@#$&@$!! RATS!!! Rat proofing project.

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eco2pia

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I just lost a 2 week old litter of 6 to rats. I'm so angry. I've been systematically trapping them for the past 2 months and I got 9, but then I stopped catching them and dared to believe I might have made a dent in the local population.

Nope, they've just gotten smarter. Rats!

So, fine. Next step is to rat proof the rabbit portion of my rabken coop (the chickens have a run under the rabbits).

My plan is to add a lot of hardware cloth and I ordered some cage flooring also, as my floor spacing is wide enough to admit a rat currently. It won't be pretty, but it's my hope that it will solve the problem before my next 3 litters drop!

I'll take photos as I go. Trying to make a negative into a positive.
 
I just lost a 2 week old litter of 6 to rats. I'm so angry. I've been systematically trapping them for the past 2 months and I got 9, but then I stopped catching them and dared to believe I might have made a dent in the local population.

Nope, they've just gotten smarter. Rats!

So, fine. Next step is to rat proof the rabbit portion of my rabken coop (the chickens have a run under the rabbits).

My plan is to add a lot of hardware cloth and I ordered some cage flooring also, as my floor spacing is wide enough to admit a rat currently. It won't be pretty, but it's my hope that it will solve the problem before my next 3 litters drop!

I'll take photos as I go. Trying to make a negative into a positive.
Try the bucket trap and cats. I have cats and I haven't had a problem. I would love to see your progress.
 
I just lost a 2 week old litter of 6 to rats. I'm so angry. I've been systematically trapping them for the past 2 months and I got 9, but then I stopped catching them and dared to believe I might have made a dent in the local population.

Nope, they've just gotten smarter. Rats!

So, fine. Next step is to rat proof the rabbit portion of my rabken coop (the chickens have a run under the rabbits).

My plan is to add a lot of hardware cloth and I ordered some cage flooring also, as my floor spacing is wide enough to admit a rat currently. It won't be pretty, but it's my hope that it will solve the problem before my next 3 litters drop!

I'll take photos as I go. Trying to make a negative into a positive.
Do you have any cats? I have barn cats and they keep them away.
 
The neighborhood is overrun with cats, and I have a live trap that I baited with chicken feed which works much like the bucket trap. It worked very well for several weeks, I caught 5 at a time one night, but it was not enough, sadly. I never had these problems in the country, This is very much a city rat issue caused by population density, trash, pet food, and bird feeders.
 
The neighborhood is overrun with cats, and I have a live trap that I baited with chicken feed which works much like the bucket trap. It worked very well for several weeks, I caught 5 at a time one night, but it was not enough, sadly. I never had these problems in the country, This is very much a city rat issue caused by population density, trash, pet food, and bird feeders.
That sucks. I would hate to have rats eating my rabbits.
 
I just lost a 2 week old litter of 6 to rats. I'm so angry. I've been systematically trapping them for the past 2 months and I got 9, but then I stopped catching them and dared to believe I might have made a dent in the local population.

Nope, they've just gotten smarter. Rats!

So, fine. Next step is to rat proof the rabbit portion of my rabken coop (the chickens have a run under the rabbits).

My plan is to add a lot of hardware cloth and I ordered some cage flooring also, as my floor spacing is wide enough to admit a rat currently. It won't be pretty, but it's my hope that it will solve the problem before my next 3 litters drop!

I'll take photos as I go. Trying to make a negative into a positive.
So sorry to hear of your loss! I never knew rats would kill kits before I came to this forum. Looking forward to learning and seeing your progress.
 
rats... 1 battled for three years to get rid of rats. HATE THEM. Filthy disgusting creatures. BLECH.

1. remove ALL access to food. Feed during the day, lock up all food at night. Give the rabbits just enough to eat so it's finished before bed time. a compost pile is FOOD to rats.
2. vary your methods of catching them. rats are smart.
3. dates and nutella work a wonder.
4. live catch traps can be your friend but you need to vary how you present them.
5. plaster of paris mixed with cake mix with a ready supply of water works
6. sometimes you have to feed them for a while without danger in order to catch a bunch of them.
7. DEEP bucket traps can work. you need to catch the adults, though catching babies is satisfying....
8. if using snap traps secure them in some way to prevent rats from dragging them around and setting them off.

