I wish I could tell you that I’d trapped and poisoned half a dozen rats by now, but I can’t.
They are still avoiding the trap. That said, they are changing their behaviour in response to the lack of food available in the coop. They are much less present in the coop, but I can still hear them partying in the pony stalls, which drives me crazy.
They are camped in the pony stalls because they discovered and gained access to a large bag of grass seed a few weeks back…the rest of the story tells itself, doesn’t it?
I even saw one today outside the front doors of the barn, trying to get at the food where I am now leaving it for the girls. Cheeky monkey!! I stomped my foot at him and made him tear off into the vines, squeaking. I had a second and a half of satisfaction.
The Man and I have decided to risk laying down open poison in the pony stalls. The girls can’t get into the stalls, and we don’t allow them in the eastern hallway, which has access to the stalls. There is always the risk that a poisoned rat may make itself accessible to them, but the rats are much too big for the girls to attempt to eat, and the girls were terrified of a tiny house mouse a few months back, in any event.
It’s a risk, but a calculated one. We MUST get the situation under control. I shall consult Chicken Debbie, the Oracle of Agway.
As a point of interest, rats, unlike mice, require water for survival. I have also been limiting access to water, and the humidity has been very low lately…