Friday, 3 July 2015

I think we are winning the war against rats...

..at least in the meantime!

This warm weather has seen an explosion in our local rat population. Whether we like it or not rats (and mice) like to live close to us humans as we regularly leave food out for them to eat. Whether we feed the wild birds, leave cat food out for the cat, or drop some rubbish near our bins, all of these things attract rats.

In our case, it's our chickens!

There has been the odd hole appear in their run (they have a large outdoor run, some 40 metres by 20 metres) but this summer they seem to have multiplied out of control.

They didn't seem to like the poison put down for them in the run and seem to avoid going anywhere near the bait stations. The rats then seemed to build a nest in one of our clumps of pampus grass which is just outside the chicken run and we seemed to have two populations, so something had to be done.

We changed the bait in the bait stations, we moved them closer to the pampus grass, the dogs got a few as they seem to be very bold in coming out to scavenge, and a friend in the village lent me their air rifle. Yesterday we had someone come around and remove the pampus grass, and that seems to have reduced the numbers still further.

A few dead rats have been picked up and disposed of - Pepper managed to kill a rather large one last night - but the sight of them scurrying around when we go in to feed the chickens has stopped. phew....

I didn't manage to shoot any with the air rifle, I am obviously a bad marksman, but I got close a few times and that scared them.

Our baby chicks are safe as they are small enough for a large rat to decide to have for tea!