Jun 1, 2013

15+ Tips to Control Rodents Around Chicken Coops

A common misconception about chickens is that they attract rodents, but the truth is that rodents are attracted to food and water, not chickens. Rodents are a nuisance and a hazard for for backyard chicken-keepers and their flocks for many reasons and controlling them requires a multi-faceted approach.
A common misconception about chickens is that they attract rodents, but the truth is that rodents are attracted to food and water, not chickens. Rodents are a nuisance and a hazard for for backyard chicken-keepers and their flocks for many reasons and controlling them requires a multi-faceted approach.
Chickens do not attract rodents, food and water attract mice and rats.
PROBLEMS RODENTS CAUSE
  • they eat chicken feed
  • they eat eggs and baby chicks (rats)
  • they contaminate feed, water & coops with droppings, urine and hair
  • they are carriers of lice, fleas and mites and other parasites
  • they can transmit an estimated 50 possible diseases, not the least of which is salmonella (fleas carried by rats were responsible for killing an estimated 100,000 people in the Great Plague of London in 1665)
  • they can damage yards by burrowing and coops and wires by chewing
  • they can injure chickens (rats are capable of chewing toes off roosting birds at night)
  • they create stress for chickens, which often results in a drop in egg production
Burrow dug by some type of critter, could have been a rat, although there was no other evidence to support that theory.
Burrow dug by some type of critter, could have been a rat,
although there was no other evidence to support that theory.
 Grandpa's Feeders


CONTROL STRATEGIES
ELIMINATE FOOD
  • Remove or securely cover feeders at night.
  • Modify feeders to prevent beaking-out of feed. Adding dividers or chicken wire to the base of the feeder can accomplish this objective.
  • Clean up spilled feed. If chickens beak-out food onto the floor from the feeder, clean it up before nightfall when nocturnal marauders are active. Purchase feed pellets instead of crumbles as they are more difficult to beak-out and easier to clean up than crumbles.
  • Use a treadle-style feeder, which requires the chicken's weight standing on a pedal to open it.
  • Never leave eggs in the coop overnight. Eggs left in nest boxes are a dinner invitation to rats.
  • Store feed in a galvanized container with a lid securely in place. Rats can chew through feed bags, plastic bins and wood as easily as opening a bag of potato chips.
  • Store feed away from the coop if possible.
A poultry nipple watering system keeps water free from roden droppings.
Eliminate Easily Accessible Water Sources
Rodents will walk through and drink from traditional waterers, contaminating them with their waste and disease-carrying mouths, feet and fur.  Remove traditional waterers at night or, better yet, switch to poultry nipple waterers and keep the chickens' water supply disease-free. 
Hardware cloth dug into the ground prevents digging predators from gaining access to the coop.
A digging predator much bigger than a rat was deterred by the hardware cloth buried 12" into the ground around the run.
Secure the Coop & Run
  • Install hardware cloth all around the coop and run to prevent access by predators and pests. 
  • Bury hardware cloth 12" into the ground all the way around the coop and run to deter burrowing underneath.
Rodents instinctively recognize the danger associated with the scent of their natural predators.
Repellents
  • Bobcat urine. Research has proven that rodents instinctively recognize the danger associated with the scent of bobcat urine and and respond to it by avoiding the smell.  Strategic distribution of bobcat urine sends rodents seeking food elsewhere.
  • Some essential oils such as balsam fir or peppermint, in very high concentrations may repel some rodents as the strong scent interferes with their ability to smell dangerA very determined rodent will not be deterred by peppermint oils, however. The problem with using any essential oil around chickens, is that they can be toxic to chickens if ingested and peppermint oil must be used in very high concentrations in order to be somewhat effective. Peppermint planted around the coop will not effectively deter rodents because  the scent is not strong enough to offend, alarm or deter rodents.
  • A good barn cat is worth its weight in gold as a mouser around the chicken coop
Eliminators
  • Clearly, poisons and most traps are far too dangerous to use around chickens, but rodents can be eliminated naturally by employing a good barn cat around the coop and run.
  • An old-fashioned mixture of equal parts cornmeal and plaster of Paris kills rodents without toxic chemicals, but would need to be placed where chickens cannot eat it. Once eaten by rodents, it hardens in their stomachs, killing them. (this seems a rough way to go, I won't be trying this method)
Rodents can be eliminated from the chicken coop and run with a variety of techniques that are safe for use around chickens.

184 comments :

  1. Ann Massarella Maxted6/1/13, 8:10 PM

    This would be interesting to try!

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  2. Flock Mistress6/1/13, 8:13 PM

    I used to have trouble with rodents getting in my chicken food at night. I installed Solar Nite Eyes all the way around my run. The Mfg says that they will deter rodents and I was VERY skeptical. But it's been two years now and I've not once seen evidence of rodents in my run since I put them up. And I know I have them because around the corner from the run is a big cherry tree and they are eating those and they are eating my snails and leaving the snail shells in piles in the flower garden.

