How do I get rid of a family of rats who are under & in the hen house?
Last spring we enclosed our wood shed and added what we thought was a very secure pen. We got baby chicks which we kept in the house until they had feathers and were big enough to move out to the hen pen. Those hens have been laying for months now. In June we got more chicks. About a month ago, the younger hens began laying. There are currently 7 hens and 4 roosters.A few months ago we noticed that something was digging under the pen. We had placed extra fencing along the ground and part way up the sides of the pen to keep critters out. Even though we could see the holes, we had not seen critters and assumed the fencing was doing its job.Last week we discovered a family of rats had gotten in and taken up housekeeping inside the warm hen house, with the chickens. How do we evict the rats without harming the chickens? Traps, poisons and even the live trap will all be as effective on the chickens who are beautiful and not quite as brilliant as their uninvited guests.