The General Poultry Chat Forum

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Rat question

Would rats kill a six week old chicken ? Let them out in a wired in run today ( top netted as well ) and found 1 chicken with head eaten off. Wonít let them out again for at least a month !

christmasdiane
Monday, August 24th, 2020

Yes they will kill poultry and will stay killing if available their an under estimated predator.

paddycrawford
Monday, August 24th, 2020

Lesson learned the hard way, what age would the chickens be too strong for them ?

christmasdiane
Monday, August 24th, 2020

They can kill full grown fowl although more likely to kill young birds you need to try control the rats.

paddycrawford
Monday, August 24th, 2020

I've been experimenting on rats at an independend research facility for years you'd be supprised at what their capable of really nasty creatures.😉

paddycrawford
Monday, August 24th, 2020

Always have bait down, and regularly topped up, so donít know what else to do. Going to keep the chickens locked in for now anyway.

christmasdiane
Monday, August 24th, 2020

Make sure they have no access to food lying about they are well aware of the effects of poison and only eat it as a last resort.

paddycrawford
Monday, August 24th, 2020

How do you know it was rats?

nedzer
Monday, August 24th, 2020

I donít know, Iím just assuming

christmasdiane
Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

Ok, so yea rats can and do, but it could also have been something else, that grabbed the head from the outside of the mesh, and took it off. Keep a good eye on your birds. If its a mink, marten, fox, etc, it'll be back. If it gets in, it will kill the lot.

nedzer
Tuesday, August 25th, 2020

I was shocked recently to see the size of young duck a rat will take, in a confined space based on the number of rats involved nothing is safe. In a wide open field i think they are safe once they have feathered out. My rats have stopped eating poison, so physical traps are next option. I have seen some water based traps online that claim great success but so far i have not had much success. The will enter a larsen trap quite freely but you then have the hassle of dealing with a live and very disgruntled rat, maybe not every bodies cup of tea. I lock up small fowl at night in rat proof houses, wire mesh on the bottom and lower sides. If rats are out during the day you have an infestation (i am told)and need to go full tilt boogie with traps etc. Curious to hear other solutions. Good luck.

RjD
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

Open fields wont stop them I seen them kill full grown ducks I also seen a rat drinking the blood of a freshly killed hen that a mink had killed minutes after the mink killed it.

paddycrawford
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

Jaysus paddy, you're very gruesome.
Rjd the only way to deal with them is to have traps set 24/7.
Fenn traps set in home made rat boxes, in place around runs all the time, grain has been cut recently next door to us and have caught half a dozen whoppers in the last week.

nama-man
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

true, open field wont stop them just guessing it gives a better chance of escape as i only lose to rats when enclosed, but then rats are not rats anymore, they are super rats, they get so much easy food they can grow as big as a small calf)) I will now look up what a fenn trap is and enjoy my revenge!

RjD
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

Just ordered 2 fenn traps...now how do i encourage them to walk into them in the rat box? Peanut butter does not seem to do the trick on other traps?

RjD
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

They'll go into the boxes because they feel safe in there.

paddycrawford
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

Best to leave the safety catch on for a few days, place bait on the plate, they'll get confident they have found a good food source, I just use a handful of wheat.
Then set it on a fine trigger and you should be in business.

nama-man
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

The rat boxes i use were made from a design in the poultry house construction book stocked by Mc Eoins.
Very clever design, works very well.

nama-man
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

Thanks for tips, much appreciated. Rj.

RjD
Wednesday, August 26th, 2020

Make the boxes slightly wider than the trap when set, and slightly higher than the trap when sprung. No need for bait. Placement is the key

nedzer
Thursday, August 27th, 2020

Spot on nedzer

nama-man
Friday, August 28th, 2020


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