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#78417 - 07/31/06 06:41 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Rhova Offline
Chicken

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 124
Loc: Canada
Get her some kitten food, handle her every day, pick her up and tell her you love her, and play with her! Teaching her to chase string, paper etc. will help teach her hunting skills, and if she brings you a dead or dying critter (and she will), praise her! I know its gross, but praise her for it. Rabies shots, vet checkup, occasional worming, and lots o'love with a steady supply of kitten food will make her a good cat smile

Honestly, most animals are pretty similar to keep - if they look unwell, they probably are. If they look unhappy, they probably are. If you supply shelter, food, water and TLC, they will thrive, esp with lots of TLC! The first 3 keep them alive, love and caring keeps them whole and wanting to be with you.
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Elaine

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#78418 - 07/31/06 09:02 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Jeep Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 477
Loc: California
Cats are wonderful, but when you live on a ranch, you also risk the chance of some other wild animal getting them, and if they are also a pet, it's pretty tough losing them. I've lost two really good hunters, one I had for about 13 years. I have two left and the other 4 have become indoor kitties, because I'm afraid to lose them. There are traps, and I mentioned the brand name a long time ago here on another post. They are the best when you have other animals to be concerned about. It's kind of like the "Roach Motel" idea. The mice go in, and they can't get out. I put one in a tack/feed room, and managed to get every mouse that came in. Try to find the name out if you can. They really do work well. I think I saw them at Miner's (ACE) Hardware.
If you are have squirrels, there is poison you can put down the holes.
Now...I do have a cat that is the best hunter!! Boy, if I could rent out Okie, I could make a bundle. I have accidently left her in the day yard of the coop, where there have been little teeny, tiny baby quail, and in the morning found her at the gate, with a look like , "Mom, you know I wouldn't even go there"! I have also inadvertently left her locked up with the pigeons, and she has never touched one...not even a baby.

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#78419 - 07/31/06 10:33 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Well, luckily we don't live on a ranch. Just a 2.5 acre area just past the turnpike. It's just outside of city limits, so we are allowed to keep any sort of farm animal. We are trying to keep it that way! We haven't really lost very many birds to predators other than snakes. It's the snakes that drive me insane! We have dogs surrounding our house on all sides thanks to the neighbors! And we believe that is the reason we don't really have to deal with raccoons and opossums. There are plenty of places for the kitten to hide if need be, but I doubt anything will try to get her other than a snake. I also think it's been too hot for the black rat snakes to move, so I think the danger is clear for that one this year. They should have already been out by now.

My worst fear is my neighbor's not so friendly cat. If I find that thing chasing my birds one more time...the cat is dead. I told me neighbor about it, and she said if I catch it doing it again, shoot it. She has a great tolerance for my birds, and enjoys the eggs I give her! Anyway, Susie, her name is Tinkerbell. Her nickname..which we'll most likely call her by is Tink Tink.

I put her out in the pen, she was scared, but not as scared as the chicks were of her. The geese don't like her much, but tolerate her, and she was keeping them from their coop, so I put her inside of the rabbit hutch under lock and key for the night. I don't want to chance it.

I'll try and find the mice version of that motel. It would definately work in the house! Too many for the trap in the shed though. You can hear them breathing in there! I swear! Thanks for all of your help guys!

I'm gonna take her to the vet tomorrow and get shots and worming done. Probably gonna start her on heartworm too, but cats are less prone to getting them. She's on Purina Kitten formula and hopefully will grow into a nice large cat...that won't have kittens!
Thank you all! I will keep you posted on how the mousing is going. If you have any more ideas for inside the house mouse-killing, please, let me know!

Mikaela

p.s. We finally caught a mouse in a glue trap, and we went to go kill it, and within the five minutes it took us in getting a drowning bucket ready, the mouse escaped. At least the glue trap works for spiders!

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#78420 - 07/31/06 10:52 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Karen Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: California
You can teach your kitten to hunt. Bring it moth's to start with. If the moth fly's away before the kitten can get it pull off one wing (sorry if I'm offending anyone), this will build interest & confidence. Grasshoppers are good "prey" too.

We also put dry cat food out in the daytime and take it back in at night. If you leave cat or dog food out all night you will attract raccoons & skunks.

Karen
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Karen

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#78421 - 07/31/06 11:12 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Jeep Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/09/03
Posts: 477
Loc: California
I'll tell you, that cat (most cats) will end up being afraid of the birds. Just sit out there and watch awhile. Course if there are babies around, you may have to intervene, but most hens can scare a cat real easy, especially if they have babies! The neighbors' cat needs one peck and I'll bet it will give a wide berth to the chickens after that. Once Okie knew about the chicks, I never had to teach her about any babies, even the baby quail. She has instinctively known what is Mom's and what isn't. Great Cat!! I think most of the major hardware stores would have that trap. I will be going by my local hardware store soon, so I will try and remember to check on the traps.
Be sure your cat is checked for feline leukemia.

