rat question

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rat question

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Rainey » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:42 pm

I was following another thread about rats because suddenly this fall we had a real problem. Sometimes we see one and have used Maggie's plaster of Paris with sugar (or oat flour or whatever we think a rat might find tasty) and it has worked. But we got careless for a while when we were busy with harvests and preparing for winter and suddenly there were rats, lots of rats, whenever we went out to feed. So here's my confession :oops: We used Tomcat brand poison, putting it down the holes through which the rats were entering the rabbit area, and it took a couple days, but we haven't seen any for a bit now. We generally don't like to use poison but have before a couple times when the rats had population explosions. We have had a mink move in and clear them out and much prefer that solution. I hope the rats died down in their tunnels under the barn and that they didn't end up poisoning any mink.
But for the future we're trying to think of a way to keep them out of the rabbit section. It is tight enough to keep out feral cats and other predators, but the floor is gravel and the rats come up through it. When we built the barn, we poured concrete pillars to support the posts and filled between them with rocks of all sizes, then spread gravel to fill in the cracks. So the options to keep out rats that we've thought of so far a) pour concrete floor in the rabbit section b) put in a wood floor a couple inches above the gravel c) pull back the top inch of gravel and lay down hardware cloth and put the gravel back over it, connect the hardware cloth to the lower edges of the walls. We know that rats can chew through wood but they haven't gotten into the winter chicken coop which has wood floor. Would welcome any ideas from anyone who has tried any of our ideas or has one we haven't thought of. Always prefer to learn from someone else's mistakes when possible. :)

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Re: rat question

Post Number:#2  Unread postby Marinea » Mon Dec 18, 2017 7:28 pm

Rats haven't eaten through the floor of our chicken coop, but they did chew a hole in the door, just big enough to get in. A bucket with water just outside the door caught a ton of the little buggers.

My vote would be for a concrete floor, but you might have to keep a close eye on it while it cures to prevent them from making nice permanent concrete lined tunnels. We lined the edge of our chicken run with concrete and had two nice tunnels made the next day.

Good luck!
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