Mice eating my chicken's feathers.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chicken D's mom, May 30, 2011.

  1. Chicken D's mom

    Chicken D's mom In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2009
    I have a mouse problem in my chicken house. I noticed my chickens have broken and missing feathers on their backs, but I thought it was because of an over aggressive roo. He usually ends up with feathers in his beak after doing "his thing".... Could it really be the mice crawling up on my hen's backs and eating their feathers at night? All, except for my roo, my black coachin, and my little bantie are missing feathers. One hen is so bad, her elbows are exposed. [​IMG]

    Time to declare war on the mice!
  2. buckboy101

    buckboy101 Chirping

    May 26, 2011
    i dont think its the mice, try isolating the rooster for a couple of days and see if the problem persists
  3. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    Apr 22, 2008
    I would guess it's the rooster as well.
  4. Hens will do that to each other as well in the process of establishing a pecking order. I suspect you'll find one or two that aren't missing a lot of feathers, if any.

    ETA: I doubt a mouse would survive long enough to eat many feathers off a chicken if there were other chickens around--it would be lunch.
    Last edited: May 30, 2011
  5. Chicken D's mom

    Chicken D's mom In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2009
    Three of my smaller hens have all their feathers and so does the rooster. The rest are pretty plucked. The mice seem to be very afraid of the chickens but they aren't afraid of me. However the chickens are usually "in bed" when the mice come out to play and they don't bother getting up!
  6. TreeHugger

    TreeHugger Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    I have had issues with mice chewing feathers. They never touched my silkies and only bothered the pigeons with regular feathers that sat on the floor at night. The feathers were never pulled out, but the ends of the feathers would be chewed off. Tails and wing feathers were the normal targets & this would happen at night while the birds were sleeping. If you think it's the mice and not feather picking, I suggest you make sure their roosts are up off the ground and set a lot of mouse traps! Also, a light in the coop at night would help since the birds could see & go after the mice. You need to declare war on the mice anyhow, they reproduce fast.
  7. Chicken D's mom

    Chicken D's mom In the Brooder

    Sep 17, 2009
    I wish I knew what is going on with their feathers. My chickens only seem interested in the mice if one happens to cross their path during the day. When they settle in at night, the chickens will watch the mice run around on the floor below, but won't bother to get them. Their roosts are 3 & 4 feet up from the floor.

    The other thing is, the feathers appear to be chewed off half way down, not plucked.

    Either way, I have declared war on the mice. Last night I removed all traces of chicken food and water and I caught 3 mice in bucket traps. I destroyed a nest of tiny baby mice, (I didn't kill the babies, I think the adult mice did trying to move them out of my reach). I have a partial dirt floor in the coop that is full of mouse tunnels . I will be installing a wood floor this morning and sealing up the bottom of the coop.

    Any more suggestions would be appreciated.

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