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Rat problem

hello, i'd like to put food out for the resident blackbirds/robin that occasionally come into the garden. I know they prefer to feed on the ground but unfortunately, we've had a serious rat problem in the past. I'm worried that by placing food on the ground, this will just attract more rats that we don't want. Also how do you put food out in this awful weather so it stays edible for the birds ?? How do i get around these issues ???   
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  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 29,560
    have you tried rat poison in one of those boxes with the holes either end? Nothing else can / will go into them
    Devon.
  • shazza 3shazza 3 Posts: 159
    unfortunately, that would be pointless unless they manage to get indoors . we live in next door to an undeveloped fields as well as old, derelict mine workings from many years ago that are covered in weeds/knotweed so the rats are more or less rampant in those places. thankfully we don't see them during the day.    
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,636
    By 'ground' people just mean they can't hang off a feeder very well. You can use a bird table for them with no problem as long as it's large enough for the blackbird to land. To deter the rats you can use the dome guards or something similar half way up the pole. Just make sure the table is far enough away from things the rats can jump from as they can jump a gap of about three or four feet.
    Unlike the brain, the stomach warns you when it's empty.
  • shazza 3shazza 3 Posts: 159
    i didn't know that. all the advice says that blackbirds are ground feeders and don't tell you that they will use a table, so thanks for that information. I'll have to have a think of where to site the table. thanks again, that's really helpful 
  • I bought a squirrel baffle for about £15,00 online and fitted it onto the upright post of my bird feeder to stop rats climbing it to get to the bird feed. It was very easy to fit, just clips into position. I had some laughs watching a rat trying to find a way around it, without success. I have had to accept that whatever I do, there will be rats where I live. Farms, chickens, stone walls etc., etc.
  • BorderlineBorderline Posts: 4,556
    The baffle idea is the best option if you have a garden so it is free standing off a pole.

    Because I only have a balcony, I made my own bird feeder by using old plastic sturdy food trays (fruit salad/sauces and dips) fixed to clear plastic suction cups that secures onto the window. I then cut an old plastic cloche in half and used that as a baffle and rain guard, using a further two plastic suction cups to secure it over the tray.

    The good thing is you can easily adjust the height to allow blackbirds and robins. Rodents cannot climb the glass provided it is fixed away from any areas where they can jump off or drop from. Works for me. 
  • EilaEila Posts: 63
    I feed blackbirds every day with a handfull of dried mealworms and sometimes an apple or pear core which i remove at the end of the day, the worms are always eaten before dusk and the birds are waiting for me to put them out every morning.
  • cornellycornelly Posts: 959
    Grease the pole to the feeder will stop rats and squirrels.
  • shazza 3shazza 3 Posts: 159
    thanks for all the great advice. do the dried mealworms go soggy with all the torrential rain we've had or doesn't it matter as they're dried ?? i wouldn't put out fruit cores as this would attract the seagulls/pigeons and i don't want their droppings all over my property. i'm going to have a serious think about where to site the pole or table that i buy. 
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