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Rats eating hooves
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renoo
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 Posted: Tue Oct 18th, 2011 01:43 pm
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One place I used to live at had rat problem. They weren't there, and then suddenly they were rapidly increasing in numbers. They had a whole system of holes in walls (wooden) that divided boxes. When horses were out, the stable owner would come with pneumatic (?) pistol and shoot at them, killing some before they managed to hide. Barn's small dog killed a dozen during day.
But they fed upon oats, not hooves. Pity the picture does not show.

Although I have had stories of rats trying human flesh, if the person lives in rat-infested house without too much food lying around. Usually it has ended with the person waking up and the rat sitting on their chest, or face.

Karla D.
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 Posted: Tue Oct 18th, 2011 04:50 pm
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  Are you aware that rats: 1) carry and spread disease ie rabies, rat bite fever, and were involved in spreading the plague and 2) contaminate food supplies by defecating and urinating in the feed and 3) create structural damage to buildings, and 4)  create the risk of fire by chewing on electrical wiring and 5) are capable of multiplying in huge numbers?  I think that the infestation that you have described presents a significant risk to you and your horse.  Since you do not own this facility you really are not in a position to take charge of the rat problem.  However you own your horse.  You are in a position to take charge of the wellbeing of your horse.  That means that it is up to you to speak and act on his behalf.   And he relies on you to do so.  Perhaps it would be prudent to load your horse in a horse trailer and immediately move him to a facility that has a rat control program in place. 

Gemm
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 Posted: Wed Oct 19th, 2011 04:34 pm
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Over the years I have had my run-in with rats trying to set up home in my buildings. Because of a rats short lifespan (2 years) they are not that difficult to get rid of if you have a few good cats around. As cruel as it sounds, cats can easily hunt out the nests and young which pretty well depletes the population quickly, the adults are left but not having long lifespans they soon disappear.

We have a lot of cat predators here as well; coyotes, eagles, great horned owls being the major ones. I deal with that problem by simply locking my cats up at nite. The cats are fed at the same time every nite so they hang around at dinner time at the same place, then they are locked up for the nite with the run of the building. They get used to the routine and gladly comply.

Personally I could not use glue traps, too cruel for my liking. Rats are very intelligent and can figure out ways to avoid being trapped. Cats, for me, are the natural choice.

Also, I am pretty fastidious about not leaving loose grain around and think carefully about access to anything a rat might think of as food. (Rats can also play havoc on anything leather.$$$$)

vonsnorthoof
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 Posted: Wed Oct 19th, 2011 08:39 pm
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I appreciate all suggestions/concerns, and for taking the time to write on my post.

The Vaseline/salt mix works!!! For two days I have had no teeth marks/scuffs.

Finding ways to keep grains and hay out of the way and having some form of pest control on the property, not poison, will help cut down on the numbers of offenders. I am actively working with the management and the other boarders on this.

Did some research on the other barns in my area, and found out many of the, even the high-end barns, have this problem. It must be a nasty rat year.

Thanks again!

Sharon Adley
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 Posted: Thu Oct 20th, 2011 04:57 pm
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I have known of a few barn dogs that were very good ratters.  They would dig them out of holes, going down a foot or more into the holes.  This requires some hole refilling, but it's a good way to rid the place of the adults while the cats are taking care of the babies.
Of course, a rat terrier is an obvious choice.  I'll bet Jack Russells would do it, too.

amcunningham69
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 Posted: Mon Oct 31st, 2011 03:17 pm
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hi i have horses at livery in uk and we have had huge problems with rats chewing horses feet. No one believed me so I decided to research ringing equine vets, zoos and rat society. This is what i found out. Rats like the horn in horses hooves frogs and heels. Once they have found the supply they will come back time and time again. The horn actually gives them "the horn" and they go back to the nest full and mate again leading to even more problems. Female rats can pass signals to their unborn young telling them what tto and what not to eat and there fore some will be born knowing to avoid rat bait and know what is good to eat. Iv also camped down in the yard at night and watch them in the horses stables through my infra red video camera. They seem to sit is the banks of the horses bedding and whilst the horse is sleeping standing up and resting a leg they nibble at the frog, heel and hoof. Of course the horse cant feel it as like our nails you cant feel someone cutting the nail unless they go down too deep. Also hard skin on bottoms of our feet is dead skin and again it doesnt hurt cutting this off. Problems arise when the rat gets a bit too close to living skin and may draw blood. the horse then suddenly wakes up and jumps just as we would in our sleep. If blood is drawn at all by a rat anti biotics will need to be given as the huge risk of disease ie viels disease. the only way to get rid of them is to rat bait daily for a month and then weekly then at least every 3-4 weeks as a matter of course. in meantime wrap each hoof in a babies disposable nappy and tape on with duck tape every evening so rats cant get to their feet and remove when turned out this will help to break the cycle in the intrim and give the horses feet a break 

Ania
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 Posted: Mon Nov 7th, 2011 08:49 am
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Wow, I have never heard of rats eating hooves! But they do eat small insects and I know that dogs also like the taste of hooves (my dog would always eat them if she was at the barn when the farrier was working).
I own two pet rats and my vet once told me, that people used to keep rats in cages just to keep the other rats away. If they felt the smell of rats that don't belong to their herd, they would stay away from such territory. But I don't know how effective it is when there is such a large and settled population of wild rats.
You can also ask owners of small terriers to visit your barn and let them hunt. We have a West Highland White Terrier and a Yorkshire Terrier and they would hunt down my rats in seconds if they could ;)
Any other terrier from Section 1 and 2 of FCI Terrier Group would do the job too, probably. Or a dachshund.

Joe
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 Posted: Thu Nov 10th, 2011 01:37 am
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Good heavens.  My horses kill rats.

I wonder if you or the barn management have looked into the various rat baits that are out there that are claimed to lack secondary toxicity?  You normally put the baits into closed and latched containers with small rat and mouse sized passages into the poison chambers.  When we start having our periodic rat problems at our barn, we use those set-ups with good success.

Of course, more rats will move in over time, so you can't expect one treatment to last indefinitely.

We have four barn cats, BTW.  Due to coyotes, they are locked into the feed room every night.  That means the rats do most of their nocturnal work unmolested, but the feed room is rodent free.

oldboy
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 Posted: Sun Nov 29th, 2015 03:35 am
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I've had some luck repelling the rats from my horse by applying Alu-Shield (aerosol bandage) on his coronet bands.

I'm still working on safely expelling the rats!


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