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  3. Teresa Taylor6/1/13, 8:22 PM

    I subscribe to your RSS feed. Love your tips! Catlady1957 at gmail dot com

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  4. Raven Locks6/1/13, 8:27 PM

    This is awesome! I hope I win. I've seen traces of rodents around my backyard. My chickens make a big deal whenever they see them lol.


    my email:
    ravenlocksblog@gmail.com

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  5. I could certainly use this to keep the pests away!!

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  6. MamaRandom6/1/13, 9:17 PM

    Have not had any *knock wood* problems with rodents yet, buit I would love to keep it that way. Thanks for the tips-and if I don't win the predator pkg prize, I can tell you what my next purchase will be.

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  7. I subscribe to your blog via email & Facebook! Our coop is just about done and the chick(en)s will be moving in very soon! I'm not looking forward to the predators!

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  8. Lynette Mattke6/1/13, 10:22 PM

    Love your articles. THanks for the chance at the giveaway.

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  9. I need some of that cat piss as I had 3 young Black Copper Marans hens killed while in a cage. It was most likely a rat or rats. I cannot make comments to your posts for some reason but if you are looking for a great point and shoot camera I would recommend a cannon of 10 mp or better If you can find one that is water and shock proof then even better.

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  10. I have been learning so much from you and I would like to try the Predator Pee product. Thanks for the opportunity. :D

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  11. I used to have issues with rats getting into the feed at night but NOTHING after I put up Solar Nite Eyes around my run. And I know we have rats because they are eating all my cherries and that tree is not far from the girls run.

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  12. Brett Taylor6/2/13, 7:56 AM

    Once again right on target - thanks

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  13. Michelle Lynn6/2/13, 9:08 AM

    We have rats that come in at night to eat leftovers the chickens leave behind...ugh. Some are so bold to come into the yard during the day even! Thanks for the tips! I'm subscribed! :)

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  14. Rodents are an ever present concern in our neighborhood. So far our coop is secure but I would love to encourage the little vermin e to move on! Thanks for the article and the contest!

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  15. Melissa Grover6/2/13, 2:30 PM

    ^^ great article, hoping to win some and see if it deters the evil 'coon I have hanging about as well!

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  16. You are such a good source of information -thanks for the chance at the giveaway

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  17. Erin Nicole Nelson6/2/13, 3:10 PM

    Great advice as always! Do you have any photos showing how you install the chicken wire to prevent the beaking out? We have built several feeders to try to dissuade the behavior and still have beaking out.

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  18. Holly @ Backyard Chicken Lady6/2/13, 3:58 PM

    I have been reading about the wolf pee recently for coyote deterrent, had not thought about bobcat pee for rodent deterrent...makes sense. Have you used it? I would love to give it a try. I hear the coyote's every night..thankfully not right up in our yard, but they are not far off. We believe they took one of our cats. I would love to keep them away from our cats and our chickens.

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  19. Lisa Newlin6/2/13, 5:09 PM

    I had to buy fox pee a few years ago, and I felt like a total wierdo! We had chipmunks trying to make a home under our house siding, so I wanted to shut that down. However, I'm an animal lover and didn't want to hurt the chipmunks.

    So my good friend Google told me about fox urine. It totally worked but it smells positively horrible. Plus, I feel like the cashier thought maybe I had a strange fetish for animal urine. I'm sure my excitement about the purchase didn't deter his suspicion.

    Thanks for making me feel better about my animal urine purchase. :-)

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  20. After 6 miserable years of rat infestations and marginal effectiveness by professional exterminators, I obtained 2 neutered feral tomcats who cleaned this place up in a few weeks. The very presence of the cats seems to have done the trick, as they are not diligent hunters. They get along great with the chickens, even though the hens steal their food! And I rescued a couple of charming homeless cats!

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  21. Vicki Haggerty6/2/13, 9:27 PM

    Thanks for all the great info.

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  22. LaDonna Martin6/2/13, 10:17 PM

    I would love to try the bobcat pee.,A raccoon is eating my cat food and I a sure once my chicks are in their coop the raccoon will be back. Thanks for the chance.

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  23. TheChickenChick6/2/13, 11:32 PM

    I don't, Erin. It would depend on your feeder style though.

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  24. TheChickenChick6/2/13, 11:34 PM

    I have not used the bobcat urine, Holly.

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  25. TheChickenChick6/2/13, 11:35 PM

    I'm thrilled to know that it worked for you, Lisa.

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  26. TheChickenChick6/2/13, 11:37 PM

    That's wonderful to hear, Stacy. I wish I had a barn for feral cats to live in. Just chicken houses. Oh well. :(

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  27. I follow with GFC as Sue D. We do many of the things you mentioned but still have some rodent problems. Thanks for the chance to win.
    slrdowney at hotmail dot com

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  28. Dorothy Malm (duknuk)6/3/13, 9:15 AM

    Best way to keep squirrels, raccoons, possum, rodents and any other 4 legged pests out of the chicken feed is to mix about 3 Tb of Cayenne Pepper to each gallon of feed. They will try it once and never again.

