Do Chickens attract Rats?

By Amy Nash on 20 June 2021

Rats are not attracted to chickens per say, but attracted to the food they eat, which is easily stolen. As long as you maintain clean and tidy living conditions and secure your food, it’s unlikely to be a problem.

The Longer Answer

Chicken food and droppings can attract any animal that’s looking for an easy meal. Rats will always be around, but they’re very agile and quiet creatures, so unless there are many of them I doubt you’ll ever see one. If you do, it would be a rare glimpse.

If you have a small amount of chickens and you live in an area where food is relatively abundant for rats, it’s unlikely you’ll have an issue with them.

What dangers can rats cause for chickens?

Rats of course can carry diseases that could affect your chickens. They can also:

  • Eat eggs
  • Eat chickens
  • Damage property
  • They can in extreme circumstances attack adult birds

Best way to protect chickens from rats?

When it comes to dealing with rats around chickens the best advice is common sense:

  • Clean out old bedding regularly.
  • Clean paved areas where poop and food can gather. Places where decomposable material can’t soak into the ground like it would on say grass.
  • Lock your food away in large metal bins. This will secure it from rats getting in easily.
  • Collect your eggs regularly.
  • Keep a keen eye on your flock/s and catch any issues with predators or rats early.
  • Raise water butts off the floor by suspending them in the air.

All in all it’s a case of being sensible, not making it easy to steal food and generally creating clean and tidy conditions that would deter rats in search of easier morsels in other places away from your birds.

Do I have a rat problem?

If you already have chickens and you’re worried you might have a rat problem, these are the signs to look out for:

  • Missing food.
  • Missing eggs, or eggs that have been half eaten in the coop.
  • Holes in floors of coops or runs.

How do I deal with a rats around chickens?

Once again there isn’t a one thing to solve this problem, you’ll have to come at the issue from several places to nip it in the bud.

  • Tidy up! Check you’re tidying up regularly, all food should be in secure (metal) containers or bins.
  • You can remove water and feeders on a night which is when most rats will be around.
  • You might want to consider traps, but DO NOT use poison, or traps that might also harm your chickens.
  • We have also seen great success with cats, who are usually wary of chickens, but have no problem eliminating rodents.

More information

There’s lots of great articles out there can help you get more information on this subject:

You can always contact us at if you need any help.

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