Are you blaming your neighbor's chickens for attracting rats into your yard?
No one wants rodents and other vermin coming anywhere near their homes, I certainly don't!
If you think your neighbor's coop and chickens are to blame, here are a few things I recommend doing:
Be 100% Sure Your Neighbor's Chickens Are Attracting Rats
If there is one thing I know about neighborly disputes, it's that you have to be 100% sure you're right before you take any form of action.
How sure are you that it's your neighbor's chickens attracting rodents to your property?
If you want to gain some more evidence, the things I'd look for and do are:
- Ask your neighbor if they've had any issues with rodents near their coop.
- Check for droppings near the chicken coop and in your yard and look for areas where rats seem to be hanging out mostly.
- Get some video or photographic evidence of rats in your yard.
Related - Will rats attack chickens once they are in their coop?
Speak to Your Neighbor About It
Before taking any action, if you're on good terms with your neighbor you should always speak to them first.
If you don't, they might feel like you've gone behind their back or over their head and it could escalate the issue.
What you say to them will also be important.
You don't want to come across as accusing or angry, that'll just put them on the defensive.
Instead, try and frame it as a question or concern you have.
"Hey, I've noticed there's been an increase in rodents around my property recently, I'm wondering if it's connected to your chickens or coop?"
This should open up a dialogue and you'll soon find out if they're thinking along the same lines as you!
Know Your Local Backyard Chicken Laws and Ordinances
Before taking any action, make sure you know your local laws and ordinances regarding backyard chickens.
There might be some that relate specifically to the number of birds someone can have or where the coop should be placed.
If your neighbor is in violation of one of these laws, you may have a case for getting them to move their chickens!
Laws vary across the country and depend on where your property lines are, so don't be afraid to seek legal advice if anything is unclear.
Do Chickens Attract Rats?
The simple answer is yes, chickens do attract rats.
But, generally speaking, it's not the chickens themselves that attract rats - it's some of the other things that come with chickens.
Rats are attracted to chicken coops for the same reason they're attracted to any other source - because there's food there!
Chickens also tend to scratch around and create a bit of a mess, which can also attract rats and other rodents.
Rats and other rodents like nesting in loose chippings, wood shavings, and some of the other materials that are used in chickens' bedding.
I've seen rats nesting in and around a coop a number of times over the years, especially if you have some dense grass and plant matter around your coop.
Signs That You Have a Rat Problem in Your Yard
Not only are rats a bit scary and carry disease, but they are also destructive little critters.
If you have rats in your yard and you don't do something to get rid of them, some of the damage you'll likely notice includes:
- Holes in your lawn and patchy grass
- Chewed up plants and flowers
- Gnawing damage on bins, guttering, and other items
- Droppings in and around your home
If you see any of these signs, it's obvious you have rats coming into your yard and you need to take action to get rid of them and to find the main reason.
How to Get Rid of Rats in Your Yard (and Keep Them Away)
If your neighbor's chickens are attracting rats, you're going to need them to do something about it.
You can get rid of the rats in your yard over and over, but if they're still finding food in your neighbor's yard, they will keep coming back.
Some of the things your neighbor needs to do to stop rats from coming into his yard are:
- Keep his chicken coop clean and free of food scraps
- Not overfeed his chickens or leave table scraps out
- Remove any nesting materials from around the coop and look for rat nests
- Keep grass and vegetation trimmed around the coop
- Seal any holes or cracks in the coop that rats could use to get in
If your neighbor is unwilling to do these things, you may have to take matters into your own hands and get rid of the rats yourself and fortify your yard!
Are Rats Attracted to Chicken Poop?
Chicken poop does attract rats, yes. It's not the easiest thing to keep on top of poop around the yard, but chickens poop mostly in their coop overnight, and this should be kept clean on a regular basis.
Will Rats Attack Chickens?
Rats usually go after smaller prey but may attack smaller chickens if they're feeling threatened or if they're desperate for food. Their main motivation for being around chickens is to steal food though.
If your neighbor's chickens are attracting rats, it's crucial you find evidence and speak to them about it.
There are a number of things that can be done to get rid of rats and stop them from being attracted to chickens and their coop - but you need your neighbor to do something!