    The chickens, like all birds, are not affected by the burn and benefit from the added Vit. A,B,C & E. It's also a tonic for the blood, an antioxident and lowers cholesterol. relieves aches and pains, eases congestion and has anti-bacterial properties.

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  29. Melvin Howard6/3/13, 9:24 AM

    Great article.

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  30. Pogue Mahone Farm6/3/13, 9:30 AM

    great info!

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  31. Martha Waugh6/3/13, 9:30 AM

    I would love to try the bobcat pee. We got a little break from the rats during the winter, but just noticed that they're back. Traps are set, but I'm looking for alternatives that are just as effective.

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  32. Tina Wahl Gosnell6/3/13, 9:34 AM

    These are great ideas. I started having rodent problems last fall, for the first time ever. The are such a nuisance.

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  33. Does anyone have any advise on ant beds? Water has increased their population in my back yard and now there is a bed in by chick pen. Not sure what to use on them that won't hurt my chicks.

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  34. As always, thanks for the great tips!

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  35. Laci Chapman6/3/13, 9:37 AM

    We live next to an old abandoned house where mice run a muck...one of my biggest concerns with our chickens is mice getting into the coop. I would love to try this!

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  36. I have learned so much by your blogs and would love the chance to win the deterrent.

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  37. Kathy and Ken Lindner6/3/13, 9:43 AM

    We have heard the predator pee is effective so would love to be able to use it here! Thanks for all you do! Kathy and Ken Lindner

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  38. Beth Lukich6/3/13, 9:47 AM

    Thanks for the chance!

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  39. I enjoyed the informative artical and look forward to more plus a chance to win.

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  40. Diana Jimme6/3/13, 9:56 AM

    Thanks for the advice, I always enjoy reading your blog as well as looking at your pictures. My 7 year old and I have started raising chickens as a project for him. We home school, so lots for him to learn. We live in town but do till have some critters we have to deal with. Since it has been so hot I have been throwing out some feed on the ground for them to eat so they don't have to go in the coop, they love kicking it everywhere. However from what you say above I probably shouldn't do that. I also have a pan of water outside for them but should change that as well I'm guessing! Learning as we go. jimmie.diana.s@gmail.com

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  41. I have problems with rats and mice and would love to try this remedy. It would be a God send to have something that really works to rid the coop area of nasty rats.

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  42. Candice Salter6/3/13, 9:59 AM

    Oh thank goodness for this post. I have a very bad mouse infestation in both of my coops. I have 20 hens and 5 roosters and my egg production has fallen to 2 eggs a day - if I'm lucky. The chickens unearthed a nest and ate (oh it was terrible) all the babies before I could do anything about it. They were very tiny and the chickens made short work of them. But there's still plenty of mice left to breed again. It's impossible to stay on top of the feed they spill - I have 3 different types of feeders and they spill feed from all of them. I'll be changing over my waterers as soon as I can afford to. I also have cats but that isn't helping. I am going to try this repellant right away. Thanks ever so much for all your good advice. It seems that there's something new to learn every day.

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  43. I would really love to give this a try! I have some mice problems that I just can't control, no matter what I try! I would try a barn cat but my dog doesn't like cats ;)

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  44. Love all the great info i have a lot of trees around see bobcats all the time hope they don't get my chicks!

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  45. Thanks for the great info. Love your photos. :)

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  46. Margaret Marshall6/3/13, 11:05 AM

    So much wonderful information!! Thank you again for keeping us informed and for sharing your knowledge. You are certainly a "prize" yourself when it comes to raising and keeping chickens!

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  47. Kathy, ok so the girls haven't won anything, and want me to tell you that THIS is the prize they most desire. Beatrice begs you to pick her, because the rat problem we are battling is messing with her sense of calm! Thanks!

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  48. I bought the wolf urine & bobcat pee shots. The wolf urine seems to do its job very well & I forgot !! that I have the bobcat shots until I entered this giveaway....geez I'll put those out in the coops today.

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  49. Donna McGlasson6/3/13, 11:58 AM

    My goodness, I'm learning of all the possible predators around our new place in the mountains and I can hardly sleep at night for worrying about my girls! I even keep the bedroom window cracked so I can hear any noise. Would love to try Predator Pee! Thanks for the great information!

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  50. Dana Messina Galagan6/3/13, 12:05 PM

    Ugh. We've been dealing with rats. The house behind us is abandoned and I've seen the rats jumping from trees in their yard onto our fence or tree branches or from their side of the fence. We put our feed away every night, collect eggs every night, we've set spring traps after the chickens go to roost at night and still we see them. I would LOVE to try another method to try and be rid of them!

