Hordes of rats the size of cats infest Auckland suburb of Titirangi

Hordes of huge rats have been causing trouble in the Auckland suburb of Titirangi, attracted to food left for stray chickens.

The chickens are a Titirangi icon, but recently a member of the community has been leaving food out for them, allowing the birds to multiply - and attracting rodents.

Local resident Victoria Jack told The AM Show attempts to fix the root cause of the problem have been unsuccessful.

"The council have tried to round up the chickens at some point, it's very hard actually - I'm not sure who [residents are] supposed to talk to because they're just running around the bush."

She confirmed the rats move in groups of up to 10 and aren't scared of humans.

Developments in Titirangi mean the gangs of rodents have moved into the village, which is a problem because they aren't small.

"I have a small cat, and I would say the ones I have seen have been at least that size," Jack said.

But some resident-initiated attempts to fix it have caused more problems, with one endeavour to remove the chickens ending in disaster.

"Someone had gone and put some poison down, where this person puts the feed, and that was like a kind of chicken apocalypse - it was awful.

"Literally all these chickens fell out of the trees, fell out of the bush having seizures and foaming at the mouth.

"So you can't really do that - that's not a humane way of dealing with the problem."

Jack hopes the chickens can be rounded up and removed humanely without the use of poisons that could damage other wildlife.

She's also hopeful the person feeding the birds stops leaving food around for the rats to find.