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little cow

Rat Traps and Tears UPDATE 1/5!!

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I like rats, in general.  Domestic rats have even been dear pets.  I am not a speciesist.  

 

However, that was before Ratty came home to live in our car.  In the engine.  They say you can pick them up in parking garages (creepy stuff).  Well, that fits.  We noticed an issue after a pleasant night on the town.  Our dogs love to chase and kill small critters.  They alerted on the car and there was a little insulation behind a wheel.  We tried snap traps and even locking our barn cat in the garage for several days.  The rat moved out after that.  We sold the car (because of other reasons) and thought it was all over.  Then, we noticed we were losing an egg from our laying hens every day or so unless we collected them quickly.  Two nights, I saw the rat running along the inside ledge of the coop roof, slipping through the wire, and then diving unerneath where his nest must be.  We should have used smaller gauge wire.  We know that now.  However, we have a rat living under the coop.  It has a raised floor and there is wire surrounding the bottom.  That means neither the cat nor the dog can get to him.  So, we slipped two glue traps in areas our animals couldn't get to.  One, was in the yard and one under the coop.  That rotten rat shoved the trap out from under the coop and a little finch got stuck on it.  He ate the finch!  This drama must have played out after we finished chores last night.  Evil creature.  The other glue trap had two lizards stuck on it this morning.  One was dead from fire ants and the other still alive but was getting stung.  I rinsed off the ants and carefully extracted the lizard.  I used olive oil to clean up the glue and he is resting in our son's bug cage in the house with a heat lamp.

I am never using glue traps again. 

The new plan is to pull up some of the wire off from under the coop and shove the barn cat under.  The dogs will be patrolling outside.  Let's see who gets him first.  

Edited by little cow

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LC,   I hope there is only one rat, & that between the cat & the dogs, they catch him.  varmits in the wrong place are indeed a pain. I wish you luck. PD

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Ugh.  No such luck.  I have seen at least one male and one female.  A few barn rats were killed by the dogs.  Not sure how many are left.  I honestly don't know if this one rode in on the car that night and created some sort of unholy rat army with the barn rats, or if he found refuge in the garage after Hurricane Irma.  The timing is all the same.  The one in the car was male.  The one in the coop was female.  No doubt this will be a battle.  

Edited by little cow

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Has anyone had luck with any traps?  I feel like Ratty is mocking me with the snap traps and glue traps.  If I get a humane trap, then what?  Not like I could release it anywhere.  I don't even hate anyone enough to do that to them.  Well, unless I can send them to DC....  :crazy:

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I have a better idea.  I will say to the husband, "There is a rat in the trap,".  I like that idea.  I think it's a fair division of labor.  He is responsible for the palmetto bugs and I'm responsible for spiders (he hates spiders).  He can take care of wild rats while I care for the tame ones.  Sounds fair to me.  

Meanwhile, I feel terrible about the innocent animals.  Hubby and I discussed our options and we were sure by putting the glue traps on this rat's trail, he would be the only victim.  Poor little creatures.  The other lizard is recovering well.  I think this will work:

https://imgur.com/a/Yjzf6

Edited by little cow

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 I nixed the spring traps when, a little field mouse was caught in the big rat trap..... I felt so bad.......we did catch the rat, but, after the field mouse, I got rid of the trap, because, there are also bunnies that live in my hay room.... I could not have gotten over THAT so easily.

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11 minutes ago, little cow said:

I have a better idea.  I will say to the husband, "There is a rat in the trap,".  I like that idea.  I think it's a fair division of labor.  He is responsible for the palmetto bugs and I'm responsible for spiders (he hates spiders).  He can take care of wild rats while I care for the tame ones.  Sounds fair to me.  

Meanwhile, I feel terrible about the innocent animals.  Hubby and I discussed our options and we were sure by putting the glue traps on this rat's trail, he would be the only victim.  Poor little creatures.  The other lizard is recovering well.  I think this will work:

https://imgur.com/a/Yjzf6

Are you sure that's not a baby alligator?

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8 minutes ago, equicrzy said:

 I nixed the spring traps when, a little field mouse was caught in the big rat trap..... I felt so bad.......we did catch the rat, but, after the field mouse, I got rid of the trap, because, there are also bunnies that live in my hay room.... I could not have gotten over THAT so easily.

Oh yes, I couldn't handle baby bunnies either.  It would be like that sad scene in Watership Down all over again.

I think we have a havaheart trap somewhere.  We do also have obnoxious local politicians.....hmmm.....

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I suspect traps of any kind will fail, as they did on our garage.  The rat has a constant source of food from the chicken feed, which we can't remove because the chickens need it.  So, why risk a novel source of food instead of the steady supply?

