What Attracts Rats to Chickens and How To Prevent it

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As chickens live in such proximity with one another, their droppings will naturally begin accumulating all over the coop floor, which is exactly what the rats are after! Since rodents are attracted to chickens for their droppings, this is a dangerous combination. But, do chickens attract rats?

Poultry chickens, like pet chickens or wild chickens, do not attract rats. Chickens are prey animals and will run away from a rat as quickly as they can. Rats are, however, attracted to chicken feed and freshly laid eggs.

In this article, we will explore chickens and rats in more detail. We will look at several different ways to prevent rats from getting into chicken coops or harming any chickens. Additionally, we’ll go through some methods available to keep rats out of chicken feed and prevent them from digging under chicken coops.

Do Chickens Attract Rats

Many people ask do chickens attract rats because rats can sometimes be seen in and around chickens, but it’s not necessarily the chickens that are attracting.

Rats are more likely to be found feeding on chicken eggs or chicken feed. Rats are attracted to both eggs and feed but are often too small to do any damage to full-grown chickens. Chickens do not tend to attract rats, but their eggs and feed do. 

Like wild chickens, pet chickens have a natural fear of mice, rats, and other predators, including the common mouse. They recognize danger quickly, so you won’t find rodents in your coop unless there’s something else attracting them.

Rats can also be attracted to chickens by their feed. If you are feeding your chickens in an area that is not weather protected, rats may find it easier to access the food, which means they will stay around longer and have more opportunities to breed.

The best way to keep rodents from nesting in a chicken coop or to get into the chickens’ living space is through proper fencing and keeping all of the chickens feed inside closed storage bins.

Rats are not the only pest you need to consider, check out my articles on protecting chickens from foxes, you need to do what you can to keep your little chickens safe!

Rat Proof Chicken Feeders

Rat-proof chicken feeders are a great way to keep chickens and rats apart. A rat-proof chicken feeder is a container that rodents cannot access, but chickens can. Using the right kind of feeder will not only help you protect your chickens from pests, but it can also make sure they eat their food without wasting any.

There are two different types of rat-proof feeders: one for inside coops and another for outside runs or pens.

Inside Feeders

The best type of rat-proof feeder for an indoor pen is a dispenser that doesn’t allow rats and other rodents access to achieve this cleaver engineering is needed and this rat-proof chicken feeder (Amazon link) ticks all the boxes.

As it suspended from the ground. If a rodent does try to climb on the dispenser, it will slide a door down covering the food. It’s a great way to keep rats away from the feed, it could also be used outside too but you might want to cover it from the rain.

Outside Feeders

If the chicken feed is stored outside, then a metal box or container with screws along the lid is ideal so rats cannot open it. Be sure that your chickens can’t get into this bin either, as they may try to reach through the wire fence if they’re able to do so easily.

A great outside chicken feed is this Automatic Chicken Feeder (Amazon link) which is cleverly designed to give chickens access to the feed when standing on the platform. The chicken’s weight will automatically open the feeder, but as rodents aren’t heavy enough there is no way they can access the feed.

Be sure to store open bags of chicken feed in a secure location where rodents can’t access them. If need be, a larger metal container may be necessary to keep rats out of the feed you have stored.

Can Rats Eat Through Chicken Wire

Rats can chew through chicken wire, that’s why it’s best to use a high gauge chicken wire that rats will find it more difficult to chew through. Rat’s teeth are super sharp and they can gnaw through many things including wood.

If you want to keep chickens away from rodents, one of the best ways is by using chicken wire. Chicken wire is a type of wire mesh typically made from galvanized steel. While chickens cannot bend it, rats can gnaw through the chicken wire to access chickens and their feed.

Proper fencing is the best way to keep rodents from nesting in a chicken coop or to get into the chickens’ living space. 

Chicken wire

Using a high gauge steel chicken wire is a good starting point to keep rats away. This 27 gauge chicken wire (Amazon link) is designed to keep pesky rodents and other animals out

Some methods for preventing rats from eating through the chicken wire are to attach chicken wire fencing inside an existing fence with staples or attach chicken wire directly onto a wooden base.

