Chickens on Allotments - Keeping Rats Out
Cold weather can encourage rats and mice to seek shelter underneath the hen houses.
There might be tell-tale signs of fresh digging and some rat droppings in a compost bin. Check your own and neighbouring plots. Time to top up the bait stations before there is a major infestation.
There will always be rats around, by taking action as soon as there are signs of a visit from a rat you will stop the 'odd' rat from becoming a large colony. It is a constant battle. Traps can deal with visiting rats before they become major infestations.
An advantage of traps is that there is no poison or hidden smelly carcasses to worry about. Keep all food in sealed bins, eg. a good metal dustbin with close-fitting lid.
Rats may even enter a raised coop for food and shelter (bed and breakfast). A solution can be to temporarily move the hens to an empty greenhouse away from the allotments (at home) and place rat traps and rat poison inside the empty coop. Blue rat droppings should be found after a few days.