Mice and Squirrel Problems

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Contolini6, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. Contolini6

    Contolini6 In the Brooder

    Jun 6, 2017
    Now that the weather is cooling down, we are starting to notice that not only are we feeding chickens and ducks, but we are also feeding the neighborhood mice and squirrels. We have two chickens and three ducks, and we have their food in metal drainpipe pieces attached to the fence, with a curved end at the bottom so the animals can stick their heads in to get at it. We also have covers for nighttime but the squirrels can take those off, no problem. We also have a metal bucket for storing the food that isn't currently being eaten. The ducks are messy and get food all over the ground when they eat, which doesn't help anything, so now all the neighborhood squirrels and mice are responding to the all-you-can-eat buffet. We're not sure what else to do as far as rodent control. We don't want to set out poison in case the birds eat it by accident, and besides then the little buggers will be crawling in their burrows to die and stinking up the whole place. But we can't very practically humanely (or lethally) trap them either-- there's the logistics of releasing untold numbers of rodents, or if we kill them, won't more just come to take their place?

    What suggestions do you have/what have you done that has been effective, easy, and inexpensive as far as rodent control? Part of me is tempted to just ignore it, but I don't want the problem to spread to more pesky and dangerous pests like rats and raccoons. Besides it's a waste of money to be feeding all these extra animals haha. Advice?
  2. Sunshine Flock

    Sunshine Flock Crowing

    Sep 27, 2017
    Northern California
    I don't feed our chickens in their yard, aside from treats like greens which get gobbled up quickly. I keep the feeder inside the coop. The coop is small, and I still need to find a better setup in there, but I find it easier to manage. I'm also thinking about removing it at night and bringing it inside.

    As for squirrels, they're larger animals, so it sounds like you don't have any roof over the run. We don't either, although it was my intention to design the run to accommodate a roof. It didn't come together as planned, so now we're looking into aviary netting so that we at least have something to stop some of the animals from entering the run.

    Baiting and trapping won't help. You need to prevent access, so cover the run, but I would also consider relocating the food. And there are feeders that are supposedly rodent proof, or at least greatly reduce their ability to acquire food. I think one involves something the chickens step on to release food.

    But the most important element would be aerial protection, and then also consider 1/4" hardware cloth around the run.
  3. Molpet

    Molpet Crossing the Road

    most mammals do not like red cayenne pepper.. they sell little packets at a high $ to put in wild bird seed to keep the squirrels away.. the human spice is usually cheaper...
    1/4 teaspoon per chicken is a common dose in chickens to help prevent worms and increase circulation in the winter
    WhatAboutBob? and rjohns39 like this.
  4. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
  5. rjohns39

    rjohns39 Addict

    Aug 20, 2015
    Smith County, TN
    Mice life expectancy in my pasture can be measured in nano seconds. Squirrels are only afraid of the turkeys. I would suggest 1/2" hardware cloth for the squirrels, 1/4" for mice.


    Jun 22, 2016
    My cat hangs around the coop waiting for mice and such (he's always hungry)....no danger to the chickens since they almost walk over him and he doesn't bat an eye lid ... but he gets the job done .

    either that or make up little blue uniforms for the mice and grey ones for the squirrels and charge a re-enactment fee to watch - cover food costs !
    BY Bob, Ursuline Chick and rjohns39 like this.
  7. Hensndoes

    Hensndoes Songster

    Jun 18, 2017
    ^barn cats. Feral and want nothin to do with people. Once they realise this is home... new sheriff in town.
  8. CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Songster

    Apr 25, 2016
    North Ms
    We have cats to tend to mice, but with hundreds of oak trees on 20acres there isn't anyway to eliminate squirrels....tho, a pump BB gun or 22 will thin them out close to the bird house and yard....all the duck and chicken feed is kept in their pens behind 1/2" hardware cloth and regular cleaning of spillage will deter and draw most....but our cats are fat and sassy, even at the goat house....:)


    Jun 22, 2016
    Electric fencing may be the answer then .... just don't forget the little wet sponges!
    haha !.jpg
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2017
    Hensndoes and rjohns39 like this.
  10. Ursuline Chick

    Ursuline Chick Crossing the Road

    Jul 21, 2017
    In case you don't want to waste the squirrel meat, I have a great squirrel sauce piquante recipe. It's pretty good (grew up on the stuff).

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