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  51. love your site ,so many new things to learn.

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  52. Always glad to prevent predators!

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  53. Awesome info :)

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  54. Barbara Thorbjornsson6/3/13, 9:42 PM

    I would love to try this

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  55. TheChickenChick6/3/13, 10:12 PM

    Bonnie, hardware cloth will protect them from burrowing marauders.

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  56. TheChickenChick6/3/13, 10:14 PM

    No need for worry, Donna, just be aware of the dangers and protect the flock accordingly. It's not that difficult ultimately.

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  57. TheChickenChick6/3/13, 10:15 PM

    Great to hear, Pam!!

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  58. TheChickenChick6/3/13, 10:17 PM

    The giveaway winners are chosen by random drawing, Tiffany, it's not personal, it's just the luck of the draw. I hope your girlz understand. ;)

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  59. Linny O'Hara6/3/13, 10:20 PM

    Huge forest behind my house give rodents free reign. I'm about ready to electrify my fencing but a friend who did this said she killed more sparrows than vermin, soooo this sounds like a great option.

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  60. TheChickenChick6/3/13, 10:23 PM

    I've heard that tonic water or seltzer water poured into the mound can kill them. Can't hurt to try.

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  61. TheChickenChick6/3/13, 10:25 PM

    Diana, they do need access to both feed and water all day long- they will regulate the amount of feed they eat. You can put their feed in any container, it doesn't have to be a chicken feeder.

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  62. TheChickenChick6/3/13, 10:26 PM

    Very exciting, Linda!!

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  63. TheChickenChick6/3/13, 10:27 PM

    With a problem that severe, I recommend a treadle feeder, Candice. Rodents are a real health hazard to your flock and the eggs you eat. There are DIY instructions online for making your own if you don't wish to buy one.

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  64. TheChickenChick6/3/13, 10:29 PM

    Thank you, Margaret. ♥

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  65. Ok, so I have cats but we have 2 barns. Of course my chickens aren't in either 1. My husband built a stall with a door that I have goats in and on the side & behind it is where my chicken lot is. But its in my yard and not near the barns cause we have horses. My cats go down there maybe 1x a month and thats just when I'm there. I have a prob. w/ rats and mice BUT they don't bother my eggs or chickens. They are digging up around every thing that sits on the ground, including the walls. All my food is put away, they can't get into it. Is there something else I can do to run them suckers off before I loose my whole chicken lot into a rat pithole?? Is there a natural remedy I could mix up to get them to leave or at least help a lil?

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  66. Alberta W.6/4/13, 8:27 AM

    So far no problems here but the advice is always handy to know if needed. I am enjoying my chickens so much, I was never a "bird person" but now I cannot imagine not having them.

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  67. Windy Wallace Rodgers6/4/13, 3:04 PM

    What kind of plants could I plant around my coop and pen that would be a natural detourant and look nice? Or do you have a link you use as a reference when planting?

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  68. Rene Creasy6/5/13, 7:40 PM

    Bobcat pee! WHEEE!!!! I would LOVE some bobcat pee!

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  69. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 10:44 PM

    Why not get a third cat for the chicken area? You're going to want to implement as many of these recommendations as you can to get your problem under control because the real issue isn't the digging, it's the diseases they're exposing all of your animals to that is of real concern.

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  70. Denise Allison Magil6/7/13, 10:14 PM

    well it seems you r having give aways again i dont no how how to enter other then comment i am new to chickens so far ahve not had any problems

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  71. TheChickenChick6/7/13, 10:19 PM

    You're entered, Denise!

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  72. Thanks for the contest - perfect container for our colorful eggs.

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  73. Oh they do, but you know hoe grabby they can be! :)

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  74. I also heard pouring some DE down the hole might help? Not sure...haven't tried it yet

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  75. kekahanow .7/5/13, 12:47 AM

    I love having my chickens too but got so tired of having the rat problems. I read many things online and most all the problems came from allowing rats to get to the food.


    I decided to get a feeder that was "rat proof". I looked at many but settled on one out of Oklahoma that was made at "thecarpentershop.net" and after getting it and starting to use it I noticed almost immediately the rat problem was gone.


    This feeder has a treadle where my chickens step on and the door to the feeder will swing open. When my chickens finish eating, they step off the treadle and the door will swing closed and then there is no access to the food. Once there was no food available for the rats they went elsewhere. Not sure where they went, but they are not here any more.

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  76. kekahanow .7/5/13, 12:59 AM

    You might try to get a "ratfree feeder" I got one from "thecarpentershop.net" out of Oklahoma and it works great.


    You don't have to put your feed away cause the treadle lever the chicken step on will open the door to the feed and when they finish and step off the treadle the door swings shut where ther is no access to the food day or night for rats. Just look at how it is designed and you will see how the treadle bar and door are separated so rats couldn't reach the door anyway, but when the door is shut it is safe.