Mousetrap mondays will give you some good clues for catching them (on youtube)

If you put up wire.. bury it... at least 12 inches. rats tunnel to get into places. They can chew through weaker wire.

if your floor wire is big enough to allow rats in.... it will be dangerous for your rabbits feet. If the side wire is big enough to let rats in it will also allow babies to escape.
 
I have snap traps, made of wood and wire and snap traps, made of plastic, and sticky traps and live traps and electronic traps. I don't have a compost pile. I've tried plaster of Paris and cake mix and I've tried Nutella. I fed them in a disabled live trap for a few weeks until they were cleaning it up every night and that's when I got the most.

Nobody gets pelleted feed after dark and nothing is ever left out. My feed containers are galvanized steel trash bins with tight fitting lids. I had to soak my pea seed in kerosene because they ate every single one of the first 300 seeds I planted.

The lady across the street free feeds about 20 outdoor cats every day, and throws whatever cat food that they don't finish on the ground "for the crows." The next door neighbors store pet food and people food unsecured in their garage and frequently have to throw portions of it out. There is so much obstructive trash piled up around the houses that it is impossible to root them out.

They are some of the neighbors I really like, but I really don't like their habits.
 
Last summer they started eating jalapeno peppers directly off the bush. They ate my tomatoes. They ate some beans.

I have bait stations. I have a dog who hunts. I used babysaver wire around the bottoms of the cages but obviously the rats can go right over the top of that. So I will have to cover the entire front and the doors. There is also a gap along the rafters which was supposed to be covered by my ex-husband, but he never got around to it so I will have to do it now.

My flooring is weird and I know that. I don't get any sore hocks and the rabbits figure out how to move around on the flooring just fine even as babies. It's possible for young rabbits to put their front foot down through the floor, but it's not possible for them to get stuck that way, so they just pick their foot up and put it back on top.

However, I have ordered standard half inch by 1 in cage flooring, which I wanted to put underneath my current floor. It will make it much more of a pain to clean up spilled hay and shed Angora floof, but a lack of rat killed kits will be worth it. I think I will have to put the wiring on top so that they can't get a toe caught or something, but I hope I don't start a sore hock problem, and I think they really like the larger gauge wire on their feet. At least the floor will still be really stiff with no sag, I guess.
 
Rats killed all my quail, they killed a half grown duckling who was off heat and injured another before I could get there. I desperately hate them.

Last year I delayed breeding until mid summer so that they would have so much else to eat that they would leave the babies alone. But this year because I had caught so many I thought that I could try an early breed again. Clearly not.

Also, I am at work all day during the week, but on the weekends I have seen them raid the chicken feeder or the rabbit feeders during broad daylight while I was outside. Feeding only during the day doesn't really help when they are that bold.
 
I am so sorry! We have rats and snakes but so far they haven't gotten any of the babies as far as I know.

I keep my rabbits in dog crates. I have three very large dog crates. Like almost 3 ft by 4 ft. These I have wrapped in half inch hardware cloth and they are my nursery cages. When the babies get big enough at 2 to 3 weeks I could move them into regular cages. But I just let the does have those cages 100% of the time because I only have three does.The drawback to my cages is that I have 1/2" x1" wire on the bottom so the poop falls through and there is a gap between it and the 1/2" hardware cloth. I think a determined rat or snake could get into that gap. If I had a problem I would attach the hardware cloth to the flooring wire with some strands of wire or even zip ties maybe

If you hung them from the rafters and kept everything away from them that might help if that was a possibility or even just hanging them from a rack with some space so they can't climb up the legs to get to the cages. If I had such a problem as you I would probably put the 1/2" hardware cloth all the way around and then put hay on the bottom to keep it clean.

IMG_20230807_093322726.jpg
 
My cages are fixed to wooden walls, rather like GIANT hutches. I have posted this picture elsewhere, but this is the basic configuration.

The rabbit spaces are (4) 2ft x 5ft cages, with the back bank enclosed by solid walls and opening from the back. 2x4 wire is buried but is too big to keep rats out--it was intended to keep dogs out and is effective for that. I simply could not afford to enclose the entire structure in half inch hardware cloth, and the Ex objected to its appearance. However, I CAN enclose the rabbit spaces in hardware cloth, and I am inclined to potentially do the same to the rest of the structure now that I have full creative control.

