How to Control Rats in a Chicken Coop

Written by lynn anders
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How to Control Rats in a Chicken Coop
Food left on the ground at night will attract rats. (chickens image by Jeroen de Haan from

Rats are naturally attracted to the food and water with which you feed your chickens. Rats in a chicken coop are not just unsightly, they can kill the chicks and eat the eggs. Rats are most likely to be present when they have safe shelter and an ample supply of food and water. Making changes to your chicken coop can greatly reduce the rat population.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Rake or broom
  • Shovel or dustpan
  • Scrub brush
  • Flooring
  • Garden trimmers

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  1. 1

    Clean the chicken coop daily. Rats are attracted by leftover food and other debris. Clean the coop by raking or sweeping the ground, and putting fallen food and faeces into a garbage bag. Raking and then scrubbing faeces from perches will make the biggest difference in reducing the chance that rats will enter the chicken coop.

  2. 2

    Feed the chickens in the morning; remove all leftover food and food containers at night. Rats are nocturnal, and will hunt elsewhere for food if there is none in the coop.

  3. 3

    Repair any holes in the fencing of the chicken coop. If rats do not have access to the coop, the odds are good they will seek food in another location.

  4. 4

    Install flooring on the bottom of the coop. Lay down a wood or concrete floor -- or bury mesh wire -- under 12 inches of dirt. Make sure the flooring is secured to the walls of the coop, and that rats will not be able to dig under it. How you secure the flooring will depend on the type of flooring you choose to install. Mesh wire and wood will require that you nail the two together. Use bolts to attach the walls of the coop to the base if the flooring is concrete.

  5. 5

    Clean up and remove woodpiles and other debris piles around the chicken coop. Rats nest in woodpiles.

  6. 6

    Trim bushes and trees around the chicken coop. Rats live in these areas, and use them to move from place to place.

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