Know your enemy – fight rodents in the chicken coop!
Rats and mice are very well-adapted to life as a scavenger. They can bite through wood, plastic and also metal. They can squeeze through holes no bigger than a coin. They can lift up to 10 times their body weight. They are incredibly intelligent, able to learn both from experience and from each other.
You cannot expect even the best “vermin proof” chicken feeder to defeat such formidable enemies.
Common Rat proof chicken feeders, and why they don’t work!
Unfortunately, no chicken feeder is ever going to be entirely rodent proof. Sounds great for marketing a product but the reality is very different.
Most of the more affordable vermin proof chicken feeders are hanging feeders. These suspend from a wire or cord at chicken height.
The dexterous rat or mouse will think nothing of climbing down the wire to access the feed. Some feeders prevent this with a rodent and rain guard. Similar to a small roof situated about the feed tray. Even this is not enough to stop rats from being able to jump into the feed tray from the ground!
Treadle feeders are also frequently marketed as rodent proof. They are usually made of metal and require chickens to stand on a treadle in order to open the feeder and access feed. However, these feeders do not account for just how clever rodents are. I wish I had a pound for every time a customer has told me about rats getting together in numbers in order to be able to activate the treadle and open the feeder. Smart, very smart.
So how do I get rid of rodents in my chicken coop?
Getting rid of rats and mice in the chicken coop requires much more than a just a new chicken feeder. In the case of an existing infestation, you need to act to remove the pests. For information in removing a rodent infestation, click here.
Good coop management will also assist in removing or deterring vermin. For information about good coop management, click here.
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