Mice droppings in feeder

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by idahomama, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. idahomama

    idahomama Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2008
    Now that winter has arrived, the mice have headed our way (we are surrounded mostly by fields) I noticed mice droppings in the feeder this morning! I'm not sure how they are getting in there, the coops is raised off the ground and the pop door is closed most nights. It's not a very large coop, enough room for the 3 girls, so I thought they would not put up with someone eating their food, but I am a newbie so I could be mistaken. The feeder is a gravity feeder my husband built and is attached to the wall, raised to beak level for less spillage.

    How to remedy this? Should I empty out the feeder and start fresh? Is there any way to trap the mice inside the coop? All I have around are the snap-traps for the garage. Can the chickens get sick from ingesting droppings, and can we get sick from the eggs from a hen who has ingested droppings?

    Thanks!
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I don't know the answer to your question about the chicken's or your health.

    The hens can't protect their feed overnight.

    The Victor "snap traps" work great for me. They go in the coop, inside a cage. The cage is made with chicken wire so, of course, the mice can get to the traps and bait.

    Bait - - a raisin dipped in peanut butter is lethal. It may take a day for them to overcome their fear but they'll get to it. In the meantime, covering or removing the feeder at night would be a very good idea. Any spilled feed should also be cleaned up. "Dessert" is waiting . . . . !!!

    Snap! (I mean, Steve)
     
  3. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    A raisin dipped in peanut butter is lethal? Which part of that kills them? Neither is toxic to chickens, right? This time of year I too have a mouse problem (in the coops, in the house, etc!). I am always looking for better ways to dispatch the little boogers that won't harm the other animals. I hate using poison, but a raisin I am good with. [​IMG]
     
  4. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Utah
    Mice can carry all kinds of diseases, I would be worried about more than just the droppings. Our ladies feed is separate from where they sleep, so after they are locked up we set traps and pull them out before they are released in the morning. You could also do what digitS' suggest and put it under a milk crate or in a cage where the chickens can't get access to it.

    As for the droppings in feed, personally I'd chuck the feed. If it's a gravity fed feeder, I'd at least remove any feed that could have been exposed to droppings. The mice will continue to eat food at night when the chickens are sleeping. With easy access to fed they will multiply quickly as well, unless you take care of the problem.
     
  5. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Utah
    Quote:I thought by lethal, digitS' just meant they were irresistible to mice and eventually have to try and eat it and well... the spring trap would take care of the rest. Maybe I was wrong? [​IMG]
     
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I thought by lethal, digitS' just meant they were irresistible to mice and eventually have to try and eat it and well... the spring trap would take care of the rest. Maybe I was wrong? [​IMG]

    No, you are exactly right. My choice of words wasn't good.

    I meant that it was an effective bait for the spring traps.

    Steve's digits . . . snap!
     
  7. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

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    Darn it. I had visions of sprinkling peanut butter laced raisins everywhere...
     
  8. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Utah
    [​IMG] [​IMG] If only life were that simple. [​IMG]
     
  9. idahomama

    idahomama Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 13, 2008
    Thanks all! I am choosing to err on the safe side so I spent the afternoon vacuuming out the feeder and changing all the shavings out in the coop. I placed a snap-trap in a small shoebox that I cut a small mouse door in and placed it under the feeder. Didn't have any raisins so I put peanut butter and a piece of dog food on it as bait (I catch them in our garage with dog food). Hopefully I'll have a culprit with a broken neck tomorrow morning!

    I HATE these mice. Our house is pretty new but since we live in a very rural area with no discernible neighbors, we are infested! They are in the garage, behind our medicine cabinets, I can hear them running around in the attic and last night I was laying on the floor of my daughters room and could hear them scratching around under the house! We tried trapping all last winter but it was exhausting for us to change them all the time so we're learning to live with them - EXCEPT in my chikkies food and in the garage eating my wild bird food [​IMG]
     
  10. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Idaho . . . Idaho . . . . let me see now - isn't there something about mice and the Hanta virus?

    Deer mice are carriers. Hmmmmm . . .

    Idaho . . . seems like I've visited there before.

    Steve
     

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