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#78422 - 08/01/06 09:54 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Just got her vaccinated for the feline leukemia, distemper, and wormed. I just have to wait a month to get her booster shot. Since there are other cats around, I thought it would be for the best. I have noticed that the kitten is VERY afraid of the younger birds, yet not even scared by the older birds. The older birds just look at her, and my little pullet, Fancy, was the most curious. She went and looked at her, then walked away. The kitten won't be left alone with the birds full-time until I'm sure she can fend for herself if she gets into the shed without supervision.

Do the cats generally stay within the barn area? Or should you keep them enclosed in one area until they become adjusted? I found something out. Tinkerbell likes beef and gravy soft food. I don't dare give her chicken or any of my other animals chicken flavored food. Anyway, she started making these "Yum-yum-yum-yummy" sounds every time I fed her some of the gravy. It was too cute! I'll have to tape it some time to prove it!

Since I just vaccinated her, should I leave her cooped up for a few days to let her readjust and keep her away from the birds? She is in close proximity to the birds, but not in the pen with them. She is in a rabbit hutch outside of the pen. The separate compartment hutches are approx. 4'X 4'X 3'. It's rather large and I usually keep my birds in there, but is it alright to keep her in there? Will she still become accustomed to the birds without being in direct contact with them?

Thanks!
Mikaela

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#78423 - 08/01/06 10:50 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Uno Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 1280
Loc: Canada
jrsygntbrdr1:

Let me understand this. You have snakes large enough to eat an adult chicken? Or even a small chicken? I know snakes exist, but around here they don't get that big. They'd have a hard time taking on a fat mouse, let alone a chicken. Gross!!

We have a live mouse trap that is used in food production facilities. Like a metal shoebox with a hole in the side. Since mice like to move along the outside edge of a room, you place the trap against a wall. When the mouse hits the trap, he feels his way for the first opening, which is the hole in the side of the trap that is triggered. When he steps on the wheel thingy, it sweeps him inside the trap.

Unlike the snap traps, this one can work over and over again, all night long. We've left ours out for two days and found as many as 9 mice in it. Oddly, they are all dead. We think that many mice in a small area fight and kill each other. No other idea why they would die in so short a time. You open the lid, dump the mice out, rewind and set it out again and it sweeps them up. Works great. Of course, you only need to know this if your cat turns out to be a vegetarian laugh

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#78424 - 08/02/06 01:10 AM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Pekin Nut Offline
Chicken

Registered: 12/04/03
Posts: 142
Loc: South Africa
The other option is to get a Fox Terrier or a Schiperke these dogs make good rat and mice controllers.A friend who breeds parrots has also had good results from cats.

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#78425 - 08/02/06 04:31 AM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Mikaela,

Keep your kitten safe for the time being. She's too young, and has no mom to teach her what to avoid and where to stay. My cats wander off my property but never to the side of the house where the road is. They head out into the neighbor's pasture to hunt in his abandoned barns. You are teaching Tink that the barn area is home base for her. Feed and water her there and let her get acquainted with the area and she will return there after she journies out a bit later on. She will wander some. Please make plans for spaying before she could get pregnant. A female cat will seek out a male so even if you don't think there are any around, your cat will disappear and come home in a couple of weeks, fat.

I think everything will work out fine. She won't stay in the barn 24/7 if there's a way out for her, and you want that anyway since you probably don't want her pooping in there. But if you continue to feed her in there, she will call it home and she'll be around enough to bring the rodent population way down in a hurry.

Don't worry about chicken flavored foods.

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#78426 - 08/02/06 09:11 AM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Oakie Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 415
Loc: Oklahoma
You all have had very different outcomes than I did. Lacey is our barn cat and occasionally will bring in baby rabbits that she has killed. She has had four litters of kittens and we recently had her spayed. We feed her dry cat food and she loves it. I know she can hunt, it is the fact that most predatory animals don't kill for the fun of it. They hunt when they are hungry or if they need to feed babies. Lacey doesn't hunt if she isn't hungry. We feed her everyday and I can catch a mouse and let it go right in front of her and she will play with it for a while and either drops it in her waterer or lets it go. I would never do this, but I guarantee that if I stopped feeding her she would be hunting and killing every mouse on our place. She is my pet so I feed her and I would be sick if I lost her. She also has never even looked at my chickens or chicks. I only live about 35 minutes from Mikaela so I know about the snakes she is talking about. They will rarely eat a whole chicken. Mostly eggs and maybe small chicks if it can. I lifted up an old board we had in the back of the barn and I will bet 35 mice were underneath it with babies and all. I knew Lacey wouldn't mess with them so I brought in my rat terrier and she caught up three or four of them and swallowed them down. If you have mice like we did then it will take more than one cat to clean them out. My dad is sick so I have had to get rid of his chikens on the farm. I went down and placed mouse poison all over the ground of the pens and I mean four or five boxes full. I went down the next morning and it was all gone. I have found several dead mice now and am hoping for many more. Lacey now lives up at the house and is retired from being a mouser. She makes a much better house cat anyway.

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