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#78427 - 08/02/06 09:35 AM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Rhova Offline
Chicken

Registered: 03/01/06
Posts: 124
Loc: Canada
I agree that if a cat isn't hungry, it won't hunt, but they still need to be fed. Cat food gives them other dietary nutrition, and keeps them in good hunting form. A kitten needs food to grow and be strong enough to mouse. As I said before, I made sure the kittens had enough for the day, and the bowl was licked clean by morning or I cut food a little bit, and an adult cat only had dry food down during the day, not at night. My cats kept my barns mouse and rat free.

And you don't need to worry about chicken flavoured food, they won't make that association. Hope all goes well, sounds like you're doing just fine smile
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Elaine

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#78428 - 08/02/06 10:07 AM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Seedy Seeds Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 08/29/05
Posts: 240
Loc: Massachusetts
Place traps against & along the wall .Mice run along walls.
Tie kite well string through the bait hook ,fuzz the ends and work in hamburg ,let it dry . This will stop bait stealers. Plug holes with stealwool and plaster when they make them . wink good luck . :p .

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#78429 - 08/02/06 10:19 AM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Anonymous
Unregistered


The first step I would suggst is to make the place as non-rodent 'friendly' as possible. Unless you eliminate what's drawing the rodents in (food, water & shelter) you'll always have a rodent problem...

Make sure all your feed is safely stored in rodent-proof (gnaw-proof metal trashcans are great!) containers, and try to eliminate all hiding spots. Clean up any spilled feed right away-- don't leave any on the ground (especially at night) as this is what draws rodents in. Don't leave eggs or broken eggshells laying around, either (rodents and other varmints LOVE eggs).

Snakes are drawn to the smell of rodents, and are excellent rodent-killers. I never kill snakes, as they do a fantastic job eating mice (plus I like snakes and know most of them are completely harmless species).

As far as poisons go, there are some on the market that have little chance of secondary poisoning (unintentional poisoning of other species that might eat the dead rat/mouse).

Traps like a TinCat work very well, and will not harm your birds. Livetraps baited with bacon and peanut butter also work for rats (they make all kinds of sizes).

The biggest problem with cats is keeping them around. I know most of the farmers around here can't keep enough barn cats to control the rodents, because coyotes LOVE eating cats. They'll catch, kill and eat *every* cat they find...and they're bold enough to come right into town, grab a quick kitty-snack and bolt for the hills.

Here's a couple of links that might be useful:

http://www.pctonline.com/articles/article.asp?Id=111&SubCatID=12&CatID=3
http://www.fao.org/docrep/T1838E/T1838E1l.htm
http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/index.jsp?cfile=htm/bc/213000.htm

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#78430 - 08/02/06 02:51 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
uno, yes. I had recently received 2 standard Minorca pullets a few years back, and was counting on them for breeders. They were about 5 months old. I went into the pen a few weeks later, and found the pullets strangled on the ground. The larger one was killed, had saliva halfway down her body, then had been spit out because her shoulders and frame were too large to swallow. The other pullet was being eaten as I walked up there. It was too late for her, and I killed the snake when I saw it. The main eaters of my chickens are black rat snakes. For some reason, we grow them big. Where one snake is, there are others. Sure enough, we went and moved stuff around in the barn and we found 2 six-footers, 1 seven-footer and 2 eight-footers. They not only eat my eggs, they kill my birds. Anything that kills my birds is a goner, so we constantly try to keep them away.

We have found one very useful way to keep snakes out. Strawberry netting fixed loosely around the coops helps to catch these would be killers and egg-eaters before they get a chance to get inside. It's just that now the rodents are my main concern. They can spread disease rapidly...especially distemper and/or rabies. If they bite or scratch my birds legs, combs, or any exposed area, I could have a rabies at large. The birds could also eat a disease infested rodent and get sick and die. I just can't afford that loss right now.

Molly, we have a huge old chest freezer that we keep out feed in. We use a screen to cover the opening for defrosting to keep mice out. We rarely find mice in there. That's why we believe we're seeing them more and more often in the coops and on the grounds. The feeders we use are hovering 4 inches above the ground and allow all the birds proper feeding. Apparently the mice are able to jump in though and eat as much as their heart desires! We use constant waterers raised above the ground again, and hopefully the cat will help!

Mikaela

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#78431 - 08/02/06 09:41 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Oh no! I just thought of something! Will she be alright out in storms? She is sheltered, but since she had never been outside of a house until I got her, will the storm be a little "too" new to her? Should I put her someplace...like the garage or something for the storms? I don't want her being frightened of every storm that comes through. Will she be alright in a covered rabbit hutch? Or should I put a pet-carrier in there for her to hide in, or should I just take her into another area for her first outside storm?

Mikaela

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#78432 - 08/03/06 06:13 AM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Twin Oaks Farm Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 229
Loc: Louisiana
I'd put a carrier or some sort of container out there for her, and I'd depend on her instincts to enable her to cope with her environment. She'll be a lot tougher than you imagine. Otherwise, keep her inside and forget your work-cat idea. It'll be too hard on you.

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#78433 - 08/03/06 06:44 AM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
I agree, give her a crate and shove an old towel in it or something. She'll be just fine. One of my cats begs to come inside during storms. The other three end up taking shelter under our storage building (even though they have other, better, shelter options. They figure it all out.

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#78434 - 08/03/06 11:29 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Karen Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 07/20/02
Posts: 308
Loc: California
Good idea about getting a rat terrier.

My mother used to have a fox terrier. He was the most annoying dog I ever saw, lol. He barked at everything, a lot! Rain, birds, clouds but he was expert at catching & killing lizards & mice. He was very bold & fearless for a small dog.

Terriers were originally bred to get rid of vermin like mice & rat that were around stables. I wonder if they would kill snakes too? I've had cats catch and kill snakes but your snakes sound too big for a cat.

What ever you do it will take a while to see results because you have so many. Good luck.

Karen
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Karen

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#78435 - 08/04/06 01:16 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Actually, since we have allowed the kitten out while we're outside. She's been scent marking and pooing at places. I've seen quite a change in the mice. They're not nearly as outrageous as they were. They hide alot more, and I've seen noticeably less. It's really odd. I thought it would take quite awhile before I even saw a rodent run from her, but she is already stalking her fake mouse toys.

We already have too many dogs at our house. We have 2 labradors and 1 poodle. Definately no more dogs are allowed here! Pogo, the poodle, barks at absolutely everything and is very fond of mice toys. I picked up a fake one at the store, and he attacked it with a vengeance!

We put some of the traps along the walls and under hay and places like that...still haven't caught anything. The traps aren't even touched by the mice. Too much food elsewhere I suspect.

Mikaela

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#78436 - 08/04/06 02:11 PM Re: Need help with mice and rats!
Twin Oaks Farm Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 03/11/06
Posts: 229
Loc: Louisiana
What are you using to bait the traps? It may sound odd, but we've had success in the past with a small (marble-sized) piece of caramel with some peanut butter smeared on it. They can't dislodge it very easily (but some have done it!) without springing the trap. This works for mouse and rat traps. Always make sure your animals can't get hurt by the traps. You know what they say about cats and curiosity . . .

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