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  77. JessicaHughett8/31/13, 9:52 AM

    I love this post! Bob cat pee is probably a little more acceptable than husband pee..which is a recommendation I read on another blog. Lol! :-)

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  78. Any kind of terrier dog will absolutely do the trick. We live on a farm with 10 barn cats and they are a good deterrent. But that jack Russell will kill those rats 15 to 1 compared to a cat. It is sport to them!! Though I have a little problem in that I have a 130 lb Lab that thinks he is a 5 lb terrier....yep pretty destructive when he is on on a rat...took out two tables and broke a window in the barn this am....oh well, no method is perfect!!! LOLOLOLOLOL!!!

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  79. I love your Website & your Facebook page. Yes, Galvanized cans with tight lids for feed. I like your drip water idea. I love the hardware cloth under the ground at the fence edge. I had an old original coop when we bought this farm. The rats actually dug through the weak spots in the old cracked cement floor ! Weasels will get in & kill the hens & partially eat their bodies. Raccoons eat everything & anything - feed, eggs, babies & grown chickens ! AND they carry rabies. Big PLASTIC rat traps from Tractor Supply under a heavy box worked best for the rats. Have a rat size or little bigger opening for the rat to get inside & place a heavy weight on top to keep the hens out but not big enough for the trapped rat to drag the trap back out through. I have caught many rats with these particular type of traps. They have a spring that will almost take your finger off. Maybe some neighbors would enjoy a free dozen of eggs once in a while. Of course, you may already do that ;-) Love ya' ! Bonnie

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  80. TheChickenChick9/1/13, 12:45 AM

    LOL! Certainly the application of the bobcat pee would be more acceptable to the neighbors! :o

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  81. I havent had to deal with rodents yet but i do have a few good outside cats that are always bringing me their catch in the yard and field. Im hoping i dont have to deal with rats this winter.

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  82. Dorothy Malm (duknuk)9/24/13, 4:47 PM

    All great ideas. Just want to add what I do ... I add 1/4 cup of Cayenne Pepper to a bucket of feed (2 +1/2 gals.) which I pour into the outdoor hopper. No mammals eat the food anymore. The chickens seem to like the added flavor (they can't feel the heat.)

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  83. TheChickenChick9/24/13, 8:05 PM

    Don't be fooled into a false sense of security by the fact that you live in the city- many predators that live in rural and suburban areas also live in cities, many of them, nocturnal, so you wouldn't ordinarily notice them. Secure your coop and run as if snakes, raccoons, weasels and hawks are a constant worry, because they may be a very real danger to your chickens.

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  84. Tina Edwards9/25/13, 11:02 AM

    Just one question...wouldn't bobcat pee attract other bobcats?

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  85. TheChickenChick9/27/13, 5:53 PM

    No.

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  86. I have a new small Hawk that was at my coop door when I went back yesterday. Use Wolf Urine for my fox and bobcat, barn cat for rodents, tree bonnet for my regular Hawks, but this one is smaller and was harrassing my chickens. I have been told that if I hang bright things it could keep them away. I have windchimes already. I have found my chickens huddled in the corner of the coop mid-day so I have been keeping my eyes open. Any ideas?
    Love your site and posts, Thanks, Robin

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  87. TheChickenChick9/29/13, 9:46 PM

    There is no effective way to deter a hawk. I've tried them all. When they're hungry, they hone in on their meal and take it.

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  88. my wife told me not to share this.......... But, just playing around because our dogs would take a whiz on the same spot right after me (we're secluded), I started peeing in different spots, alittle here, a little there, etc. One by one our 4 dogs would follow, each doing the same. I use it know to mark the "patrol" area I want our dogs to follow. It works, sorta.

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  89. TheChickenChick10/2/13, 11:39 PM

    LOL, Tom! (listen to your wife! :D )

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  90. Robin Hipolito10/8/13, 3:25 PM

    All great ideas! What about planting mint plants to help deter the rats? Now I think I need to get a Russel Terrier to help with my *Star* (Our code word for rats) problem! Can you train a dog to not attack the chickens?

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  91. I don't have a rodent problem but I do have an ant problem. Someone suggested diatomaceous earth but I've read your blog about it and I'm not sure that's a good solution. Do you have any blogs on ants or any suggestions? Thanks

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  92. Dawn E. Sarver10/16/13, 8:08 PM

    i to adopted ( or was i adopted?) by a feral tom cat. i got him fixed and inoculated and he is a wonderful hunter sharing daily in the summer (yuk!) and so for i haven't seen any evidence of rodents in the coop. i do store food in the barn away from the coop also.

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  93. Great tips! Thanks!!

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  94. I had a rat terrier for years and you're right!

