Originally Posted by potato chip
About the mouse/s, it's just a dilemma because I don't know how to deal with it with chickens there. I can't use poison, the chickies might eat it. I could put poison in a bait container, but what if the chickens pecked at a dead one? I can't set traps, the chookies might walk on them.... sigh. and I'm too sooky to murder any that I trapped alive.
potato chip ...
You have raised the question I want to try to answer.
To all who have made comment about preferring to find a dead rat / mouse than a live one :
If you find a dead mouse or rat, it is most likely because it has eaten rat / mouse bait somewhere and is therefore poisonous to anything that wants to have a go at it.
e.g. chooks, dogs, cats - other birds.
Years back I had to make my golden retriever Murphy, vomit to bring up a dead rat she had munched on. I believe I saved her life. ( used Lectric Soda - a teaspoonful or a little more depending on size of dog ) ... froths up in the stomach and brings everything up - veterinarian approved.
We had a massive hole gouged out under the big girls coop by a multitude of rats. They are feisty and very strong little beggars, and could push out of the way, any impediment to them gaining access to the chook layer pellets which they seem to love.
A lot of hair tearing out went on for me ... while I figured out how to stop this nonsense. They'd come out of their massive holes during the day, run around into the coop and have a little feast, and then run back again before the girls saw them - ' cunning as rats ' is not just an old saying . ......
The chooks could have cared less. !!
I tried rolls of steel wool jammed into holes ( for night time rat feeding ) .... and paved everything I could, in the coops. They shoved the steel wool out into the run, with much delight I would imagine !!! So I was left picking up steel wool bits, before the hens could investigate them.
Mother Nature fixed the lot. A massive downpour of continual rain filled the huge warren under the coop ( it was massive ) - along with next doors getting rid of their chickens ( ? interesting !! ) .... and the problem was gone.
However, it is not as simple as that. While it was full on, we had to set kill traps for the poor little ( and big ) blighters. And retrieve the traps before letting the girls out. I tried peppermint tea bags to ward them off, and jammed up every hole they had chewed their way through ( wood - they chew on doors etc. ) .... Today - we have no rats - but that's not to say they will not return someday. Whatever I put down there, I made sure the girls could not access it. ( e.g. peppermint tea bags, lavender or eucalyptus soaked cotton wool, sage which I have growing ) .... I approached mental breakdown over all that business. Spent a fortune on remedies.
As for mice - the chickens love mice to catch ( turn away when they do it ) .... and if they are field mice, would probably do no harm. At least they haven't to my chickens.
Haven't seen any of them either since I blocked up all the holes to their warrens that I could find in and around the garden. Their tunnels stretch far and wide. Remarkable little creatures, but may carry nasties for any other animal. .... had a field mouse mother give birth to her young, in our previously owned budgie cage. The budgies took no notice, the mother removed them to the tunnels asap, and I cleaned thoroughly the area she'd given birth in.
The only way to stop rodents is to block every entry point they have ( i.e. under fences, through wood, under coops, over doors ( they climb and chew at the wood ) and if you stick to tin and aluminium for your coops, with paved flooring - they have little chance, especially overnight which is when they are most prevalent. Some cheeky rats will seek the food during the day, as mentioned above, so ...... pouring dozens of gallons of water into their nest warrens, will have them move to more appealing apartments ( preferably many blocks away ). But we were lucky that Mother Nature came to the rescue.
Other than that, I can offer no further advice.
Edited by Anniebee - 4/30/16 at 4:31am