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Yesterday I watched a large, glossy, very well fed rat having its lunch under my bird feeder, in broad daylight. I know they say we are all within 3ft of a rat  but I thought that was a bit cheeky.   A few years ago I did pay the council to come and put poison down and have put it down myself since but it is so rural here I have decided to live and let live. At least it will stop sundry bird seed growing in my garden. Had  an unplanned crop of millet last year.

I know rats are prolific around here, my neighbours used to keep chickens until last year. Mr. Reynard finally won the day, calling in for readily available chicken dinners. I think my neighbours have given up on the idea of rescuing chickens which would live happily in free range conditions.  To date they have lost at least four lots of birds, most being left badly injured and needing to be destroyed. Such a pity as it was lovely to see them enjoying life in the open air after arriving practically featherless, looking as though they been through a tumble dryer, newly feathered and laying eggs.



  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,253
    When I was emptying the compost heap yesterday, a nice young rat came out of the hedge to watch me. It was fit and healthy and shiny and inquisitive. We stood and considered each other for a few minutes and then it went back to its lfe and I got on with mine.

    I don’t have it in me to poison such a creature.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    I have 3 cats. .....I have never seen a rat in my garden or compost bins 
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,253
    We have cats, too.

    They are quite happy to catch the rats when they find them. 

    I don’t have a problem with that as they do at least eat them and save me a bit of money in cat food.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • I also have a cat who occasionally brings me a dead rat to prove her prowess at hunting but there are so many in the banks and in outhouses etc. she seems to prefer tiny furries which possibly put up less of a fight.
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 33,318
    I have neither cats nor rats. I do  have mice in the polytunnel so traps have been set.
  • BerkleyBerkley Posts: 428
    Our car has just failed its MOT - because a rat which had got in to our garage destroyed the rubber gaiter on the steering system. I'm not quite so "live and let live" as I used to be at the moment - and £250 worse off.
  • pansyfacepansyface PEAK DISTRICT DerbyshirePosts: 21,253
    When I taught English to foreigners I used to hear a lot of stories about damage to cars caused by some semi-mythical sort of a creature. Every student had a similar tale to tell. They were all incredulous when I said that no British animal to my knowledge ever included cars in its diet.

    One day, I asked a student to translate the name of this animal into English. We came up with this:

    So it could be worse.
    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
  • FireFire North LondonPosts: 17,116
    Rats will eat through concrete and the back of a fridge if motivated. I'm sure car parts would pose no problem if there was something to be gained.
  • The mark 4 Fenn Traps work a treat and much less likely to affect non targeted species. 
  • Some years ago I opened the bonnet of my car in the garage and discovered apples balanced in every nook and cranny of the engine. It was only then that I began looking for rats and found they had a nest under the garage, amongst the rubble hardcore put down as a base for the garage. Until then I had no idea they were even around.
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