Mice Control in Duck Pen?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by HollyDuckFarmer, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. HollyDuckFarmer

    HollyDuckFarmer Songster

    Jun 30, 2012
    LP Michigan
    What method works best and what do you use: cats, chickens, poison, traps? If you have cats, how do they do around ducklings? Thank you all for responses.

  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Hi Holly, I haven't seen any evidence of mice in my coops or duck house but I did put out poison up in the attic of both places far away from where anyone can get to it other than mice. Our coops and duck house have floored attics for storage so they cannot get to the poison This is the first time i have used poison but I know there are mice around i have seen them on the game camera at night running around picking up the stuff that gets dropped by the flock.
  3. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    I use a combination of cats, traps, physical barriers and cleaning up.

    There is no way to pick up all poop and spilled feed, but I don't let it pile up, either. Half inch hardware cloth keeps critters out. It is expensive to try to cover a large area with it, so places where food is kept, or where ducks may sleep are covered.

    I have a couple of high frequency noise makers - battery operated - and those work most of the time. I think the critters get used to them, so I move them and do not use them every night.
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Hi Amiga, well tonight everything is frozen, had to hand carry buckets of water outside just to halfway clean up, Not much is spilled in the way of feed around here with 32 in my flock but even with all the cleaning I do every evening there is some that gets left. So tonight most poop still there and some feed still left on the ground tomorrow is suppose to warm into upper 40's I hate it when I can't do my good cleaning of a night. I also read that moth balls placed out of reach of birds is a deterrent don't know if it's true though.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012

  5. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners

    Jan 3, 2010
    Southern New England
    Seems like there will always be times when conditions are less than ideal. I am still getting used to needing to drain the hoses at night. Oh. Right. Forgot to do that in the back yard tonight. sigh. Maybe I can steel myself to go out and handle it. I will thank myself in the morning.
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Yes you will, I had been using the hose an hour before I found them frozen so it happened pretty quick. Stay warm.
  7. Tivona

    Tivona Songster

    Jun 2, 2011
    We have cats here and I had to fence the ducklings off till they got large enough to be able to follow their mom around really well. Took several weeks as I recall before I trusted them being anywhere near my cats who are all mousers and one that catches rats. Depending on the cat it may be able to be trained to avoid the ducklings. I managed to train one out of the three we have. I trained it with a batch of brooder ducklings I had at the time. The cat was not allowed to even look at the place the ducklings were being kept. Treats, food, love and a lot of firm No's! all near the ducklings. Took about two days and he understood clearly and hasn't been a problem since.

    I have used traps with limited success. Tried a few different types. Be sure the birds can't get to them otherwise they might get a foot or bill snapped that might need some help. I haven't had any birds get got by a trap yet but they have rooted all around the spots I was hiding the trap from them. Anything new may be scary but once they understand its not out to get them then its all "oohh look at that! I wonder if there is food there. Hmm how to get under it?" So with traps be sure the trap is truly not get-able to by the birds.

    I have resorted to poison in the past for a trap shy rodent that was a problem. But one thing to keep in mind with poison is that the birds might eat it too, either in the form you buy and use it in or as in the poisoned mice. Just this last week I found duck vomit (never saw it before this) that contained internal organs and a rat tail. [​IMG] Yes I said rat tail...anyway I doubt my ducks could have killed it but perhaps one of my cats brought it to the garden and left it where the ducks could eat it. Keep in mind that ducks are omnivores eating both plant materials and meat. Usually the meat is in the form of bugs, slugs, and worms but they will eat what looks edible to them. I know that I haven't used any poison for ages but it could be from a neighbor who uses poison. Or perhaps its just from my extra good hunting cat that catches rats. I will probably never know but the fact that one of my ducks thought to try eating it does show the potential danger of poisoning rodents anywhere near a flock of hens or ducks.

    Keeping the food cleaned up, not feeding at night and even feeding out of the duck pen during the day can all make a big difference.

  8. i use exclusion and a pellet gun. Most of my pens have 1/4 - 1/2" hardware cloth around the perimeter, buried into the ground. There are still some i need to work on. Right now we have one big rat and two younger rats i've been trying to kill. They do come out during the day, so it just takes patience (and better aim than i apparently have). i have a rat zapper that is good for mice, but rats are too smart. We also have neighbor cats that come over and stake out the place. They seem to leave the ducks and larger chicken alone. i have all my bantam chickens safely enclosed in pens. i think they probably do keep the rodent population down.

    i would not trust using poison. i've tried snap and live traps inside pens after putting birds into sleeping coops, but those have never worked for me.
  9. HauiBali

    HauiBali In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2012
    Kecskemét, Hungary
    Ducks eat mice happily, so if the pen is designed in a way that Jerryes can enter but can't leave it is bonus protein (and calcium) for the birds, and hunting is a good activity for these long winter nights. Also, if a feeder tray is hanged from the ceiling mice can't contaminate/steal the food.

  10. pawprint2104

    pawprint2104 Chirping

    Oct 21, 2010
    SF Bay Area
    I have a similar rodent problem. They are thriving on the spilled food. I have a hanging feeder in the pen. How high off the ground does it need to be to allow the girls to feed while reducing the access to the rats? I am still trying to resolve the spilled food issue. Help! I trap all that make it into the house, but what do I do about them in the chicken pen at night? Poison is not an option.

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