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Hanging feeder out of reach of rats?

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  • Hanging feeder out of reach of rats?

    For the first time since we got chickens 3 years ago, we've got a rat colony set up next to the run... fairly inevitably really.
    We've had the pest control guy out but the rats ignored the poison, and the electric killer we tried hasn't helped (they set it off but it doesn't kill them).

    The pest guy reckons they ignore the poison bait when chicken pellets are an easy food source. He recommended taking the food away at night but this isn't easily practical for us.
    Our large feeder sits on the ground so I wondered about suspending it out of reach.

    I know rats can climb very well but how far can they reach/jump? Clearly if I raise it too high the birds can't reach either!



    Due to the Covid rules, it's really just me - so moving the run/coop or any major alterations are not practical - which I know would be ideal.
    Last edited by d000hg; 30-04-2020, 04:33 PM.

  • #2
    I had a rats living under my shed. I read somewhere that they hate disturbance so I decided to annoy them. I put the hosepipe into their holes, I blocked up holes, I dug around the shed, I moved the bird feeders and one day they had gone, yes I can be that annoying! It could have been coincidence but they haven't come back.
    They can jump a lot, they used to climb up the shed and jump onto the bird table a foot or so away. I quite enjoyed watching their antics lol.
    Always aim for the best result possible not the best possible result

    Forever indebted to Potstubsdustbins

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    • #3
      We've been filling in their tunnels to check they're still around. But the food is a nice picnic for them so I think they'll put up with the disturbance... creep around at dusk and you'll see a little family sat neatly around the feeder. Fairly cute - they're country rats not scummy city/sewer - but they need to go.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by d000hg View Post

        I know rats can climb very well but how far can they reach/jump? Clearly if I raise it too high the birds can't reach either!
        Think squirrels and you won't be far off the mark.
        Location - Leicestershire - Chisit-land
        Endless wonder.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by mothhawk View Post
          Think squirrels and you won't be far off the mark.
          Wow, that is not going to work well then. If they weren't already around I suppose it might mean they don't find the food but since they know it's there now, I reckon they're smart enough to figure this out!

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          • #6
            Seen them go up 15mm copper pipe, no problems.

            Have break back traps. Caught couple of rats. Mice seemed to lick peanut butter without always tripping.
            Last edited by DannyK; 01-05-2020, 12:51 PM.

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            • #7
              How many hens have you? If it's just three or four, remove the feeder completely, and feed them twice a day instead. Work out how much you put in the feeder per week, divide by seven and then by two, and scatter that amount twice a day on the ground, early morning and late afternoon is best.

              Or twice a day scatter as much feed as they will peck up in about 10 minutes. Then you have no waste and healthier birds 'cos they are working for their food.

              If you have money to spend, you can buy rat-proof automatic feeders that open using the hen's weight on a pedal system
              Location - Leicestershire - Chisit-land
              Endless wonder.

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              • #8
                Or even simpler... buy a treadle feeder. The rats can’t activate it as they’re not heavy enough.

                We’ve had chickens for 7 years and don’t have rats.

                I’ll try and find a link to one for you.

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                • #9
                  Actually, just search on eBay or google for treadle feeder. There’s loads. We got a 20kg one as it takes a whole bag of food in one go.

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                  • #10
                    I made a feeder from 4" waste pipe and fittings from Wickes and in the four years its been in use the rats haven't figured out how to get at the food inside. Ours is set so that the bantams can just reach the peg to dispense the food. It is a bit labour intensive for the birds to feed so they don't dispense more than they are ready to eat. Just needs topping up every fortnight.

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