There’s A Rat In My Hen House, What Am I Gonna Do?

No these are not the lyrics to an 80’s reggae tune, but a frequent cry from the poultry keeper.

  • Rats and mice are a common problem when poultry are kept.
  • They are attracted by the poultry food.
  • Rodents are opportunistic eaters.
  • Rats are attracted by the water as well as the food.
  • Rats and mice will burrow their way under the housing.
  • Rodents like to hide under piles of straw or deep litter.
  • It is sometimes difficult to tell if they are present as they often come out at night to feed.

Signs Of Rodents

1) Small holes in the soil around the edge of the housing and inside the hut.

2) Small blackish pellet shaped droppings usually found near the poultry feeder.

3) Feed disappearing too quickly for the amount of poultry kept.

Rodent Control

  • Good housekeeping of the poultry hut and surrounding area.
  • Make sure that spilt food is cleared away so that it doesn’t attract the rodents.
  • Store poultry feed in rodent proof containers.
  • Keep water spills and pools of water cleaned up.
  • Change straw and litter frequently so that the rodents cannot live underneath.
  • Small huts can have small mesh wire netting nailed to the underside of the hut to prevent the rodents entering the housing from underneath.
  • Eliminate hiding places around the poultry housing.
  • Keeping a cat can help control the numbers of rats and mice.
  • Setting traps for rats and mice can be helpful if the rodent population is small.
  • Set up a bait station in a hiding place with rat poison in it.

One thought on “There’s A Rat In My Hen House, What Am I Gonna Do?

  1. I suppose I’m being biased but calling in the professionals is not at all expensive. The times we have being to jobs where the customer has given it a go and has wasted money on products from their local diy store. The best advice is if you think you can do it yourself get a few quotes first from a local pest control firm, then price up how much it is do go the diy route, you may be surprised by the results. Happy hunting

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