Rats are a common problem for chicken keepers, as they are attracted to the food and shelter provided by chicken coops. One problem is rats digging under chicken coop. One of the most frustrating issues that can arise from a rat infestation is when rats begin digging under the chicken coop.
In this blog, we will take a closer look at why rats dig under chicken coops and what you can do to prevent them from doing so.
You may also want to read about the best chicken feeder to prevent waste and rats.
Why Are Rats Digging Under Chicken Coop?
There are several reasons why rats might dig under a chicken coop. The most obvious reason is to gain access to the food and water that is provided for the chickens. Rats are opportunistic feeders that will eat almost anything, including chicken feed, eggs, and even young chicks.
In addition to food, rats may also be attracted to the warmth and shelter provided by the chicken coop. During cold weather, rats may seek refuge under the coop to escape the elements.
Another reason why rats may dig under a chicken coop is to create a nesting site. Rats are prolific breeders and will look for a warm, secure place to build their nests and raise their young.
Problems Caused by Rats Under Chicken Coops
Having rats living under your chicken coop can cause a range of problems. Firstly, rats can damage the coop structure by digging holes and tunnels underneath it. This can weaken the foundation of the coop and make it more susceptible to collapse.
rats digging under chicken coop
Rats can also spread disease to your chickens through their urine and feces. Diseases such as salmonella and avian influenza can be transmitted to chickens through contact with rat excrement.
In addition to the health risks, rats can also be a nuisance for chicken keepers. They are known to be destructive and will chew through wires, pipes, and other materials. They may also damage garden plants and other outdoor structures.
Preventing Rats from Digging Under Chicken Coops
There are several steps that you can take to prevent rats from digging under your chicken coop. These include:
- Securing the Perimeter
The first step in preventing rats from accessing your chicken coop is to secure the perimeter. This can be done by installing a sturdy fence around the coop and burying it at least 6 inches into the ground. This will prevent rats from digging their way underneath the fence.
- Elevating the Coop
Another way to prevent rats from digging under the coop is to elevate it off the ground. This can be done by placing the coop on concrete blocks or by building a raised platform for it. Rats will be less likely to attempt to climb up to the coop if it is elevated off the ground.
- Sealing Entry Points
Rats are excellent climbers and can squeeze through very small gaps and holes. It is important to seal all entry points to the coop, including gaps around doors and windows, ventilation openings, and gaps in the roof.
- Keeping the Coop Clean
Rats are attracted to areas that are dirty and cluttered. Keeping the coop clean and tidy will make it less attractive to rats. This includes regularly removing chicken waste, spilled feed, and any other debris that may accumulate around the coop.
- Using Rat Repellents
There are several natural repellents that can be used to deter rats from digging under the chicken coop. These include peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, and garlic. These can be sprinkled around the perimeter of the coop or placed inside the coop to discourage rats from entering. You can also use a commercial repeller.
Rats digging under chicken coops can be a frustrating and potentially dangerous problem for chicken keepers. By taking steps to secure the perimeter, elevate the coop, seal entry points, keep the coop clean, and use natural rat repellents, you can prevent rats from accessing your chickens and their food.