Chickens and rats; chickens in the garden

Q. Heya, I am Ruby, I live in PDX, OR, a wonderful city. I love your web sight, good job. I have questions about chickens. I had them for a while, loved them sooo much. They were in a large pen on the side of the house…eventually, the rats came and overtook things, destroyed the house, total catastrophe. (cause of the constant food and water supply from the chickens). So, I miss them and wish to have them back, yet, how do I solve the problem of the rats!!??

Also, do you let the chickens in the yard space? Do they not eat it all up? gobble gobble

Anyway, I hope to hear from you, it would be wonderful to get some feed back.

Thanks so much,

A. About the rats… they can be quite a problem. Luckily we don’t have too much of an overpopulation in our yard, though we do have a few since we live near the empty spaces of a freeway. We just did a lot of trapping and our three cats are helpful in scaring rats away. Also, we store all the chicken food in tightly sealed rubbermaids and the food that we feed to them we keep in a container that is easy to pick up at night and lock away in a cupboard that is out of the reach of rats and mice. So without the food out at night, the rats aren’t tempted to stick around.

I would suggest that you do a lot of trapping first before you get the chickens and then when you do get the chickens, pick up the food feeders at night and put them away. So the rats won’t be tempted to hang around too much. We also lock the chickens in at night in a rat-proof chicken house to keep them safe and protected.

As for whether we let the chickens out in the yard… yes, we sometimes do, but mostly in the summer. And no, they don’t eat up the garden too badly. We pick them a handful of the plants and greens they love and feed it to them in the morning so the chickens don’t feel as though they have to go out and eat up the garden. Also, they are mostly interested in scratching around in the dirt. They don’t really like scratching around in plants, though they can often scratch up small plants and seedlings — which is why we let them out in the summer as most of the garden is plants like tomatoes, squash and hardy plants that cannot be harmed.

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  1. lanaki says:

    Rats love to eat.

    Great website. I also love the great NW. Wish I could be there.

    If your feed for your chickens are accessible, the rats will come.

    If you have heard the expression “IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME”
    Well the opposite is true for rats if you have a “RAT PROOF” chicken feeder.

    I got one from “” and could not be happier.
    I enjoy being able to put enough feed to lastfor many days and not have to worry.
    The one I have has a “treadle” where the chickens step on and the door swings open,
    then they finish, step off the treadle, and the door swings closed again. Beautiful.

    Check out the design and how it works. You will love it too. Rats don’t though.
    They will have to go somewhere else to get their food.

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