'you dirty rat'
...or, perhaps Templeton. Paul Lynde's Templeton. The rat from Charlotte's Web. And, Wilbur. That was some pig. Okay, no Wilbur.
With chickens, not only do you get egg rolls, you also get an assortment of different creatures. Other than predators. I'm referring to them seedy characters. The hidden. The shadow dwellers. The scavengers. They steal food from the feeders. They invade your feed storage facilities. I've had a few storage areas over the years. A metal shed and a wooden silo-shaped one, I built. The rats tunneled into the metal shed and devoured, slept in and ruined feed. I also use the shed for a work shop so, smelling and working around rat excrement wasn't working for me. The silo worked out pretty good for a year or so. But, the rats finally figured out how to break into it. Plus, it wasn't big enough for my needs.
At present, I have my feed in plastic tubs inside a good sized, heavy duty plastic 'shed'. It's actually a trash can shed I picked up at Walmart a few years back. End of the season and marked down to half price.
It serves me well and the only thing that has gotten in are spiders. They don't bother me, but if I see one getting a little too close, I 'remove' it's existence from the premises. I have layer pellets in the blue tub and scratch (an assortment of grains) for a breakfast treat, in the grey tub. A bale of straw, behind the tubs, for coop cleaning days and some hardware and tools for whatever comes up. The red bag on the shelf drives the girls mad. The goody bag. Chicken crack! Meal worms. Raisins. They know it's in there and they know what it looks like.
Most of our yard items have names. Wild bird feeders, lawnmowers, chippers...even this shed. It took a while but, we finally came up with one suitable. Gordon Ramsey. We tried Bobby Flay and Guy Fieri. They were unacceptable. Now, I don't care for Hell's Kitchen but, his name fits the shed's mission and we can remember it. And, of course, we only use the first name so....
Oh, get over it. It's Gordon!
Anyway, since the weather is changing and food is getting scarce, the rats are moving more and more. Brazen bastards. I've been watching them for a few weeks. I've tried my snapping trap, Victor. But, this year he just isn't catching them. I reckon they've smartened up enough to keep clear of him. Hurts his feelings but, what can you do? You can bring out Betsy. Ye olde pump pellet rifle. At a distance, it only stings. But, get up close and it's real personal.
Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. Hunting season is open. I tagged one this morning.