The best ways to prevent rodents like rats from nesting in your coop or getting into your chicken’s space is by:

  • Adding metal poultry netting over any gaps between boards which make up your fence line.
  • Putting mesh screening around vents at the top of the coop.
  • Installing a mesh barrier along any chutes or holes used for chickens to enter their space.

Can Rats Dig Under a Chicken Coop

Rats are persistent creatures and will not only gnaw through chicken wire but can also dig under a fence or coop. If a coop is sitting on the group then it could be an easy win for a rat. Consider raising the coop off the ground or using a metal mesh in the ground to prevent them tunneling.

Rats can occasionally be a problem for chickens, as they can chew through chicken wire to get into the chickens’ living space. The best way to protect hens against rats is by using sturdy materials that are hard for even rats to chew through, such as hardware cloth.

Some ways to prevent rats from digging under a chicken coop include:

  • Burying hardware cloth or other sturdy material in the ground to prevent them from crawling under it.
  • Using a solid floor that is hard for rats and mice to burrow into.
  • Keeping chickens indoors if there’s concern about predators.

The most effective and commonly used material in which chickens live is metal or wood covered with galvanized sheet steel. This protects chickens from all sorts of predators, including rodents like mice and rats who would otherwise love nothing more than chewing their way into your coop, where they could feast on fresh eggs!  

How To Protect Your Chickens Against Rats

Chickens are not attracted to rodents or their droppings as they do not provide any nutritional value for them; nor is there anything that chickens can use from rodents such as hair or bones (which other prey animals like cats may eat).

Rodents also carry diseases that could be transferred through contact with chickens’ meat and eggs, so it’s best if chickens never come into contact with rodents.

Keeping chickens safe from predators should be a priority for every chicken owner.

Chickens can be kept safe from predators in several ways, including:

  • Ensuring chickens are locked up safely at night.
  • Providing adequate fencing around the coop and run to keep chickens secure inside their territory.
  • Using an alarm system if you let your chickens out during the day, so they don’t get taken by a predator before getting back into the safety of their enclosure.
  • An electronic fence is not enough on its own as many predators (like rats!) are too small to set off alarms but will still attack chickens.

You can also buy chickens that have been bred with genes that make them more alert and likely to spot danger early – this way, they may scare away smaller threats before they attack

Do Rats Eat Chicken Eggs

Rats will eat chicken eggs if they get the chance to. Rodents will search for food options and if a feast of eggs or feed is possible then they will try their luck. A possible rodent infestation needs to be taken care of because the situation is too bad.

You may have come here to find out, do chickens attract rats, but as we have found out, its mainly their feed and eggs that rats are attracted to.

Chickens are not naturally skilled at defending themselves, which makes them easy prey for predators. Chickens do, however, tend to protect their eggs. Rats can be attracted to chicken eggs for several reasons, including their softness and the fact that chickens tend to lay eggs close to other chickens.

Rats are not usually large enough to set alarms but will attack chicken eggs if hungry or threatened, making it essential for chicken owners to take measures against rats.

Chickens can also be trained out of going near the edges of their fence so that when rats try to reach over into their enclosure, chickens won’t follow because there is nothing worth reaching after at the edge – this way, rats cannot catch chickens as easily.

Can Rats Kill Chickens

Chickens are at risk of being killed by rats if chickens have not been bred for increased intelligence or trained to stay away from the fence. Rats can also easily kill baby chickens, a common cause of death among chickens who lay eggs on farms and homesteads.

Chickens must be protected to prevent them from losing their lives until they become fully grown enough to protect themselves against predators like rats. This means that chickens should be given room behind protective fencing so that when rats try to reach over into the chicken enclosure.

Could it be that you are having bigger problems than rats, check out what animal bites heads off chickens if you think you have bigger problems than just rats?


So, do chickens attract rats? Rats are attracted to chicken feed and eggs and not necessarily chickens themselves. If you want to keep rats away, make sure your chickens have an ample supply of food and water in their coop. They will also need a place where they can feel safe from predators such as coyotes or foxes.

The best way to do this is by giving them some form of protection that acts like natural barriers against these animals, such as shrubs around the fence line or wire mesh above ground level on all sides of the enclosure. Place wire mesh around the perimeter of chicken coops and consider covering the bottom of the enclosure in steel sheets or burying it slightly to prevent rats from digging under it.

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