Our friend Nell has a problem. Her chickens are old enough to be laying–and they do that butt shuffle thing when I go to pet them, which ours started to do when they began to lay. My feeling is that these girls have got to be making eggs. Unfortunately, every morning Nell goes out to gather some breakfast the nesting boxes are empty. After Meg and I did some investigating this is what we know is not happening:
1. The chickens are not eating their own eggs. There are no broken shells or yolk on their faces.
2. The chickens are not hiding the eggs. Trust me, we looked.
3. There is no mess.
4. The chickens are unharmed.
This is what is happening:
1. The inside of their pen has a bunch of holes in the ground that are about three inches in diameter. The holes are deep and some look like they lead under the coop and others look like they go under the fence.
2. Nell is getting pissed.
Meg and I figure that it has to be rats. Unfortunately this isn't Templeton we're dealing with, or I would maybe suggest to Nell that she try to reason with him. Neither Meg nor I have ever had to deal with rats so we are pretty short on answers for what to do. All we do know is that something should be done, but the safety of the chickens is a glaring concern. We thought of traps, but I know it wouldn't take long before Nell had a bunch of chickens with broken necks, and I'm worried about poison as well, because for some reason I envision the result would be nothing short of a Greek tragedy.
By gosh and golly what should she do?