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I recently asked this question regarding keeping pets out of my chicken pen. I was told that it wasn't acceptable because it's based on rats.

My point is this: it's not based on rats, it's based on modifying a chicken pen to make it vermin proof. As long a vermin questions are about the pets (how can I get rid of fleas?) or about something directly related to pets, it should be allowed.

Thoughts?

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As I started to think about this, I mentally made the comparison to another question about mites on a pet snake or the one about fleas. I think you're suggesting that this is the same basic question because the chickens are pets and the rats are a problem for your pets. In that context, I think it's on topic. The size of the pest shouldn't matter.

  • Exactly. If we accept a question about dogs and fleas why should we not be accepting questions about chickens and rats! – Kezz101 Oct 9 '13 at 17:46
  • @Kezz101 - To a point. Asking how to get rid of silverfish in your house would still be off topic I think, so the relationship of the pest needs to be considered. Beofett covers it good I think. – John Cavan Oct 9 '13 at 17:49
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    Unless said silverfish are directly causing problems for pets that is. – Kezz101 Oct 9 '13 at 17:50
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My opinion: questions about vermin are allowed, so long as one of the following criteria is met:

  • The vermin are parasites most commonly associated with pets, and the infestation involves pet animals
  • The vermin infestation involves pet animals, and any solution will have to involve specific considerations for the pets that wouldn't likely be necessary in other contexts.

So questions regarding fleas, ticks, worms, etc. would all be on topic, unless the question was about a non-pet infestation (e.g. "I have fleas", "My herd of cattle have worms" [presuming we agree that a herd of cattle does not constitute as pets], "when hunting, do I have to worry about getting intestinal parasites from eating the meat", etc.).

To me, that still leaves your question about your chickens borderline. However, your comment about poison not being an option is a good argument for my second bullet point. Given that, and John Cavan's answer on this question, I'll agree that your question should be reopened.

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I would be happier if it wouldn't relate directly to chicken. I initially voted to close the question as off topic as I did not see them being a pet.
However as I don't see any difference from a chicken pen to any other [pet] pen, I agree that the question actually should be considered on topic.

Is there any reason to keep the question specific to chicken or can it be broadened to keeping outdoor pens for any animal/pet rat-free?
I think there is a difference to the "keep any location rat-free" comments, as outdoor pens have to contain food that will attract rats and other vermin, thus making it a special case.

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