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I've recently become invaded by rats, looks like at least one breeding pair. They are coming from a farm down the street that has 100's of them running around like squirrels.

All my chicken feed is locked up.

Do you guys have any suggestions for getting rid of rats in a way that is safe for dogs/kids?
 

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Hi there. there's tons of traps / poisons on the market.

If you want 'eco friendly' + 'safe' have you thought of a cat or dog? My Cairn Terrier was a nightmare for small vermin when she was younger. (she's 14 now, and has slowed down). In her prime, sometimes we'd be walking to the barn together, and she'd pause, then leap 3-4 feet to the side, and come up from the grass with a vole or mouse that I didn't see at all. She's dispatched many voles, ground squirrels, mice, etc. Never caught a red / gray squirrel - she was about the same speed and was still a step away when they made it to the safety of a tree.
 

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Rats are very good climbers. If you choose to use baits, you could elevate them in enclosed containers with entrance holes too small for pets (sort of like bird houses).
 
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Catch and eat. Unlimited free meat supply :ROFLMAO:

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I had a few get into my chicken run a couple of years ago. A rat-sized Have-A-Heart live trap and about a week of daily checking on the trap was all it took. Once I'd catch one I'd throw the entire trap (with the rat inside) into a garbage can filled with water for a few hours then empty it and set it back up. No need for poisons.
 

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Here's a rat trap I built for the shop at work. It's a polycarbonate enclosure with a drop down door released by a Cummins diesel fuel shutoff solenoid fired by a laser photocell and powered by a DeWalt 18v battery. Had to add an extra switch to disable the laser after the door dropped so the plunger would lock the door closed and the rat couldn't get it open and escape like the guy in the third picture almost did. It caught rats, mice, squirrels, and one bird. With the components and man hours in the build we figured it cost the company right about $3000. The guys in the shop wouldn't let me take it when I retired. Said it was a legacy item.


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Had that problem once. Grain secured too. Rats will happily thrive on your chickens droppings. I just kept putting the poison to them till they stopped eating it (gone).
 

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This time of year around here when the rain gets colder the rats and mice move in from the woods looking for shelter. Miserable dirty rats. No place is immune and I always get a kick out of the folks who say there are none around their house. I live inside the city limits so firearm discharge isn't legal, but these primer only .22 shells are very quiet and relatively safe if aimed the right way. I only use them on rats that are trapped but still alive and don't go hunting for the things or try to nail them on the run.
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We had quite the rat infestation last year. Dirty and I spent a fair amount of time hunting them with .22 bird shot. While it was fun it wasn't very effective at reducing the population. Rat traps worked good for about a week. Rats are smart and started to stay away from the traps, even the ones covered with straw. Bucket trap wasn't very successful Caught a few mice that was it, in months of use.

We started poisoning them. I made some feeders out of PVC pipe, stuff I had laying around. I used a couple of 1 foot pieces of 1 1/2 or 2 inch pipe with a 90 degree coupler and put them together. I ran wire through the chunk baits and dropped in 1 end and put a few of them out. You can wire 5 or 6 baits together. We were rat free in a couple weeks.

In the silo room where our animals can't get in to, we tried Quaker Oats and plaster of paris. They seemed to like that too, not as well as the bait chunks. The plaster of paris is supposed to harden in their stomachs and they can pass it.
 
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