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What Attracts Rats to Chicken Coops?

Posted by Dine A Chook UK on

Chicken runs are an easy and reliable source of food for rodents. The short answer to the question of what attracts rats to chicken coops is food. Remove the food, and you stop the rats.

How can you reduce rats in your chicken coop?

The simplest way to stop rats and mice being attracted to your chicken coop is to ensure there is nothing for them to eat.

  • Never put feed or scraps on the ground, always use a dish or feeder
  • Always pick up and dispose of any spilt feed or uneaten scraps before nightfall
  • Store your chicken feed in a rodent-proof container
  • Use a feeder designed to reduce spillage
  • Use a uniform feed like a mash or pellets, instead of a scratch mix, in order to prevent waste and discourage selective feeding

How to treat rat infestations in the chicken coop:

  1. Remove all sources of food
  2. If you have a secure coop, block the rodents’ entrance
  3. Remove the rodents’ nests
  4. Keep the coop clean - Best Ways to Clean the Chicken Coop

Nests are found in compost, piles of leaves and stacks of wood. Rats also live in burrows or holes, under fences and in buildings. Disturb the nests and block the entrances with stone, cement or even wire. You may have to do this several times but without food and somewhere to safely raise their young, rats will eventually leave your chicken coop.

Once you have rats, you will have to take steps to remove them. More humane methods of rodent removal include live traps and instant-electrocution devices. However, traditional rat traps and poisons are also useful.

When using rat poison around chickens and other animals, such as pets or wildlife, it is essential to do so responsibly. Poison must be placed in a secure bait station to prevent other animals from accessing it as even “safe” rat poisons can harm other animals. Ask your local hardware or vet about safer poisons that do the job and keep your chickens and family safe.

While rats and other rodents can be difficult to get on top of, once under control they can be easily managed. Minimise What Attracts Rats to Chicken Coops and create a beautiful space for your chickens.