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Sharon60
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14-10-2018, 11:17 AM
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Feeding the birds

I bought a lovely bird table last year and enjoyed watching the birds feed to my horror one day I saw two rats around the base eating the bits the birds had dropped. I was horrified so I had to stop feeding the birds. Has anyone got any suggestions as to a rat free bird feeder.
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14-10-2018, 12:08 PM
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Re: Feeding the birds

Rats will get to the food no matter what Sharon, I had a whole family of them, which they had made a hole in our garden, so at the end I had to put Rat Poison down the hole.
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14-10-2018, 12:12 PM
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Re: Feeding the birds

Hi Sharon nice to see you posting

I hope someone can help you with this
I haven't fed birds in my garden since I was young as I've always had a cat (until recently)
Were the rats out in the daylight?
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14-10-2018, 12:38 PM
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Re: Feeding the birds

I have the same problem and sadly had to give up feeding the birds. However my husband made an ingenious feeder high in a tree and some way out from the trunk which was attached to very thin nylon fishing wire which rats would find really hard to negotiate. I could pull it down to fill up by means of a pulley - really very clever, and it worked fine - until I got home from holiday to find it in bits on the ground. I think it was a squirrel.

Now I just put a small amount out on the ground, keep an eye on it and when night falls I bring in and chuck away anything that's still left to discourage rats.
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14-10-2018, 01:26 PM
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Re: Feeding the birds

Originally Posted by Sharon60 ->
I bought a lovely bird table last year and enjoyed watching the birds feed to my horror one day I saw two rats around the base eating the bits the birds had dropped. I was horrified so I had to stop feeding the birds. Has anyone got any suggestions as to a rat free bird feeder.
There isn't a rat proof bird feeder, sadly.

I stopped feeding the birds here due to rats, Sharon. Haven't started again yet. The very large male rat was sitting on the bird table nibbling away & I went out & stood in front of him, he didn't move till I shook the bird table, then he jumped out & ran into the ivy, he'd made a track under it. Later next doors cat caught a smaller rat right in front of me on the patio. She ran off with it next door & boy was it squealing. I hope she killed it. After that I took all the feeders down & emptied the bird table. This was back in April. I haven't fed them since. I hope by now the male rat has found somewhere else to live. I want to start feeding them again for the Winter. Will put some food out when the weather gets colder & see what happens.

We have always had rats here, but they used to live at the bottom of our long, 140 feet garden & never came up this close to the house. They were living in the natural Devon bank & hedge long before these houses were built.

OH, when he was alive, did put poison down in their runs when the population got unmanageable, with lots of baby rats running around in broad daylight. I do think baby rats are cute though.
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14-10-2018, 01:37 PM
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Re: Feeding the birds

A cat or a terrier will see 'em off!
The trouble with poison is hedgehogs and other wildlife may eat it, also cats may eat the poisoned rodents.

Years ago we had a rat's nest under a rabbit hutch, it was beautiful! Very clean and snuggly looking! It seemed a shame to get rid of it!
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14-10-2018, 01:57 PM
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Re: Feeding the birds

We had rats on the bird tables last year .
We caught them in a humane trap and let them loose a few miles away .
Not ideal .
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14-10-2018, 02:01 PM
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Re: Feeding the birds

Ive a new bird table and its out in the front garden but although ive put out birdfeed ive only seen 2 birds so far use it.
if there are any rats around im sure there are enough cats to see them off
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14-10-2018, 09:57 PM
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Re: Feeding the birds

Thanks everyone it seems like the rat problem won’t go away. These rats are out in broad daylight and come right across my patio since I’ve stopped feeding the birds they’ve disappeared. Such a shame I love seeing the different types of birds that feed but I can’t cope with seeing the rats ��
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14-10-2018, 10:14 PM
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Re: Feeding the birds

Originally Posted by Sharon60 ->
Thanks everyone it seems like the rat problem wonít go away. These rats are out in broad daylight and come right across my patio since Iíve stopped feeding the birds theyíve disappeared. Such a shame I love seeing the different types of birds that feed but I canít cope with seeing the rats ��


Sharon, this is exactly what happened to me last year.
Bloomin' rats ran along my fence and jumped down on to the bird table.

Like you, I enjoy looking after the wild birds, in particular one little Robin that used to wait for his brekkie every morning. Cheeky little chap he was.

However, the rats spoilt everything and much as it upset me to see the birds come down and fly away again with empty tummies, I had to stop feeding.

I tried putting only small amounts out so they cleared the dish and nothing was ever left over night, but the darn rats were coming in daylight - even though I had 5 Terriers after them!

The rats eventually disappeared once the food supply ceased, but I missed seeing the birds, they brought the garden to life.

I didn't feed for a few months, but have just started again now and will see how it goes.
If the rats return, I shall have to give up feeding again.
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