Rabbit enclosure is infested with big rats

Grizzlyhackle

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50 years ago (ouch) I had a black and tan terrier looked like maybe was a Toy Manchester. He was a mouse and rat killing machine. Possum got in the garage and Pop shot it out the rafters. It was still moving till the dog got him. Bit him head to toe, flung it in the air couple times bit some more, shook it over and over. Growling, teeth bared. Scary man. Never had seen him act like that. Rats it was always a quick bite and shake. Possum was twice his size. Of all things I named him Bozo. I was little...
 

Jea

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We removed the rabbits and had them in a cage in our breezeway all week, now we have a hutch that we're moving them to, but it's close to our house. Their outdoor enclosure was a lot nicer, but until we know the rat situation is under control we want them enclosed in a more secure spot.

The rats are now targeting our chickens and we are finding holes leading under the hardware cloth apron that was around the coop, into the run, etc.

I also had the dogs out the other nite and my dog went up to a pile of pallets and I heard loud squeaking coming from there, loud enough that my new puppy jumped and ran back to the house. So we're moving all of those to find the nests. We did pour RatX down some of the holes. the amazon reviews said it works but takes a week or so to work. We'll see if that works though, I might need to upgrade to one bite. I worry about poison because of the other animals around but at this point its like their are so many holes everywhere its like they're taking over.

Eventually we are also going to redo the outdoor rabbit enclosure with a metal floor (and then we'll relocate them back when that gets done) but not until it seems like we've got things back under control.
 
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CLSranch

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With an infestation like you have, it will take some time to get it under control. Also they can smell feed out like a hound dog or a hog. And if you stop feeding either of those it won't take long for them to find a new meal. Just Rats can fit through a hole the size of a half dollar.
Any feed anywhere will eventually attract mice/rats and then other pest. I keep the metal live traps out all year and when there is enough mice to see them in the coop or barn I poison everywhere under the coop, in the coop with the little pet proof containers, the garage, the shed etc...
 

Jea

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With an infestation like you have, it will take some time to get it under control. Also they can smell feed out like a hound dog or a hog. And if you stop feeding either of those it won't take long for them to find a new meal. Just Rats can fit through a hole the size of a half dollar.
Any feed anywhere will eventually attract mice/rats and then other pest. I keep the metal live traps out all year and when there is enough mice to see them in the coop or barn I poison everywhere under the coop, in the coop with the little pet proof containers, the garage, the shed etc...
I wish they'd find their way into the pig yard. Our 3 pigs are all over 200lbs and would root out their holes fast.

before the snow melted, we would see fox prints and even one day we found skunk prints all around the rabbit area. they would go through the goat yard since one rabbit enclosure side was touching the goat fence. Now I know why we were seeing them there so much this year. it wasn't just rabbit smell attracting them, there were lots of rodents. We will be taking more action now that they are all over the chicken area because its harder to just remove feed remnants in that area.

I just ordered some one bite bars to stuff in the holes under the coop.
 

Jea

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Oh, and if you use the Tomcat snap rat traps, be careful where you put them. They CAN kill a chicken, if one is stupid enough to peck at the sensor plate. Ask me how I know...
My chickens are so spooked by everything that it would probably take a long time, but eventually one would peck it. The slightest change in the chicken area and the rooster keeps them in the coop all day, so introducing a visible rat trap would freak him out.
 

Blue Sky

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Rodents are attracted to poop too. I’m struggling with house mice and a medium sized field or harvester mouse that is too big for the victor snap traps but too small to get snapped in a rat trap. I’d love to have a couple of cats but my LGDs hate them after routing a colony of feral cats when we moved in. I’m trying the rat x. I’ll let you know how it works.
 

Jea

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So, we started with ratX over a week ago but we're still seeing them, even in the daytime and no smell of dead rats. We started to get freaked out that their next stop will be the house, so we switched to one-bite a couple of days ago. When the chickens are all closed up in the coop, we put out a plastic tray of the bars all broken apart like cookies in the chicken run. The tray is empty when we check an hour later. We do the same in the old rabbit enclosure (since the rabbits are now moved to a small hutch) and same thing is happening over there. tray of one-bite cookies goes really fast. We are doing it daily until we stop seeing the depletion because we just dont know how big these rat colonies are and I'm now seeing fresh holes in the goat area, so they seem to be spreading out everywhere. Hopefully this works fast.
 
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