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as someone else mentioned, the best solution might be to buy a 3-4" pvc piece with a waterhose attach on the other end and if a hole re-appears duct tape it to your exhaust and put the hose into the hole
 

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So just to update this I don't even know if it is a rat I am dealing with anymore. It might be a Sasquatch.

I kid.

Seriously though, early this morning I saw a little vole run into one of the holes I thought I had blocked. Still no sign of what I thought was the rat. I've got the coop I thought it was in all closed off and no sign of it in there.

What an adventure this chicken keeping is. 馃檪
Good thing is the birds are healthy and happy and like me, already looking forward to Spring.
 

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Voles are as bad about digging tunnels as rats. Mouse traps baited with peanut butter or chocolate frosting get rid of voles. Just make sure the chickens can't get to the traps.
 

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We have scads of voles in Vermont, I see their tracks and my cats catch them easily if they're outside. I know them to eat grass and vegetation-- are they getting into your feed?
 

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Absolutely best rat trap made. Reusable. Very heavy duty. Not inexpensive. Have killed about 5-6 with the same trap using peanut butter.

Second is a bucket trap.
 
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The tomcat rat trap is the one I struggled to set.

The voles are abundant around here and I am guessing the chickens would eat them just as I have seen them eat a mouse.

The battle will be ongoing, I am sure.
 

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I've never had luck with traps. I keep poison pellets on hand (try to keep both types sold by TSC so I can switch them), and put them in an inaccessible spot whenever I notice new activity. Lost a whole clutch of ducklings last spring before I got them under control and the holes remained closed each morning. I may be mistaken, but I don't think the types of poison sold by TSC will harm animals eating the dead rats. I'll need to research that.
 

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I was really surprised to find the one I caught actually went into the livetrap. Rats are really smart. So smart that they avoid poison if it just makes them sick.

I knew someone that kept pet rats. Rats freak me out, like Grace Jones in the Conan movie, freaked out. (probably from watching Willard and Ben too many times) But they make very good pets and can be taught many tricks. The person I knew said they are much smarter than people realize.
 

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I saw a suggestion for using a live bait minnow trap to catch snakes, seems like it may work for mice? I use the Tomcat rat traps from placed where the chickens can鈥檛 access, like a milk crate, wire basket, or shelf. I have literally killed 100s. I still can鈥檛 believe how many there are...arghhh! I bait them with chicken scratch, just a little in front and in the trap. I also tie the trap to the wire bucket/crate or shelf so they can can鈥檛 drag it away if the trap doesn鈥檛 kill it. I use a thin wire, otherwise they just eat the rope.
 

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I was really surprised to find the one I caught actually went into the livetrap. Rats are really smart. So smart that they avoid poison if it just makes them sick.

I knew someone that kept pet rats. Rats freak me out, like Grace Jones in the Conan movie, freaked out. (probably from watching Willard and Ben too many times) But they make very good pets and can be taught many tricks. The person I knew said they are much smarter than people realize.
I had quite a few as pets over the years. My first female, Bracken, would ride in my sweatshirt hood and happily stay there a while. I would go for 1+ hour long bike rides, even took her to my parent/teacher conference and hardly anyone knew I had her. While they do have their downsides (chewing and pee marking mostly), they do make really nice pets. I just wish they lived longer.
 

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I think rats are cute too and I am glad I didn't have to kill this little bugger that has seemed to have disappeared. However, I am prepared to if it returns....
 
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