We investigated and found that they had a rat run under one of the Cubes, but weren't actually tunnelling into the run itself. We moved the Cube, and DH embedded honeycomb driveway stuff to make it impossible for the rats to tunnel into the run through the Cube. It's been fantastic, and has had the added benefit that the Girls haven't been able to wear the flooring level down.
We also put down baited traps. Horrible, I know.
All was well for some time, and then suddenly there was earth at the edge of the walk in run. We stopped using the euphemism of Big Mouse, and started calling them by their real name. The rats were tunnelling again, and had breached the edge of the walk in run. There's a gap round the edge, and the rats were tunnelling. More bait. More earth. More bait.
It had been quiet for a few days, so we were hopeful that the bait had done its job.
On Saturday I was working in the kitchen. Poppy, as usual, had escaped the confines of the netted area. I could see that she had found something interesting to eat.She was picking it up and dropping it. I looked at it and felt sorry for the poor mouse or frog, or whatever it was.
And then I realised that it was quite large for a mouse. And then I realised.
I rushed out, grabbing hardening gloves from the side as I went out of the door. It was indeed a rat.
I normally try not to get too squeamish about the hens' omnivorous diet, but I couldn't let her eat this. I didn't know how it had died, but I doubted very much that she'd caught it herself. It was possible that Wash had been out hunting, but I couldn't take the risk.
Poor chook. Poor rat.