Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Hens May Have to Go!!!!!!

Many, many years ago I used to breed Guinea pigs, after a while we got rats but in those days we had Chimarni who was a true 'RatCat'! Now the hens frighten the cats so the cats avoid them like the plague!
Hubby went out to clean them out as that work is still to heavy for me and look what he found.....

Yep! a rat hole and they had made a comfy nest under the Eglu. We should have realised as the eggs laid, had gone down again but the food consumption had gone up!So what to do????? The only thing we could and that is to lay slabs, so we, yes 'WE' raked out the run and roughly leveled it

it means that we have had to attach the full run onto the eglu so that at night we can lock them in, food and all.

Here it is finished! What this means is that it will now always be a two man job to clean it out. In the summer I usually clean out mid-week, but I won't be able to anymore as I can't lift the eglu and run at the same time! So they will get smelly even after a few days!! To be honest I'm gutted and am really not sure what to do. Once the Rats are here they are very difficult to get rid of! I can't use poison because of the cats, I can't set traps because of the cats. I'm stumped!!!

They are such great characters just look at them out and about whilst we where re-designing there home!!!

A change of subject...... can you see what I can see?

Look closer.......

Yep the first frogs spawn! Yipee!!

Prior to all this calamity I was in good old Wilkinsons buying this lot..


Allotment Lady said...

Sorry to hear about your rat problem again

I spoke to someone today-in fact I am off to visit her tonight to get something, and she told me of rat traps, which you can get which no other animal, cat, chickens, birds etc can get into - only rats. I will find out as much as I can about it and email you.

Hope they sort out your pain for once and for all.

Take care


Auntie Noo said...

I've got 'em too! Big styley! In fact I've been watching one all morning running up and down my veggie patch to a drain-pipe inside which I (well Guildford's environmental health team) have placed large quantities of poison. - Check with your council as they may offer a service. Here they reckon the poison is as safe as it can be for use with other animals around. It should be placed in a small tube anyway as rats rarely take food from out in the open.. and there are many that vets have antidotes for just in case. Also they the EHO told me that another animal would have to eat half it's own body weight in poison for it to die, which is unlikely as cats & dogs don't generally eat grain & it is tainted to make it unpleasant for them. I know it's still a poison and that isn't nice, but it might be worth thinking about????? Hope you get it sorted and don't have to give up the chooks.

Cheryl said...

I know you can't have one because of your cats but I have a terrier, she is a fantastic rat catcher and keeps the numbers down here. Don't know what I would do without her.
Havn't seen any frog spawn in the ponds around here. Havn't even heard them croaking!!!
Love your chickens, I have friends who have eight, they are, as you say, such characters. I love them. Can't have them here my husband is terrified of them. Hmm I don't know!!!

Ex-Shammickite said...

Eww rats, how nasty. If you put rat poison down the rat hole, could the cats still get to it?

Chris said...

Hope you can outwit them, Libby! You can't let the litte whatsits win! We have thought about keeping chickens but the more I learn the more I think perhaps I am not suited :-) Have a great weekend.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Rats! Ewwwwwwwww!!! Sory to hear about this problem Libby as I know how fond you are of your chickens, and who wouldn't be? Hope you can sort this one out!

Vallen said...

What happens to the frogs? Are they all just leaping around Wiltshire or do not many of them make it out of the pond?

Jennie said...

We have masses of frog spawn in our wildlife pond. I caught 8 frogs out there the other night - it sounded like the African savanna out there!

I think Lottie swears by aubiose for pong-free hen bedding - did I get that right Lottie?

You've certainly got your seeds and plants off to a good start. Hope you win the comp!

Joanna said...

The poor hens having to share there food with the rat family. I hope the rats go and live somewhere far away.