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  95. Hello - I have a 10 x 14 barn raised off the ground about 2 feet on a concrete slab - the sides of the slab only are raised about a foot and the barn sits on this. Its then raised another foot because it sits on 2x8's and a form. Sides right now are plywood but I plan to go over it with T1-11. Do I need to wire mesh all of the sides of the barn to prevent rats (i.e. the full 7 feet up and all around the barn)? It costs a heck of a lot to do that. Plus do I need to wire mesh inside to prevent mice getting in the insulation from the inside? Thanks for any help on preventing rats or mice from getting in and in the walls. Also what gauge wire and size (1/4 inch?) do I use?

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  96. TheChickenChick10/18/13, 10:29 PM

    I would use 1/4" hardware cloth.

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  97. Andrea Burson Robbins11/13/13, 10:37 AM

    Just purchased a Grandpas Feeder and I love it!! I was so tired of feeding the sparrow population that we have around here. We also have mice that have now discovered the coop. I can't wait for the 2 week training process to be over so I can stop losing feed! Worth the price when you take into consideration the amount of feed that's wasted on the other critters! :)

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  98. We didn't know we really had a rodent problem until lately. We have barn cats so I thought they were doing their job! Nope. I am now finding mouse droppings in the feeders, even the empty ones. I was wondering what was eating the eggs. Thought I have chicken that was doing that deed. When you mentioned your feed bill being high because of rodents it certainly got us thinking……. Would love a Grandpa's feeder!

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  99. Your barn cat will catch multiple diseases and become very sick. That is not a good way to keep rats away. You will have a dead cat.

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  100. Grace Murray1/11/14, 7:33 PM

    Thanks for the rodent info. I have no problem yet but I want to do all I can to prevent having one.

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  101. What about running bright yellow string, cross-crossed across the area of the chicken run so they hawks can't swoop in? Somebody told me this works and I was going to try it.

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  102. thanks for more great info on pest control

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  103. TheChickenChick1/11/14, 10:31 PM

    Yes, that can help.

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  104. Good to know... Thanks

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  105. Rev. Alloway1/12/14, 8:56 AM

    I am making a file of your wonderful advise !!

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  106. Meri Taylor Dorman2/7/14, 5:01 PM

    I mix cayenne pepper in my feed, chickens love it rodents not so much.

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  107. Denise Allison Magil2/17/14, 5:52 PM

    this feeder looks awesome

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  108. Matt Snider3/15/14, 2:44 PM

    want to win this.

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  109. Great ideas to try in the control of nasty rodents. I will be giving a few a try.

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  110. Would be nice to have a feeder the mice couldn't get into!

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  111. Suzi Stephenson3/15/14, 11:25 PM

    Thank you so much for all of this info whether I win or not I will be using all of these things for my feather babies

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  112. Emma Jokinen3/16/14, 3:51 AM

    My husband who used to work in the bush used this method. Put a bucket filled with water about half way put a stick or a metal pole through the bucket, use a tin can and smear it with peanut butter. Its gross but it works

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  113. Janet Flanigan3/17/14, 4:55 PM

    I am having a huge rat problem in my coops for my Chinese Red Pheasants. they are spooky birds so cats can't get in to get the rats. They have burrowed under the foundation of our barn and we just can't set traps because of other pets. I am thinking of trying a method of placing corn in the bottom of a large drum that has a ramp up in to the drum but they can't get back out. Then my husband can dispose of them. Has anyone tried this method?

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  114. This would solve the waste problem too, my chickens scratch out a lot onto the ground and it never gets all eaten.

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  115. Chicken lady3/23/14, 12:09 AM

    I currently have a very friendly sly fox who has gotten 6 of my 20 chickens, will the bobcat pee deter this guy? Broke hearted as miss fluffy cheeks was the first to be abducted and my grandchildren were so sad . Total predator fence currently being installed

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  116. TheChickenChick3/26/14, 10:47 PM

    Check the PredatorPee website to see what they recommend for foxes.

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  117. Chicken lady3/26/14, 11:14 PM

    Thanks, I'll check it out.

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  118. penelope chicken3/31/14, 3:11 PM

    my chicken just add 3 mice! Should I throw away the eggs she lays for a while or are they safe to eat?

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  119. Kelly Wamhoff4/22/14, 11:24 AM

    Do the cats go after the chickens? I have a Boston Terrier who went after my entire flock one afternoon while we were gone- she was 4 months at the time and we had no idea what she was capable of.

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  120. Elizabeth Nicole Stelling4/22/14, 11:36 AM

    Thank you, this is very timely information for us.

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  121. Denise Allison Magil4/22/14, 11:38 AM

    boy oh boy i would be so upset to loose my girls this way

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  122. Denise Allison Magil4/22/14, 11:39 AM

    we did this as well mice and chipmunks liked it for awhile
    thanks for the reminder

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  123. My chickens won't eat from grandpas feeder even after training period. Will only eat from it if propped open. Any suggestions?

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  124. Candyce Reed4/22/14, 3:20 PM

    Just got 6 baby chicks at our TSC about a month ago . I am really enjoying your post . I have learn so much. The chicks are growing fast & seam to be doing well.

