RATS!! I think???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by minnikin1, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Messages:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central NY
    Last night I put out a snap type rat trap in the garage. It was pretty late, maybe 10pm.

    This morning when I checked it I had caught one.
    Here's the weird part -
    Something had eaten the contents of it's head once it was caught! :eek:

    Are they cannibals? Was it some creepy attempt to "free" it's friend?

    Or do I have something much bigger/worse than rats on my hands?
     
  2. Newcountryrose

    Newcountryrose Wannabe Homesteader <><

    Messages:
    27
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    >Are they cannibals?

    Yep they are. Had the same thing happen. Gross!!!
     

  3. Paranoid

    Paranoid Homebrewed Happiness

    Messages:
    602
    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Location:
    Z9
    mmm catch a covey of them and you got stew!
     
  4. kenuchelover

    kenuchelover Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    SE Oklahoma
    When I was a kid in Taiwan, there was an article in the local paper. Seems a lady was raising chickens, and they started disappearing.... one more gone each night without a trace no matter what she did. After more than a week of this the lady was eating dinner with her family when the roof started creaking..... and this big hairy thing fell right through the ceiling! She immediately grabbed a broom & started whacking it as it ran all over the room, finally killing it. Turned out a HUGE rat (weighed in at over 20 lbs), that had been eating the chickens (they found feathers & such in the rafters).
     
  5. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    Norway rats and roof rats are the common US rats, and they grow to be a maximum of a pound.

    That said, I thought I corned a rat in my garage one night in Cleveland. It looked like a rat the size of a cat. It had the pointy ears and snout and long naked tail. It ran back and forth in the headlight beam. I didn't particularly want to get out of the car. For years I thought and told everyone it was a rat. Unfortunately, after many years and a lot training to be an exterminator, I discovered that it could not have been a rat. There are critters, like possums, and in other countries, rodents (not Norway or Roof Rats) that grow to be larger than a pound. But not the rats in the US. Not even in NYC.
    Gary
     
  6. ace admirer

    ace admirer Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,875
    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    hummmmm. opossum maybe (sorry about the spelling) you,re gonna need a bigger trap.
     
  7. kenuchelover

    kenuchelover Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Location:
    SE Oklahoma
    Somebody here must have seen the same thing you did!http://www.sootoday.com/Content/News/full_story.asp?StoryNumber=3407

    And while MOST Norway rats don't get any larger than a lb, some get more than twice as big. See http://www.terrierman.com/aboutrats.htm towards the bottom just above the image of a rat burning trash.

    Here is a guy saying he'd caught a roof rat in Nevada that weighed five lbs. http://www.lasvegasmercury.com/2004/MERC-Jun-03-Thu-2004/23984431.html

    And while not naturalized in the U.S., it's always possible that somebody's pet got loose. See the Giant African Rat, which gets up to 9lbs http://www.answers.com/topic/gambian-pouch-rat

    Asia also has a number of rather large rats, dunno about Taiwan in specific, but Indonesian has examples like the Flores Giant Rat (Papagomys armandvillei) which gets over a yard long counting tail..... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flores_Giant_Rat & the Phillipines have Giant cloud rats that reach 4.4 lbs http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-226074
     
  8. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,274
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado
    In rat and mice populations, there is a dominant male. He is cruel to all. If another less dominant male is caught in a trap, the dominant male well bite the head off the trapped animal. If you catch the dominant male, no other rat in the group will go anywhere near the trap. They are not typically canaballistic, but stress for food will do wierd things.
     
  9. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Messages:
    1,658
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    Location:
    Central NY

    Ah ha. this is starting to make sense. We've caught a few now that showed signs of having the bait eaten right out of the mouth, and then it looks like the eating continued into the flesh for awhile. We now notice the scat remaining is HUGE.
    This dominant monster is a wily one. I'll get him though. I discovered those suckers have a sweet tooth. The best bait so far : candied cherries. They love em! And they're easy to hook onto the trap.

    I don't think these guys have had much food stress. We didn't realize they had gotten into a bag of timothy/clover seed we had in the garage. They had eaten about $25.00 worth of it before I noticed. It never occurred to me it would be a food source.

    They've been having a free for all stealing from the sheep, chickens, compost pile....
    But their numbers are dwindling since I discovered the weakness for cherries. :rock: