Rabbit enclosure is infested with big rats

Jea

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So, we knew something was eating the rabbits food this winter, and we started to fill feeders in the morning so the rabbits would eat during the day and there would less attractant at night.
I thought maybe there were some mice possibly getting into their enclosure to still get to the droppings or some food, but yesterday morning I was feeding them and a face popped out of the hole in the ground. I fed the rabbits and walked away but then after a few minutes I walked back to the area and I saw so many rats coming in and out of the holes in the ground. It looked like there could be a lot of them. We proceeded to remove the rabbits from the outside enclosure and this morning they are in our breezeway in a extra large dog crate with hay on the bottom. I'm sure they aren't happy.

How would you handle these rats? Our plan was to remove the rabbits so we stop the daily food source, then maybe destroy the holes all over the enclosure and lay hardware cloth on the ground of the enclosure. (the rabbits live in a 12' x 24' enclosure with hardware cloth on all sides but a dirt floor.)

Do you think the floor of hardware cloth would keep the rats out?
 

Jesusfreak101

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Rats can chew through alot of things if they really want in. I seen them go through really thick plastic so I am not sure if they could get through the hard cloth or not i guess it would depend on their determination. I would almost whether a move bunnies if possible or make the floor concrete.
 

Jea

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Poison the rat colony (many more are in there than you are seeing ).....and move your rabbits 4 foot off the ground in strong hutchs......the rats have a free food source and soon will be chomping on your rabbits, I have seen it happen before and it was ugly :confused:
yes, that is what I was scared about. we aren't going to put them near that enclosure until we have altered it and the rats are gone. thanks for the reply
 

Stephine

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Please don’t poison the rats - any predator picking up a poisoned rat will get poisoned, too. You can trap them. Going forward, if it was me, I would build a rat proof enclosure for the rabbits. You can still have an outdoor area, just don’t feed them there. Since rabbits should mostly eat hay (or fresh grass and weeds) if they are used to it, and hay is not interesting to rats, it shouldn’t be a problem. The little pellet feed you want to supplement with they can eat at night or early morning, in their rat free space. I would also get a good dog that will go after the rats but not the bunnies. Good luck!!!
 

Grizzlyhackle

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@Jea victor rat traps sometimes aren't fast enough for the rats. Vet told me plug all the holes but one and run something from your vehicle exhaust down the open one to suffocate them. I didn't try it couldn't get the car close enough. I plugged the holes and went with the garden hose. Rat dug out in a different spot with me standing there. Dogs weren't fast enough. So I adjusted the rat trap to make it super touchy. Trap hit it's face but didn't catch it. I found it dead by my back door. Hardware cloth should work but a determined rats a tough and resourceful critter. Luckily I only had the one. You've got a colony it's gonna take patience and thought. Good luck. No anybody with a ferret? You are going to have kill each of them, just moving the food and they'll be in your house next. I saw it happen.
 

farmerjan

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I would rather take the chance of a poisoned predator than the diseases that the rats carry. We poison the ones I can't catch and I do not lose a seconds sleep over it. I have had success with live traps for rats.... use a larger size, like for a raccoon... and different companies make them with different size wire so they are pretty tight.... opening only on one end. Then shoot them in the trap and get rid of them. Watch out for fleas and such off the rats.... even though we do not have bubonic plague, they carry many other diseases.... and fleas are common...
 

Baymule

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Just One Bite does a great job of wiping out mice and rats. I just wiped out a huge mouse infestation in my feed room. It now smells like dead rotting mouse, but it smells darn good to me. I hate the %(&@$& mice! Go ahead and use the rat poison and keep putting it out until it just sits there.

I like the car exhaust idea too.
 

Grizzlyhackle

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Just One Bite does a great job of wiping out mice and rats. I just wiped out a huge mouse infestation in my feed room. It now smells like dead rotting mouse, but it smells darn good to me. I hate the %(&@$& mice! Go ahead and use the rat poison and keep putting it out until it just sits there.

I like the car exhaust idea too.
It's a toss up. Rotten potato or dead mouse, that's two odors you don't forget.
 
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