How to Control Rats in Poultry

Rats usually eat their entire meal for the day at one time, normally at night.


Reproduction: Since rats reach sexual maturity in 2 months and have a gestation period of 23 days, large populations can build in a short time. With an average litter size of 6-8 and as many as 10-12 litters per year, a single pair can produce 15,000 descendants in only one year. The reproduction rate for mice is similar with 5-10 litters for 5-6 per litter. The gestation period is only 19 days and the female may mate again 48 hours after giving birth.

Controlling the Rodent Problem in Poultry

The first step in rodent control is to eliminate the entry points. A mouse can enter through a hole the size of a pencil and a rat can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime. It is wise to assume rats are physically capable of accomplishing incredible feats to gain entry into a poultry house.

Whilst it may almost be impossible to block all entry points, All openings to poultry houses where possible should have closures that fit tightly and they should always be closed. Other possible entry points such as spaces around pipes exhaust fan or drains should be rodent proof.

Eliminate all junk that may serve as hiding place.

Obvious food sources such as spilled feed or garbage should also be eliminated.

The next step in controlling a rodent problem is to reduce the population with a combination of baits, and traps.


In cage houses the snap and glue trap can be used to effectively control rats and mouse.

Traps should be set close to walls, in dark corners, or behind objects where rats or mice may hide. If roof rats are the target, traps and bait stations may need to be secured to rafters, overhead beams or pipes to increase the chances of success

Bait Station and Snap Trap



An important control measure is the use of baits-Rodenticides should be used with traps for effective control. Our range of rodenticides includes tracking powders, acute toxicity baits, and delayed toxicity baits.

Rodent Tracking Powders are toxic dusts that contain high concentrations of either acute action or delayed action toxicants. These restricted powders are placed in burrows, runways, or covered stations. Rodents will then travel through these areas and pick up the powder in their fur and feet, where it is later ingested during grooming.

Acute toxicity rodenticides are those that can give effective control with a single feeding. This type can be used as the initial assault on large populations. A disadvantage of the single feeding rodenticide is that it is very toxic to all types of animals and man.

Examples of acute rodenticides we have are.

  • Zinc phosphide is not a new compound, but one that has been used for some time. It causes clinical signs of poisoning usually within 24 hours.
Paste Bait-Highly Attractive

  • Anti-Coagulants Rodenticides: These compounds kill rodent by inhibiting the ability of the blood to coagulate, thus death results from internal haemorrhaging.

Anticoaglant baits require multiple feedings to be effective. A period of 7-21 days may be needed for anticoagulant baits to be successful. These products are much safer around all types of animals. Also the rodent usually does not identify its gradual illness with the bait due to multiple feedings.

Brodifacoum and Bromadiolone have now become the mainstay of rodent control in poultry and urban space throughout the world.

Our Vertox(Brodifacoum) and ThunderBolt(Bromadilone)baits are very effective in controlling rodents.

Our baits are approved for poultry however use of directions should be carefully followed.


For a baiting program to be effective an adequate amount of bait must be available and it must be replaced as it is eaten and should be used with a bait station.


Proper placement of bait station is important for successful rodent control. The bait should be placed where rodents are living and the size of the “home area” should be kept in mind. For house mice the bait stations should be no more than 10 feet apart and for rats a spacing of 25-50 feet is adequate.


Bait stations provide a secluded area for feeding, keeps bait fresh and prevent cross contamination as rodents are prone to take bait from placement location to a more secured location or burrow.

In areas of the poultry house, where practical, bait should be available at all times since new rodents may enter the house at any time.