reach in for something and set it off and break a finger. Besides, I don't want to encourage them by leaving food in the car as bait. Until that happened I thought they had given up on the car now that it moves around again. Clearly I will need to be more diligent about immediately removing feed and food.

 
You'll never get away with this you overconfident blob! The most you will ever get is this tiny ad:
All of the video from the Eat Your Dirt Summit
https://permies.com/t/106759/video-Eat-Dirt-Summit
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