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Dont want to feed the rats!

United Kingdom Gb

I love feeding birds and hang out a variety of feed for them. However as we know they do throw it around and consequently we have attracted rats! How can I catch seed thrown out by birds as they feed?



Hello Gailanne,
We had a similar problem after we moved in here - we'd all enjoyed progs like "Springwatch" etc, but when we tried to put out food it only attracted obese pigeons! Then one Christmas Eve we were horrified to see a rat dangling from the birdfeeder, with his tail going round in circles, hundred miles an hour, just to keep his balance. It looked so weird it took a moment to register what it was...
After that I didn't put out bird food for a long while, now have switched to seed designed for the smallest bird species - finches etc, hoping rats won't be so tempted (?) and have also invested in a squirrel-proof feeder, which means it's rat-proof. These are slightly more expensive, but have a slippy, smooth lid/sides, so that rats would not be able to grip.
Rats are very common in the UK, especially anywhere near water (our local park had to ask visitors to stop feeding birds for the same reason). Also, colonies are very visible near building sites if they've been "evicted" and are hunting for a new home. If it's a persistent problem, get the local expert in to sort them out. Our council no longer foots the bill for treatment though, and I think that's quite common too unfortunately.
Here we cannot completely get rid of them because of a very well-meaning, elderly neighbour who persists in putting out old bread etc and leaving it on the ground for the birds. Luckily though I've not seen any in our own garden for a very long time now.
Rather a long answer, but good luck anyway!

21 Feb, 2009


Hi, thanks for the reply. The rat man has been and baited the garden so the rats have been halted for the mo. In Torfaen, S Wales it is still free but they are incredibly busy! Problem is the seed that the birds throw out of the feeder on to the ground. Will try to attach some sort of plastic tray to the underside to catch bits and see if it helps.

22 Feb, 2009


buy a jack russel

22 Feb, 2009


nice one NP ,

23 Feb, 2009


well rats go hand in hand with loose food and so do chickens and poison goes with niether.trouble is stopping the dog looking at the chickens in the same light as the rats ie food.cats arnt good verminaters id choose a dog all day.all my springer looks for is little things to kill.he killed my ex misses daughters rat and deolished her bedroom trying to get the poor little thing.your pet rat is probably the best rodent pet you can get your children how ever much they give you the creeps bye the way

24 Feb, 2009

How do I say thanks?

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