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Rat Tunnels into chicken run - HELP!

(10 Posts)
doglover Fri 23-Nov-12 20:20:02

We've kept chickens for several years and have never had a rodent problem ....................... until now. To my horror, I spotted a massive rat peeping out from a tunnel in the chicken run shock. Our chooks have a large walk-in run - the outer wooden panels on paving slabs, the inner has been left as bare earth covered in 'Bliss' bedding. Obviously, we are going to need to fill in the central area (about 12' by 3') stop the buggers!! Money is an issue (Xmas and all that) so we need to make things safe for 'our girls' on a very small budget. Would you recommend paving slabs? We have some concrete mix - would that be an option? PLEASE advise - we MUST get this job done this weekend! TIA

MrsMushroom Sat 24-Nov-12 09:05:28

I read that you should pour rat poison down the tunnel and then pop a brick on top of the entrance...the rats will eat the poison and die fast...that will put off other rats from the run....rats don't like to be near dead compatriots.

RooneyMara Sat 24-Nov-12 09:20:26

We had this exact problem a year or so ago.

I put poison down in a box, and also in the other end of the tunnel iyswim - so nowhere near the chickies, in case they ate some by mistake.

The rats stayed around for a while and then a massive one ate all the poison in the box, and died next to it, which seems to have put all the others off! I haven't seen one in ages now.

Tunnels are still there but like you, we have slabs round the edges, tunnels are too small for a fox to get through and also too long (the main one I think comes from the other side of the shed)

I have left the inside part as plain earth, which is what they had to start with - I've never bothered with extra bedding in there, except some straw sometimes, as the roof is mainly covered in corrugated sheeting so it stays nice and dusty and dry, and the droppings seem to disappear into the ground without picking or cleaning out. (shed itself a different matter!!)

Is your run covered? If not then yes paving slabs would be fine I think but they wll need something over it to scratch around in - so earth on top, or something else - I'm not sure about concrete mix as I've never used it, and I think it might need a level solid base to go on top of?

Good luck.

doglover Sat 24-Nov-12 11:31:12

Thanks very much for responses. I'm certainly not averse to using poison but am anxious about our 2 greedy labs - they'll literally eat anything! I think the other end of the tunnel must be under dense foliage - not accessible to humans but doable for the pets. The chickens' run is covered and they have a good depth of 'Bliss' bedding to scratch around in. Unfortunately, with the APPALLING weather today, I'm not goung to be out there investigating!! Sorry chickens!

RooneyMara Sat 24-Nov-12 11:34:12

I don't blame you! grin

I buried the poison under the shed in the tunnel, where no one else would go (have got a cat, but she doesn't dig)

The other option is a poison box which is usually a plastic thing with a key lock on top, that you put poison into, lock it and leave it somewhere tempting for the rats (along edge of run etc).

Being covered I'm sure you'll have no problem if you put slabs down as the topping won't wash away.

mummymeister Sat 24-Nov-12 16:27:18

if using any sort of poison always wear gloves. the rat will smell you on it otherwise and it keeps them away from it. rats are a huge problem this year - we have lost several chicks and 2 rabbits to them. dont just bait the tunnel but also look at your compost heap and where the rat runs are. to really get rid of them you are going to have to bait quite heavily as they are out of control this year in particular.

doglover Sun 25-Nov-12 18:06:42

Ventured to B&Q today and have bought sufficient slabs to completely cover the remaining patch of earth. Unfortunately, the weather put paid to us actually LAYING them! Hopefully, tomorrow!

louisdog Wed 19-Dec-12 22:47:33

I use bait boxes for rat poison which the dog and cats and wild birds etc cannot get into. But slabs a great idea too!

doglover Thu 20-Dec-12 21:09:55

The slabs are doing the job!

SimLondon Thu 28-Mar-13 22:33:43

Had this when we moved a few months back, my solution was to adopt 3 feral kittens from a rescue centre. Only I suspect they now want to become warm indoor cats :-)

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