Vertebrate Pest Conference Proceedings collection


Date of this Version

March 1992


Rodents cause significant economic loss to poultry by feeding on poultry feed, contaminating it, damaging eggs, attacking chicks and transmitting bacterial and protozoan diseases. A year long study was undertaken to generate data on population structure and dynamics of Rattus rattus inhabiting poultry. Peak density was observed during summer (April). Although rats bred throughout the year, maximum breeding occurred in December (Winter). Adults were preponderant and sex ratio tilted slightly towards females. The calculated annual productivity of female R. rattus was 69.59 young/female/year. The continuous availability of food and ample shelter well protected from predators and immigrants indicates behavioral regulation of population. The winter breeding contributed to summer peaks and the female preponderance could be due to dispersal of male