Oh, rats!

There’s no avoiding the vermin topic any longer – we have a rat problem down in the hybrid run. I’m not quite sure why – we keep all sacks of layers’ pellets and corn in a sealed store by the shed, hang the hopper high off the ground on a hook and don’t leave any tempting spillages overnight. The first signs were some rat-size holes in the ground of the undercover run, which clearly had tunnels beneath. Then there were some signs of disturbance in the nesting box – instead of being flat in the centre and deeper around the sides, the straw had channels in it where the little blighters had made their way in to take the eggs. Along with the fact our flock is ageing, this may also account for a lower yield lately – the eggs could have been eaten by the time we went to make our collection in the evening. Yuck.

I couldn’t quite bear to include a picture of a real-life rat on the blog, so here’s an Ikea version, beloved of my cat Beau

So, after some deliberation, we’ve put down a bowl containing the standard rat poison deep beneath the henhouse – so none of our lovely girls can get to it – hoping for some gullible vermin to take the bait. Still, I consider myself quite fortunate that the rats are confined to the chicken run – Country Living‘s Picture Editor Jackie has this week discovered rats scurrying inbetween her living room ceiling and bedroom floor. A very no-nonsense kind of gal, she’s keeping calming and taking a similarly old-school approach to the problem. Meanwhile, James and I are planning to lay slabs in the undercover run, cementing them in between to stop any future rats becoming resident. Those extra few eggs we’ll collect as a result of de-ratting will make the task worthwhile, I’m sure.

Hoping to blog about something more pleasant next week! Until then, does anyone else want to vent on a vermin-related or similarly revolting topic?

Looking forward to egg abundance again soon – this picture (including the pale khaki and blue offerings from Mabel and Audrey respectively) was taken in the summer

One thought on “Oh, rats!

  1. We too have rats now that autumn is here. The tunnels appeared under the chicken wire and into the run. We havent had eggs for weeks so it may be the rats. We put rat poison into some cling film twists and pop it into the holes (but its still visible) and its always gone in the morning, a few days of that and the rats are all gone. The only worry is that this year a huge owl has taken up residence in the tree above the hen run and we are hoping he doesnt go for the now poisoned rats….
    To be honest the rats were there before we ever had hens, they just breed more quickly living on hen food.. yuck!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s