life on the funny farm

Friday, April 13, 2012

Farm Friday - Bucket o' Rats

As the title of this blog would indicate, I live on a farm.

And on this farm, we have some rats.


Before we got chickens, we had the occassional rat, but nothing to write home about.

Now that the barn is home to a baker's dozen hens and their Big Daddy, it's like an all-you-can-eat buffet for the nasty varmints.

If the chickens are World War II, the rats are the baby boomers.

Anyway, over Easter weekend, we had our son's friend try his hand at picking them off with his pellet gun.

He was beyond excited to do this for us.
Because he's a boy.
Because it involved shooting his gun.

So he taped a flashlight to his gun and waited anxiously till the sun went down, and then crept stealthily to the barn.

The first night he got 5.

The next night he got 7.

He presented me with his Bucket o'Rats with a proud grin stretched across his face and the blinding glow of testosterone radiating forth.

I took a picture, but it was simply too grisly to post here (even for me, and I've posted pictures of my colt's recently scooped out testicles on my blog). So you know it had to be bad.

But I had to have a picture to show you.

So I drew one with my computer's paint program:

There now. Thanks to me, you can now say that you have seen a bucket o'rats.

Who else do you know that can make that claim?

Just one of the many services I provide.....

Oh and before you go and call the Humane Society on me, or AT&F, let me justify my actions with a few bullet points.
Because if you use bullet points, all wrongs are righted.

*The boy in question has a permit for his gun. Or a license. Or whatever documentation makes him all legal-like.
*The boy in question is a crack shot. He hunts regularly with his father, and their family eats what they kill (with the exception of the rats, though I did offer).
*All his rat kills were head shots, so there was a minimum of suffering for the revolting creatures.
*Shooting the rats in the head is a far more humane death than would be had with poison, or traps, or dog or cat. So we did them a kindness.

Questions? Concerns? Leave a comment.

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  1. LOL You should be commended! I have a couple of neat rat traps we used to use at the great, but you end up with a barrel of rats instead of a bucket... yukky poo! Anyway, just stay clear of sticky traps...just take my word for it. I still have nightmares about the sticky traps:-)

  2. Oh dear. My son and his family just bought a home in the country and 2 weeks ago he bought some baby chicks to try his hand at raising chickens. He wanted the eggs and the experience. Now I'll have to let him know about the possiblity of rats.
    Love you blog!! Congrats on getting to page one!!!

  3. @RoosterInn: Used a sticky trap once in college, for mice. Never again.
    @Karen: I think if I took the trouble to cover/contain the chicken's feed every night it wouldn't be so bad, but I'm far too lazy to do that, so I have to deal with the rats. Guess that's life on a farm, for ya', right? You have to take the good with the rats....

  4. Rats and chickens go together...for that very reason Iwill never have another chicken coop that is not up on stilts! Loved your bucket of rats (glad it wasn't the real thing :-)

  5. Thanks, Dr Momi! Stilts sounds like a good thing.

  6. Oh my gosh, this post is hilarious. (Saw your interesting pic on Homestead Revival and couldn't help but click!)
    I love your site -- very funny, and everyone can use more funny in their life :)

    p.s. I'm with everyone on the sticky traps! Not because I think they're inhumane (like my urban-dweller friends believe), but because they too often end up in a nightmarish scene that I'm thinking ya'll can relate to... ;)

  7. Thanks for stopping by, Ashlee! Glad I could bring a smile to your face....

  8. We just got our first chicks a couple weeks ago and I have been worried about rats. I haven't ever seen rats around our home, mice yes, but not rats. I am afraid once we get our little ladies outside, they will start showing up. I guess we will have to see!

  9. Hi Heather. Thanks for stopping by. I think the key to keeping rats from entering the picture is how you handle the chicken feed. I feel like if I put their feed away at night, when the chickens are roosting, there wouldn't be as much of a problem. Still tweaking things. I'm new to chickens. Got this group of girls a year ago. Good luck with yours!

  10. I live in the city and I spied a mouse in my enclosed porch.

    I trapped it. And I don't feel bad about that at all. So you shouldn't either.

    Love the picture - the only thing that would've made it even better is if you put X's over the eyes. :)

  11. Ha! Xs on the eyes - why didn't I think of that? I will have to consult you in future, Miss Jill.

  12. Lol! I think it's great that you were able to get rid of so many rats in a very humane way :) Good luck getting the rest! Thanks for sharing on The Creative HomeAcre Hop! Hope to see you back on Thursday for The HomeAcre Hop too :)

    Have a great, rat free week!

    1. Hope to see you tomorrow on the next hop!

  13. I love to read with you. Thanks for the lovely look at your life.

    We moved to mountains of Appalachia where life is like it was almost 50 years ago. We have creeks on 2 sides of our house. It's nice until you know that the neighbors don't pay for garbage service. If they can't burn trash the push it into the creek. All food is thrown out the front door for dogs or chickens to fight over.

    This brings in the mice and rats. The overpopulation of rats pushed it's way to our place. We had to store dog food in the house as well as feed them there too. The rats were in the walls, floors and during a drought they chewed through all the waterlines.

    I found 2 things to help unbelievably. First put Downy dryer sheets where ever you don't want them to nest, under car seats, in glove boxes and even where they are getting into the walls not to mention in the kitchen cabinets! Replace them every 3 months or so, you will know when.

    The other is using cedar chips. We changed from straw in the dog house to cedar and the rats and mice abandoned the place. It's toxic to rodents and some birds so be careful until you know about chickens. I now fill muslin bags with cedar and throw them into inaccessible places. So here I am practically varmit free, for now.

    The added bonus is less snakes. Snakes follow food. No mice or rats then no snakes!

    I hope this helps

  14. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week; I hope you’ll join us again!

    Kathy Shea Mormino

    The Chicken Chick

  15. All I can say is, "Is he for hire?" LOL!! We have a couple rats here that are driving our dogs nuts and they are pretty good at killing them but the last couple are hard to get rid of. Good for him. They are germy, disease carrying things. Just ask the sufferers of the bubonic plague! Rock on!

  16. I guess with the benefits of chickens come the detractions of rats. Glad you were able to reduce the population.



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