It occurred to me this morning that some of you may be wondering about our lovely rat situation. I mean, after my grandiose proclamations that, “rats will die” and “all I have to to do is sit and wait for victory,” you were probably on the edges of your seats just waiting for pictures of trapped rats and my glorious claim to victory.
Alas, it was not to be.
My fortress of cinder-block tunnels and peanut-butter-laden death traps lured nary a mouse. After a couple of weeks of regularly shifting cinder-blocks and checking the trap only to find it untouched, I was ready to throw in the towel. Admit defeat. I guess the rats can live with my chickens. Other than the tunnels into the run and the one rat I saw the one time in the coop, nothing seemed worse for the wear. Does that make me a bad chicken mama? I couldn’t figure out what else to do.
And then yesterday I realized that I hadn’t checked the ever-growing tunnel into the run in several days. To be honest, I couldn’t remember when I’d last checked it. I guess I stopped looking at it because all it did was upset me to see how much larger the opening got each day and how the tunnel itself was becoming clearer as the rats removed debris from it. They seemed to be planning a permanent entrance structure to the good life that is the chicken coop. But, just to punish myself, yesterday, I looked again. And I couldn’t see it.
There was no hole and not tunnel at all! It was filled in with rocks, sand, chicken poop, feathers, and other various debris from the run. Totally filled! And then it occurred to me that a few days earlier I had gone around to the other side of the coop and found no entrance hole where it once was. At the time I had assumed that the entrance hole had fallen out of use because the rats no longer had any reason to leave. They just sealed themselves into the lovely world of tunnels under and into my chicken coop. I had provided them with a perfect permanent home.
But it seems my cynicism was unfounded. Dear readers, it seems that they have left! Moved out! Don’t ask me why, because I haven’t a clue. I just know that all signs seem to indicate that they have abandoned the homestead and moved on to greener pastures in this frigid season. Here’s hoping that they’re really gone, despite the temptations of chicken feed, fresh water, and heat lamps.