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  125. Candyce Reed4/22/14, 3:26 PM

    We bought 6 chicks about a month ago at TSC . We have our chicken coop & run built. Would love to have one of these feeders.

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  126. Candyce Reed4/22/14, 3:31 PM

    I bought 6 chicks at TSC about a month ago. We have our coop & run finished and the girls have moved into it. They are growing fast & I am really enjoying their company. I love your post & have learned a lot from them. Sounds like a Grandpa feeder would be a good investment for to make.

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  127. Jane Fields4/22/14, 4:01 PM

    Love to win one of these feeders! Ricky Racoon likes to snoop around, so far the dog keeps him from doing the naughty.

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  128. Sally Marshall5/17/14, 10:26 AM

    I read somewhere that gum will kill rats and mice, they cant process it i guess. Does anyone know if this is true?

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  129. Diane Miller6/2/14, 10:56 PM

    Thanks for the link! I store the feed in a galvanized can in a shed separate from the coop; we have buried wire (they went through it anyway); we do put their feed into the shed at night. But I do have water outside and inside the coop. My cat caught the one rat, so maybe she'll get more now. She's been staying outside at night now. I really need to get the nipples for watering, though, and make the PVC feeder. Guess that's the next investment!

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  132. Albert einstien7/16/14, 5:22 AM

    Awesome!
    Immense information there.

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  133. Sandi Butler7/23/14, 2:16 AM

    How do you cover your feeders? Considering making these but don't know how you cover them?

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  134. Jody Pinkston-Durham7/26/14, 1:18 PM

    im going back a bit to mites and lice discussion, when you say, I also clean and treat the entire coop with particular attention paid to nests and roosts. does this mean that you use the sevin dust to floors etc and then add their fluff or whatever you normally put on your floor????????!!!!! HELP i wanna do this right

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  135. No problems so far, but if you've taught me anything, it's that I should be prepared BEFORE I have a problem, rather than try to get rid of one after it shows up!

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  136. Suzi Stephenson8/2/14, 10:06 AM

    Would love love love to win this!

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  137. Alisha Tomlinson8/2/14, 10:10 AM

    We had an infiltration last year. They chewed through the interior walls and exterior walls and nearly destroyed the coop. Our coop is a shed that sits on asphalt. We discovered the rats were living under the coop. There were pounds of rat feces under the coop. You have to eliminate all the urine and feces because future rats will smell this and set up residence again. I used a large shop vac to get all the debris out, enough to fill a jumbo lawn bag. I blew powdered limestone to coat the asphalt and any remnants. For good measure I tossed several hands full of moth balls under the coop and then sealed it off. The moth balls are kinda toxic but keep the rats away. I made sure no other animals could reach them.

    We are city dwellers and our chickens have to get permits from Animal Care and Control renewed yearly. If they decline your permit, you have to re home your birds!

    We repaired the holes in the coop with 1/4 hardware cloth then thick boards over that.
    So far, one year and no recurring rats.

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  138. I would love to win one of these feeders. I have a feeling my chicksters would be standing on it a lot. : )

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  139. Peggy Denton8/2/14, 12:49 PM

    isn't that snake eating eggs?

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  140. Angela Nelson-Patterson8/2/14, 1:13 PM

    Moved our coop and the rats have calmed down.

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  141. Victoria Eubanks8/2/14, 1:19 PM

    I really need this! We are over-run by rats and mice!

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  142. We haven't had any rats yet but we would really like to keep it that way!

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  143. Grace Herkimer Epstein8/2/14, 4:07 PM

    lots of options - I think my hens have killed a couple of moles

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  144. Arlena Birdwell Robertson8/2/14, 11:07 PM

    My chickens in California loved to catch and eat mice! Are rodents bad for chickens to eat?

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  145. Inmyownzoo8/3/14, 7:24 PM

    They also eat POOP! I've seen it on my night vision barn cam

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  146. we have an old coop with an old plank floor. I have used pieces of plywood last winter in a feeble attempt to deter rodents in the coop. However, they just chewed the plywood. Any suggestion on what do use on the floor of an old coop to make it harder for rodents?

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  147. You must get the rodent population under control first. 1/4" hardware cloth underneath the plywood is an option.

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  148. I've seen one mouse but I think my dog got it. Hope to keep it that way!

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  149. Catherine Earley8/23/14, 8:30 PM

    Our stores don't sell these yet. I would love to get one before the rodents try to get in!

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  150. Our gravity feeder seems to work pretty well, but it would be nice to have grandpa's feeder. They look very nice!

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  151. Tara Daniels8/24/14, 12:33 AM

    Ongoing battle against rats. I fix something, they outsmart me. I'd love to have this feeder. Thanks

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  152. All excellent ideas. But I have to go with the barn cat. A female stray wandered into my barn about a year ago. She "took up" with a male across the street. Since she and her 3 babies have been around, I see no signs of mice or rats in or near the barn.

