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A reason to celebrate (for once)
The hen house is currently empty due to both building work for the fox problem and a small rat problem.  All my birds are currently living in various sheds and outbuildings until everything is back to normal.  This is creating a lot of extra work and moving birds around seems to be never ending.  However, as the house is empty I decided now would be a good time to creosote it really thoroughly - it hasn't been done for 3 years.  I'm convinced I have been red mite free in all that time but knew I might get a shock when I started removing nest boxes and actually applying  the creosote.  But...….No ! not a red mite in sight.  Not one single suspicious area and no sign of mites upping sticks and running for the hills as I began spraying.  What a relief for once.  I'm hoping this will also help to send the couple of remaining rats on their way as well (especially if they drink the spillages).  So, I might well be battling other predators at this time but least those horrid, annoying little red buggers are nowhere to be seen.  Yay !
I never make the same mistake twice. I do it at least five or six times, just to make sure !

[-] The following 1 user Likes april's post:
  • zenith
That's great news re the red mite - I hate the little blighters!! I got a plastic hen house last year in the hope of reducing the risk but I'm sure they'll return. At least I can now powerhose if need be.....
That is good news April. We have had an awful time with rats lately although they seem to have wandered off into the fields for now.
Thinking of getting a better air rifle as the one we have got is very old and has no sight,may as well plait fog as get a rat!!
I like the bit about 'a small rat problem' . Small always turn to big, no if's and but's. I've never seen or heard of chicken keepers without rats, no matter how embarrassing it is to admit it. A rethink of your feeding routine often helps, enough but none left overnight. This also give your chickens a healthier appertite by eatting at set times and all of it. Rats hate this, they soon look elsewhere !
I had rats in the early spring this year - first time ever (that I've been aware of). I never saw them, but they had made tunnels in the hen run. I did put some poison down (which I hate doing) plus lifted the feed at night and they soon left. I've not been lifting the feed of late but will keep my eyes open. I did see a HUGE rat somewhere recently and trying to remember where - I think it was at another stables where we were competing. Never seen one so big before!
This is the first time I have had rats in my poultry area and according to the Pest Control Officer that came out to help, it is quite normal to have literally just one or two - people always think that rats are prolific but according to him, not necessarily. With all that we have done (including poisoning them obviously) and disrupting their 'runways' it looks like they are either dead or moved on. We've had no activity since last Saturday (and that rat was dispatched by the end of my crowbar). I will be keeping a close eye on things but at this point I'm fairly hopeful the problem is under control.
I never make the same mistake twice. I do it at least five or six times, just to make sure !

Well I've never had rats here [only the ones with two legs ] I do get mice, but mice were here long before the chickens.  Smile
CHUCKLERS RULE THE ROOST - Dave. Zen Seeker of The Board. rabbit run

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