There is one addition since this picture, a solar powered "chicken door" in the front of the wire that allows the chickens and the ducks a wider range during the day and closes them in at night.
PXL_20220508_013310638.jpg
 
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My cages are fixed to wooden walls, rather like GIANT hutches. I have posted this picture elsewhere, but this is the basic configuration.

The rabbit spaces are (4) 2ft x 5ft cages, with the back bank enclosed by solid walls and opening from the back. 2x4 wire is buried but is too big to keep rats out--it was intended to keep dogs out and is effective for that. I simply could not afford to enclose the entire structure in half inch hardware cloth, and the Ex objected to its appearance. However, I CAN enclose the rabbit spaces in hardware cloth, and I am inclined to potentially do the same to the rest of the structure now that I have full creative control. There is one addition since this picture, a solar powered "chicken door" in the front of the wire that allows them a wider range during the day and closes them in at night.
View attachment 40453
That is an awesome setup! Do the rabbits come back by themselves? That is my fear. I would love to let mine out but I'm afraid I would never see them again. I do have a play area but I take them out one at a time. Anyway not to hijack your post but if you have more info on your Hutch setup can you tell me the link to it or the name of the thread? It sure is beautiful. I think you could just make a nursery area with the half inch hardware cloth to protect the babies. I think the rats are only active at night?
 
That is an awesome setup! Do the rabbits come back by themselves? That is my fear. I would love to let mine out but I'm afraid I would never see them again. I do have a play area but I take them out one at a time. Anyway not to hijack your post but if you have more info on your Hutch setup can you tell me the link to it or the name of the thread? It sure is beautiful. I think you could just make a nursery area with the half inch hardware cloth to protect the babies. I think the rats are only active at night?
Uhhh...no. the rabbits are in cages and do not get let out unless I put them in a rabbit tractor.

The CHICKENS AND DUCKS that share the space come and go. They roost in the boxed in section on the left of the structure, there is a trap door entrance with a ramp you can kind of see underneath. They always have access to the run, and the ducks will opt to nest under the coop during the summer, but the run now also has a door to let them out into the bigger yard space during the day. They cannot get on top of the rabbits cages in any way, they can only go underneath.

Sorry that was confusing! I will edit the post to make that clearer.
 
Well, I didn't forget about this. Here are some before photos:1000006005.jpg
1000006002.jpg
1000006004.jpg
There is still a gap along the back wall near the rafters, but I figure these are the biggest issues. I got the fronts partially covered today. The part that required the air compressor. I'm so glad they are such calm level headed buns.

I'll get the doors done next and then the floors... Which will require a little air compressor use, but not much.

During:1000006007.jpg
 
We went to a show a couple of weeks ago and when we got back, the door to our bucks cage was bent outward as if he’d launched his entire body against it. Luckily, we double lock all our doors, so although bent into a semicircle, the door stayed secure. As our cages are inside a building, on concrete with no holes in the walls, etc, we were stumped as to what startled him so much. We placed a camera in there, and soon began to see mice. Out came the traps, and in 4 days we’ve caught 10 mice. They were coming in through a small crack under the sliding garage-type door, and nosing around for scraps. We suspect one ended up in the cage with that buck, and being as it was pitch black in the cage, he went nuts with it in there with him.
 
We went to a show a couple of weeks ago and when we got back, the door to our bucks cage was bent outward as if he’d launched his entire body against it. Luckily, we double lock all our doors, so although bent into a semicircle, the door stayed secure. As our cages are inside a building, on concrete with no holes in the walls, etc, we were stumped as to what startled him so much. We placed a camera in there, and soon began to see mice. Out came the traps, and in 4 days we’ve caught 10 mice. They were coming in through a small crack under the sliding garage-type door, and nosing around for scraps. We suspect one ended up in the cage with that buck, and being as it was pitch black in the cage, he went nuts with it in there with him.
Hope he didn't hurt himself
 
Well, I didn't forget about this. Here are some before photos:View attachment 40660
View attachment 40661
View attachment 40662
There is still a gap along the back wall near the rafters, but I figure these are the biggest issues. I got the fronts partially covered today. The part that required the air compressor. I'm so glad they are such calm level headed buns.

I'll get the doors done next and then the floors... Which will require a little air compressor use, but not much.

During:View attachment 40663
Very nice and tidy looking! I'm actually going to do some modifications to my cages as well. No rat problems; but for kit safety. Thank you for sharing.
 
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