So, here is what I did tonight.  I took our loyal barn cat (rodent killing machine) and showed her the place where there is a hole in the wire leading under the coop.  She gladly entered and began to scout around.  Meanwhile, our dogs were patrolling the yard outside of the coop, in case he made a mad dash.  The chickens are locked up and the animals are on patrol.  His only sanctuary is in with the chickens, but hubby will check later.  I wonder, which spices go best with rat?  Should I offer the kitty some adobe seasonings or perhaps a little mixed italian seasonings?   

 

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Make a wood box with a hinged lock lid that will fit a good rat trap.  Cut a hole in end to fit a rat.  Place trap in box but not set.  Place food on trap for a few days then set trap.

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1 hour ago, little cow said:

I suspect traps of any kind will fail, as they did on our garage.  The rat has a constant source of food from the chicken feed, which we can't remove because the chickens need it.  So, why risk a novel source of food instead of the steady supply?

So, here is what I did tonight.  I took our loyal barn cat (rodent killing machine) and showed her the place where there is a hole in the wire leading under the coop.  She gladly entered and began to scout around.  Meanwhile, our dogs were patrolling the yard outside of the coop, in case he made a mad dash.  The chickens are locked up and the animals are on patrol.  His only sanctuary is in with the chickens, but hubby will check later.  I wonder, which spices go best with rat?  Should I offer the kitty some adobe seasonings or perhaps a little mixed italian seasonings?   

 

Take the feed up at night. The chickens will be sleeping and won't miss it.

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9 hours ago, RailroadWoman said:

Make a wood box with a hinged lock lid that will fit a good rat trap.  Cut a hole in end to fit a rat.  Place trap in box but not set.  Place food on trap for a few days then set trap.

I like this.

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8 hours ago, noponies said:

Take the feed up at night. The chickens will be sleeping and won't miss it.

That's a good idea, but some feed always spills and mixes in the shavings.  Chickens are messy eaters. :( 

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I feel your pain. We moved into the middle of 1200 acres of pasture, complete with mice, rats, cotton tails and jack rabbits. The rabbits and rats ran a muck for the first year then I started a barn cat colony. I no longer have rodents of any type or size, rabbits, reptiles or even any bugs larger than a lady bug.

I have about 20 cats outside. They are well fed by me and are killing machines!

I bet your cat will take care of business!

 

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I have a funny update. 

We showed our barn kitty the opening in the wire under the chicken coop.  She took a lively interest and disappeared under there.  She spent the night under the coop and reported for breakfast the next morning.  I didn't hear much scampering over the next few days.  I did, however, hear a rat run up to the rafters, through the wire, and onto the roof the next day.  A few days later, Christmas Eve morning, actually, I went outside to feed at the usual, pre-dawn hour, and, as I walked into the chicken coop, I heard the rat scampering up and onto the roof again.  Then, I heard a nearly silent swooping sound and the terrified squeaks of a rat flying through the air away from the coop (SQUEAK, SQUEAK, SQueak, squeak, squeak...).  As it's squeaks faded into the woods, a noticed a dark shape of what appeared to be an owl.  Merry Christmas and Godspeed, sweet, lovely owl.  RIP Ratty. 

We had been hearing a barred owl ("who-cooks-for-you" calls) in the woods recently, but I never thought he would lunch up on our pest.  :jump:

Edited by little cow

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I remember a long time ago, seeing a hawk fly overhead carrying a screaming chipmunk. I hated that I couldn't rescue it. I'm very fond of chipmunks.

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I like chipmunks, too.  That would be sad, but, that's nature, I suppose.  But this was a small female rat.  She was a nice brown color with a white belly.  Woodland rat, I think.  I'm sure many of her kin live in the nearby woods.  

We've had a couple of pet rats and really enjoyed them.  Clever little things.  Our last rat, Charlie, liked to be tickled and played with.  He also came when he was called (even worked when he slipped out of his cage one day)/  He snuggled in our sweatshirts while we watched movies.  We miss him.  It seems like by the time rats become very tame, you don't have much more time with them because their lifespan is too short.  That's why we have the rabbits now.  

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I guess the cat caused the rat to use the roof instead of the underground so, she did her job!

I like rats too but something has to give when they are causing problems with my other pets. My sister had a black and white rat names Ricky when I was a teen. Ricky came running to, "Here, kitty, kitty, kitty!" Funniest thing I ever saw. 

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LOL!  My mom had a pet bird she tried to teach to say that.  

That wouldn't work in our house.  Three cats would come running and then, "oh look, prey...."

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