Folks with a chicken yard generally have a rat problem.
It’s not that chickens and rats have a natural affinity.
In fact, chickens are known to go after small-sized rodents.
So, what attracts the furry critters to invade a hen house?
Experts suggest that rats find their way into chicken yards because they like invading people’s homes: food.
You see rats will eat anything is common knowledge.
That’s why stuff like chicken grub, eggs, and even take a shot at little chicks.
However, the strange eating habits of these varmints have lately led chicken owners to ask – does chicken poop attract rats too?
If you have been asking the same, you’re at the right place.
This article will clarify precisely what makes chicken yards irresistible to rats and whether chicken poop is part of that.
All you need to do is make some coffee, grab a comfy seat and read on!
Do Chickens Attract Rats?
Before we can answer the question ‘does chicken poop attract rats?’
It’s essential to understand why chicken yards are enticing for rodents.
The truth is, there are several reasons why chickens attract rats, and each provides a logical answer as to why rats and mice like hanging out in and around hen houses.
Here’s what a few of them are:
The chicken feed consists of multiple cereal grains, soybeans, sunflower meals, and bone or fish meals.
That may not sound too appetizing to humans, but chickens seem to like it just fine.
That’s because feed is an excellent source of nourishment, vitamins, and minerals.
But what does any of that have to do with rats?
Rats and mice are scavengers.
They don’t survive by hunting and killing; instead, they prefer rummaging in places where there’s unprotected food to be found.
Chicken coops always contain leftover feed, which is a homing signal for critters.
As opportunistic feeders, rats aren’t picky and will eat whatever is available.
Another food source in chicken yards that rodents are particularly fond of is eggs.
Eggs are a trouble-free source of nutrition, and there’s no shortage of their supply in and around chickens.
You must know that the digestive process of fowl is different from other mammals.
Chickens take an average of approximately four hours to digest food.
Their bodies intake all of the nutrients from the food necessary for proper growth.
But, chicken poop is still fairly undigested food and, as rats don’t have discerning tastes, chicken poop serves as a snack for rats.
Do Chickens In the Garden Attract Rats?
It is a misconception that rats are attracted to where chickens are as rats love to make a meal of chickens.
Instead, rats are attracted to chickens due to chicken feed, eggs, chicken poop, and a chicken coop’s warmth and shelter.
And, yes, if you feed your chickens in the garden and your chickens spend a greater portion of their day in the garden, then that’s where the rats will go to get their meals too.
Also, you have to understand that rats are clever creatures, so if you have your chicken coop well-protected from the infestation of rats, it is likely to find rats wherever it is that your chickens go for free-ranging.
Do Rats Go After Chickens?
Contrary to popular belief, chickens are like tiny T-Rexs that can easily munch on mice and small to medium-sized rats.
But, rats and mice seem willing to risk life and limb as chicken coops offer abundant food, and it’s undeniable that it is pretty cozy to snuggle between chickens and take a nice, long nap.
How Do I Get Rid Of Rats Around My Chicken?
You must understand that it takes a sizable rat to attack a chicken.
Rats steal eggs and attack chicks.
But if the rat scourge around your home and garden is at an all-time high, you could use natural deterrents for rats.
Keeping scents of onion, clover, garlic, peppermint, white vinegar, and even citronella will discourage rats from getting close to your chickens.
Furthermore, you must realize that the smell of food attracts rats.
Cleaning up after feeding your chickens, using a predator (cat or dog) scent, and keeping a close eye on your chickens will help keep rats away from your chickens.
How Do You Rat-Proof A Chicken Coop?
There are many precautions you can take to safeguard your chicken coop from rats.
Seeing how persistent and ingenious rats are at getting into places where they aren’t wanted, many chicken keepers go the whole nine yards to keep their chicken coops rat-free.
Let’s go through some of the safety measures you can take:
Remove Food Sources At Night
If rats are attracted to the chicken coop for chicken feed, clean up the coop before nightfall.
Rodents tend to scavenge for food during the night, and if there’s no food to be found in the coop, there will be little temptation to raid the coop.
Also, storing chicken feed in metal bins will prevent the rat infestation from raiding your chicken food storage area.
Clean Up The Coop
Unfortunately, rats also like to nibble at chicken poop, and it is inevitable to find chicken poop wherever chickens go.
If you make it a point to clean up the coop every day, it will less likely attract more rodents.
Securing The Run Appropriately
You will need more than chicken wire to keep rodents out of the chicken run.
Hence, using quarter-inch or half-inch hardware cloth for the coop’s walls, roof, and flooring and securing it with zip ties all around will go a long way in making the coop rat-proof.
Setting Up Rat Traps
You don’t have to use poisonous rat strips or lethal rat traps to discourage rats.
Setting up rat traps that merely trap the pest and setting the creatures far from your home and chicken will suffice.
Keeping A Pet
Yes, it might sound a little far-fetched but keeping a pet like a dog or even a cat and training them to get rid of rodents works like magic in keeping the rat or mice population to a minimum.
It will serve in your best interest as well as that of your chickens to make an effort to keep rats and mice away from your chickens and chicken coop.
Rats carry a whole host of diseases, and your chickens are very susceptible to those health issues.
So, if you have a rat infestation, don’t overlook the problem, as rats have the annoying tendency to multiply very quickly.
And, it is in such scenarios your chickens will really face a real threat from these scheming, dirty buggers.