OK, now I know that intermittent problems with rats is inevitable when you have livestock. But we've got them running all over at the moment, completely out of control. They broke out as a gang and erupted onto our lawn on Saturday. DH has done his best, and the council rat man is coming tomorrow morning, so they should be back under control within a few days. But having such an extreme break out of them has caused some serious relapse in my efforts to overcome the remains of a phobia of them (result of something which happened as a child). I'd really been doing very well, and was able to function outside, even when I know there was evidence of rat activity near the livestock - just so long as I didn't see them. And believe me - that was BIG progress.
I'm determined not to let this overcome me, but to win out over it, and it seems to me that ignorance feeds irrational fears, and that knowledge helps to overcome them. I'm no longer a small child, but an adult, and the likelyhood of being attacked is minimal to say the least. But I need more understanding of them as an animal to help me to get that message into my head/emotions. I've just spent a spine crawling, skin shuddering half hour trying to find information on the behaviour (from a nature perspective, not pest perspective) and the role of rats in the ecosystem. Nada. But surely they must have a role to play? I'm desperately trying to learn more about them as animals rather than vermin, and anything constructive that they do. I'd be really grateful if anyone can help me with constructive knowledge on them, to help me to start to calm down and get to grips on living in a world where they live too - and far too near me for my liking.
Do you keep livestock? Having any problems? Want to talk about it, whether it be sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, bees or llamas, here is your place to discuss.
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