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#63391 - 11/20/04 12:32 PM Rodent management
Stick Dog Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 105
Loc: Kansas
Last evening I discovered I had mice running around my chicken coop. This is probably nothing new to some of you but my coop is fairly new, the weather is turning colder and they were very obvious in their shenanigans running in and out of the chicken flap door, in and out of the nesting boxes, etc. I had heard or read that chickens will kill and eat mice. confused Is that so? Also I read in Gail Damerow's Raising Chickens that you should buy poison to kill the mice. But what happens if the chickens kill and eat the poisoned mice?

Anyway, I was wondering if any of you had this problem and had a successful solution. Obviously I can't set traps because the chickens look so funny with mouse traps snapped onto their beaks and toes. wink Has anyone tried those bait traps where the mice go in and don't come out? Any success?

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#63392 - 11/20/04 07:03 PM Re: Rodent management
Sunni Ten Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 341
Loc: Colorado
Over the years, I've sometimes had a mouse problem. You can't ignore it, because that one cute little mouse you see will soon multiply to dozens. And as much as I hate to kill them, you can't have mice around your chicken feed, and mice can carry other things. I'm from Utah, and out here, mice can transmit hantavirus. When a mouse problem hits me, I don't use poison. Like you said, I don't want my chickens eating the poison, and I don't want my chickens eating any dead mice that ate the poison. Plus I have dogs, and I don't want THEM getting to the poison. So, traps are the answer. The key is to set the traps in dark, hidden places that the chickens don't have access to. Do you have a wood pile or anything near your coop? Arrange some logs or things around the trap so mice can get there, but chickens cannot. Also, what I like to do is use a shoebox, tissue box or large mailing tube in which to set the trap. That way, the mouse enters headfirst and has a quick death. I'd HATE for the mouse to just snag his paw or tail and be in pain. A quick death is humane. Oh, also, if the trap is in the box, when it's time to dump the trap, you don't have to touch the trap at all nor see the corpse. (Other than a tail hanging out of the box.) Just take the box and dump the entire thing in the trash, or tilt the box to dump the trap. Good luck!

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#63393 - 11/21/04 06:15 AM Re: Rodent management
Anonymous
Unregistered


Stickdog - I just saw where you are from! I was born in Lawrence, KS! It's a small world.

We just moved out to this farm in July, and when we moved here there was a mouse problem in the house. I haven't seen a single live mouse or dropping in the house since we brought our cat out here, though. He hunts all around the garden and coop, too, and brings us the evidence. I know you can't let a cat in your coop, but a good mouser could take care of a lot of the problem from the outside, probably.

Also, because of where I live and the huge #s of chipmunks, mice, etc. (before we brought the cat out) I keep all bird feed, chicken feed, etc. in big plastic containers with lids so that the animals can't get in. I figure if they don't have anything to eat they won't reproduce as quickly, and the cat can keep up with the rodent population.

Good lucks! Boy, I sure do miss Kansas!

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#63394 - 11/21/04 06:42 AM Re: Rodent management
Nikki Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 181
Loc: Michigan
I had a rat problem until I got my coop kitty. I'v had her 3yrs now and no mice or rat problems anymore. She and the chickens live happily together. But I don't let her in my brooder pen if it has chicks in it.

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#63395 - 11/21/04 08:38 AM Re: Rodent management
Stick Dog Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/26/04
Posts: 105
Loc: Kansas
Thanks everybody. We are lucky to live in a rural neighborhood where neighbors are just far enough away that we don't get in each other's hair but we're close enough to shout at. My neighbors have a great kitty cat named Prowler who does just that. He prowls around at night looking for mr. mouse. I've also discovered another cat in our back yard that is right where the mice probably are multiplying (my garden under the winter mulch). I'm going to try the trap idea. We finished our coop but still have a few things that need tidying up like the little bit of crawl space under it where I saw the mice heading. I'll try putting the traps under there. Thanks for all the great ideas.
Stacey - I recently made a trip to Michigan to Mackinac Island (for the second time). What a beautiful state you live in. I had no idea all that gorgeous scenery was there, the lighthouses, the beaches. It was fabulous. Kansas has it's beauty as do all our 50 states. They all have something different to offer.

