Prevention is better than the cure: domestic chickens in a garden will always attract rats and mice because the rodents will be attracted by the spilt food and it is almost impossible to avoid chickens throwing some of their feed onto the ground.
Rat Bait Stations
Many chicken owners don’t see any rats and so assume there is no problem but pest controllers will tell you that if you are seeing them, the numbers have already built up and there is a serious problem.
So the best advice is to take action before the numbers of rodents increase and it is simple: get a licensed pest controller like us to provide weatherproof, child-safe plastic rodent bait boxes with a good quality bait inside. Place one or two of the bait stations near the chicken run and it’s always a good idea to place a few more near the perimeter of your garden and under the house.
Over time the bait stations need to be checked and the baits updated. We recommend most houses have a treatment done yearly but with chickens it is often needed more regularly.
It is a good idea to investigate ways to reduce spillage of the chicken feed by using different designs of feeders; hanging the feeder off the ground does help but rats and mice will climb and jump so that does not solve the problem. There are some other great feeders where the chickens have to step on a pedal to open the lid and feed.
Also ensure that your stock of chicken food is kept in a strong container, preferably metal, since rats will chew their way through the walls of even thick containers made of plastic. It may be a good idea to also have a bait station need the food stock.
Having backyard chickens is a wonderful hobby but by ensuring you prepare for the likely event of rats being encouraged into your garden, you will decrease the chance of rats moving into your home and causing any damage in your ceiling and walls.