I had two Golden Duckwing pullets, one with blue legs (ideal) and one with white legs. Two nights ago, the blue-legged one vanished from inside the coop. I can only surmise it was a rat, the endless horrible rat problem. Last night Jessie (dog) and I went rat hunting and she killed a large female that was in a burrow inside the coop. I imagine that's where my poor little bird ended up.
I used to think anyone who had a rat problem must be really awful but oh my gosh it's just been endless here, and it's not a skanky awful setup. I try to keep the coops reasonably clean. I think it's just an explosion in the rat population, for every one that gets killed another comes up from the creek.
This will be a setback to the Golden Duckwing program. The two best cockerels are also white-legged. The now-ONLY pullet is white legged. There is a dark-legged Birchen cockerel, I guess that's an option. I am just so sad and mad about losing that bird, and others earlier this season, and so many last season, it sickens me, I'm doing all I can but I can't keep them out of the coop, they fit through anything.
It gets really frustrating sometimes. *sigh*
I'll bet in the last 12 months we have killed 40-50 rats.
Our condolences on your loss, I hate those stinking rats!!! We have been waging war for years here too, although they are really the worst in dead winter. This year to add to our menace we have 2 hawks that have moved in, picked off quite a few chicks before we figured out what was eating them. Also had a ferrel cat have a litter of kittens in the barn. You hatch, and hatch, and hatch, and then you loose them...it is so discouraging. I can identify with the rat feelings, makes you feel dirty to have them around. Our best wishes for a recoup on the next batch of blue legs!!
If I manage to catch the devil raccoon that has been plaguing me this week, I'll let you have any unused weapons. I'm thinking an AK47 will do the job, but maybe I can find plastic explosives or a backyard-size A-bomb. I have to be careful, though, this beast is smart enough to use the weapons on us if he gets his paws on them.
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