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#63396 - 11/21/04 05:08 PM Re: Rodent management
Chook Hilton Offline
Chicken

Registered: 09/19/04
Posts: 109
Loc: Australia
Yes my chickens and ducks eat mice - very funny to watch the comotion when a mouse is being chased. The chooks are very fast & snap the mouse's neck with a quick flick of their heads, then swallow it whole. The ducks rarely catch one successfully but have geat fun trying. I also have a good mouser (a black oriental - gorgeous pussycat) who keeps the mouse numbers at bay outside the coop.
_________________________
Chook Hilton

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#63397 - 11/21/04 05:44 PM Re: Rodent management
Anonymous
Unregistered


Nikki - about that coop kitty! Does she just potty in the coop or do you have a litter box in there for her?

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#63398 - 11/22/04 08:43 AM Re: Rodent management
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8490
Loc: Montana
Of course our coops are all different, but I could not tolerate mice in the coop IN THE FEEDERS. I was not able to keep them out of one house--an old timer that housed chickens for 35 years, patching holes, they just gnawed new ones. Had to collect the feeders every night and still bring in the feeders from outside,at night, in the summer. Well, I sold that house and now have 3 houses--and NO MICE. Someday they may find a way in, but for the past 10-12 years--no mice. Exception was one summer when the trap doors are open during the day. I could smell them immediately and brought in the CAT. They were making nests under the feeders. Now, I have a feral cat--that I feed generously, and there have been no mouse intruders for the year (2 summers) he has been here. And for my concern with rabies and cat diseases, I trapped him, took him to the Vet for castration, so he will stay, and for his immunizations, including rabies. It is time to trap him again for his boosters--no problem, as he comes every night for his catfood. I never see him during the day--no bird feathers or he would not be welcome. Since he hunts at night, he is more effective than chickens would be, as they can only kill those they see during their waking hours--and mice do most of their damage at night! And lucky--our area does not have rats!!!or big snakes!!! Every other predator prowls from time to time--from weasle to bear, but they are, so far, kept out of the poultry houses as well as the stinky mice! Half inch hardware cloth covers open windows and one house has hardware cloth under the plywood floor--too expensive for the later houses, but they have insulation board under the plywood flooring and no mice have chewed through! Keep them OUT, if you can! CJR

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#63399 - 11/22/04 04:20 PM Re: Rodent management
Anonymous
Unregistered


Oh yes, I agree! Mice may look cute, but they are disease carriers, and they will multiply faster than you can add! Cats are great, and so is peanut butter on a cracker to lure them into the trap. I'm such a sucker, we use the humane traps and always catch the mouse, without the death. I also put my feed in those big plastic containers, sealed up tight - (helps freshness too) and I bring their feeder in each night. Also have mesh wire over my house windows so they can't crawl in. I don't want them bothering my ducks at all - and that goes for chipmunks, too!

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#63400 - 11/22/04 05:52 PM Re: Rodent management
Anonymous
Unregistered


Last year (our first year on this farm) we had 3 barn cats by our coop - and NO mice. This year, just a few weeks ago we noticed a mouse in our house - and I have seen them all over in barn. Our cats all disappeared (coyotes, I think) and a imagine that is why we have our mouse problem.

Mare - I put peanut butter on the traps, and they would be licked CLEAN when I looked at them in the morn! I couldn't believe it. My mother-in-law told me that I should put a light layer of flour on the peanut butter - so they'll have to dig a little to get to it - it works every time she said. I'm going to try that tonight.

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#63401 - 11/26/04 05:39 AM Re: Rodent management
Nikki Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 181
Loc: Michigan
Stacy, Kitty is free range all day with her ladies and is locked in with them at night. My coop is an old goat house that I have reworked and is being modified on and on going bases. It has half dirt half cement flooring, I leave Kitty to her business.

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