Downtime baiting strategies for rodent control.

The downtime between flocks or groups is an ideal time to target rodent populations.

After the animals leave the farm, close the building up tight and simulate the same environment as when the birds or pigs were present. This practice keeps the rodents in the barn looking for food instead of migrating to another building. Remove all remaining feed, leaving the rodenticide as the only food source. Let the houses set undisturbed for two or three days, if possible, with seven days being ideal.

Place feed trays along the walls 8-12 feet apart for mice and 15-30 feet apart for rats. Paper trays are the ideal holder for this application when domestic animals are not present in the buildings. They are inexpensive and easy to dispose of after finishing the baiting period.

Cannon soft baits are the product of choice for downtimes of less than 14 days. If the downtime is longer than 14 days, start with FastDraw soft baits for seven to 10 days, then rotate to Cannon for the remainder of the cleanout. Monitor the consumption of the baits, replacing them with fresh ones as necessary, ensuring they are not contaminated or wet. Remove all baits and floor trays before restocking the buildings.

(Soft baits can be zip-tied overhead or fixed on wire to bait under slats)

Remember to concentrate on other areas of the houses, including attics, manure pits, office areas, and other structures close to the production buildings, such as well houses or generator sheds. Soft baits impaled on a wire or nail can be attached to rafters overhead and fastened to supports below concrete or plastic slats. Also, make sure the bait stations around the houses have fresh bait and are clear of grass and debris where rodents can hide.

(Rodent damage to cool cell pads.)

One final note in regard to buildings equipped with cool cell systems. When cool cells are not operating in winter, rodents will use the troughs to nest in, creating problems during spring startup. Rodents also like to burrow into the cool cell pads; mice and rats alike will use this material and area to build nests since the water is not running. Renegade Mini Blocks are ideal for these high moisture environments.