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Will rats take over our garden?

(8 Posts)
Solo2 Sat 06-Aug-11 13:15:44

DS2 has wanted chickens for ages. We are working towards making this a possibility and waiting for life to settle down with a newish puppy dog.

However, a friend has just warned me that where there are chickens AND water - there'll be a major rat problem. Friends live near a river. But we have a natural swimming pond in the garden and it would destroy the ecobalance of the pond if we suddenly had rats in there and bring Weil's disease to this unchlorinated water. So it's really imporntant that we don't attract rats, although of course you're never far away from the nearest rat. Never seen one and never seen any sign of one.

If we get chickens (not going to allow freeranging in garden but would have a large-ish walk in run in one area of the garden, permanently) will we be invaded by rats? Friend says that just the smell and any small amounts of chicken feed around are like a magnet to rats and they're now getting in the 'rat man' and thinking of no longer keeping chickens.

So can experienced owners tell me - will the combination of a water source (looks like a small lake) plus chickens inevitably mean rats??

hiddenhome Sat 06-Aug-11 17:47:05

We have a nearby water source and chickens and we've only had two rats. But then we had the odd rat before we had chickens too.

Just make sure you clean up any food/poo at the end of the day and keep the foodstuff in a metal dustbin.

mummymeister Sun 07-Aug-11 23:48:48

If they arent free ranging then buy a raised coop and put the food inside the coop and the water outside down the ramp. we have chicken wire around and underneath our coop to stop the rats getting in. plus of course if you find any rat holes you can introduce them to some lovely blue food!

thenightsky Sun 07-Aug-11 23:58:35

We (DH) had to dig a 4 foot trench around entire garden and bury rat cage standard wire mesh (bought off internet in rolls). We then picked off with a hand gun any random rats. They follow set runs at night, so easy to sniper them from a window.

babycham42 Sat 13-Aug-11 17:04:08

I"m not sure you"ll be over run,but to be fair,the honest truth in my experience is that chickens will attract rats to some degree.I keep the food in a steel bin but I think I may take up hiddenhome"s excellent suggestion.

sieglinde Thu 25-Aug-11 08:45:53

Dunno if this is any help, but my hens killed a rat - and they ate him.... smile

syrupfairy Wed 31-Aug-11 15:26:12

ive had chickens for 3 years now and not seen any rats at all. we keep the food indoors and clean up everyday and our run is wired underneath so nothing can tunnel in from under. dont know if we have been lucky but so far so good

MakkaPakkasWilly Thu 01-Sep-11 08:48:38

We did get rats but we poisoned them. Not seen them back since.

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