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  153. Barbara Sherman8/24/14, 5:09 PM

    Thank you!

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  154. Mr Alan R. Chase8/24/14, 5:38 PM

    would like to be able to try one of these i have mice in my sheds that seem never able to get rid of them all

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  155. Great info!.thank you

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  156. We would love this feeder. I hate the idea of rodents near our girls.

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  157. Deborah Mclaughlin8/25/14, 5:15 PM

    what about when I have seen my chickens run around with a mouse hanging out of its beck and the other hens chasing after it??? Do they like to eat mice? I have only seen this a couple of times but I'm sure that is what they was doing????

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  158. yeah we have 6 cats and they do pretty well with it but I noticed last winter we had a family of rats (which we ended up trapping) set up residence and they chewed right through the floorboards where cracks where. It's an old 1940s/50s coop made of barn planks---walls/floor, etc are all the same wood. Sadly we can't get under the wood floor. I tried 1/4" plywood and its all just a mess :/ Making me frustrated and almost ready to give up chickens! I see why the family use to butcher come winter and then get new chicks the next spring. :sigh:

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  159. Becky Flowers8/27/14, 7:42 PM

    ♡ to add a grandpa feeder. Traps and cats do an ok job, but not completely.

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  160. I would love a Grampa's feeder. My 100 year old house has a mouse / chipmunk problem and they don't seem to know about the chickens yet, but it is summer and the feeding is easy. Come winter I know they will be looking for a source.I have to say, in my basement I resorted to the plaster/ cornmeal mix in the lid of a coffee can. Have not seen any activity yet, they are in my garden feasting on the veggies we planted.

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  161. Gwendolyn King8/27/14, 8:04 PM

    Sure want one

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  162. Would love it!

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  163. Angie Rowen8/27/14, 8:40 PM

    Love one of these seeing as I'm getting married next month!

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  164. Darlene Dietz8/27/14, 8:52 PM

    Would love to try one.

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  165. This would be fantastic!

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  166. Raeofleight8/28/14, 5:56 AM

    My seven cats keep our place clean of rodents. The feeder would make the coop cleaner and deter any other vermin that do manage to get by the feline patrol.

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  167. Steve Braunschneider9/11/14, 5:25 PM

    I built a grandpa's feeder with plans I found on line it's made if plywood with the intent of rapping it with tin if it works, the problem is the chickens don't seem to be able to figure it out, it's adjusted so only one hen on it to open, any suggestions or will they figure it out before they starve

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  168. Same here as Steve said, my husband built one too! The chickens will only try it if it's propped open, I need a real one now!

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  169. Peter Smith10/1/14, 1:54 AM

    Have you tried putting food on the pedal (the part where the chickens stand to open it)? Also try putting food in other places so the chickens have to stand on the pedal to get the food.

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  170. I just read that coyote pee is very effective for keeping rats away. Any one have experience? We became aware of a rat problem last week. Caught one in a snap trap and no success since. They are burrowing into the coop at night - getting passed the hardware cloth buried under ground!

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  171. That plaster method sounds harsh. The raticator would be my choice I think.

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  172. We were overrun with rats last winter, trapped or poisoned all of them but winter is coming and I am afraid we will have the same problem, this feeder sure would help.

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  173. Does bobcat pee bother the chickens?

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  174. I'm so glad you posted this. I had been looking for the feeder instructions but couldn't find them! Now I have it bookmarked!~ Thanks!

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  175. My treadle feeder instructions. First week leave lid completely open so they get the feel of the platform moving. Second week leave lid half open so they get used to the lid moving. Third week set as normal. Second week a lot ate standing beside it, but some pick it up and the others eat from the side till they get used to it. Now a month later they all use it and I am no longer feeding wild birds 50lb of chicken feed a week.

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  176. NewToChickens11/14/14, 5:32 AM

    I have a portable coop and went out there today to find a hole under the coop and scratching on the door and frame. As I need to move the coop regularly I didn't put anything under it. I am also rubbish at any DIY!! Should I install something around the coop?

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  177. Hardware cloth. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/07/11-tips-for-predator-proofing-chickens.html

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  178. We live where it freezes regularly in the winter. How do you keep your watered from freezing? If you have that problem.
    Right now I keep a heated watered that is elevated to keep it clean, but I am sure rodents get in for a.sip.

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  179. Here's how, Debi: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/11/make-cookie-tin-waterer-heater-under-10.html

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  180. My husband built a version of the cookie tin heater and I haven't had trouble with water freezing all winter. It sets up high enough the Rays can't get in it, but low enough the birds can track it. I think it is a little taller than a cement block.

    Thanks Chicken Chick for the idea.

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  181. Great post! We have been considering getting chickens but concerned about the pest control side of things with 2 young kids and a couple of other pets.

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