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Chickens eating/playing with rodents

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Our cats often catch voles and mice on our property.  Today I found one of my hens (they are free range in every sense of the word) pecking at a dead vole.  I immediately tossed it far away, but was wondering if this was cause for concern.

post #2 of 6

Aabsolutely not! Chickens are omnivores and love nothing more than the odd dead rodent. Mine love geckos - thats their most common "find" although they do catch live ones now and again. I just leave them to it.

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 6
If they caught it the chickens may have been the ones to kill it. Mine love to catch and eat mice, frogs, small snakes, basically anything that doesn’t eat them first. I feed them any mice I catch in my traps. I’ve seen them peck a large mouse into pieces so they can eat it, though after they have pecked it so it is all broken up many swallow the smaller ones whole. They really like to play keep-away with these too.

Chickens are omnivores. These things are free protein. With the vigor they go after these things you can tell they really enjoy them. That’s just chickens being chickens.

You probably won’t enjoy reading this, but when I trap critters that will eat chickens, I sometimes open the carcass up and toss it in the run for the day before I dispose of what is left before night (I don’t want to encourage other predators to come around). It’s free protein and they love it.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

 

"If you make every game a life-and-death proposition, you're going to have problems. For one thing, you'll be dead a lot." — former North Carolina coach Dean Smith

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/how-much-room-do-chickens-need

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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

I just now got back to this thread.  Thank you all for the advice!  From now on I will let my girls eat their free protein as they wish.  I was just worried about diseases and such.

post #5 of 6
I rescued a baby bunny that got into their run and was being chased all over. I rescued a big old toad that two hens were fighting over but was still alive and well. But they have eaten lizards (have plenty of anoles here) and while it does gross me out I know it's just protein. The one thing they haven't gone after is the rats, but some Tom rat traps have taken care of that. Which brings me to say never use poison to kill rodents ( unless you can be sure your pets won't get to them) because if they do find a dead one they will most likely eat them poison and all.
Mother of 2, homeschool, have 2 Red Stars, 2 BB, 2 EE, and 2 RR. 1 2 yr old naughty chocolate lab  puppy, 1 14 yr old cockerspaniel. Check out my new blog on keeping chickens, gardening, and growing antique roses in the south at www.hennypennyrosecottage.blogspot.com
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Mother of 2, homeschool, have 2 Red Stars, 2 BB, 2 EE, and 2 RR. 1 2 yr old naughty chocolate lab  puppy, 1 14 yr old cockerspaniel. Check out my new blog on keeping chickens, gardening, and growing antique roses in the south at www.hennypennyrosecottage.blogspot.com
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post #6 of 6

The only problem would be if you or a neighbor had put out poison that could have killed the mouse/vole.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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