Mice... Help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by christa7032, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. christa7032

    christa7032 In the Brooder

    Sep 11, 2009
    So, my wonderful husband built me a great coop and apparantly everyone thinks so since it is now overrun with mice! If I go in at night they scatter and there are at least 20 of them! I was thinking of putting out poison (outside the coop or in something the girls can't get into) but won't that just give me a coop filled with dead mice? I think if I set out traps I won't be able to catch them as fast as they reproduce. Any suggestions? Also, the squirrels are going into the run during the day and stealing food so any suggesions about them would be helpful also. Thanks.

  2. dieselgrl48

    dieselgrl48 Songster

    Feb 21, 2010
    If you dont have outside pets such as cats dogs or neighbors pets your best bet is poision.We got rats again when we moved back to farm last fall.I have been putting the poision in the half of corn crib where we keep garbage and have gotten quite a few.It's closed at all times so no pets can get in there.They had gotten into horse stall also where I keep my ducks and dug big holes.I dropped some of the balls down in the holes and covered them and havent seen anymore in there so far.I have squirrels too but they stay pretty much away from house.We have a ton of walnut trees and had one huge one come right over to yard everyday last year but never bothered anything but the nut's.
  3. christa7032

    christa7032 In the Brooder

    Sep 11, 2009
    I have noticed a bunch of holes around my coop lately and I thought it was from the mice but wasn't sure. I will definitely drop some poison in them. That takes care of the issue of keeping it away from my girls. Any more suggestions? They won't go back into the coop to die? I don't want to deal with that kind of cleanup! [​IMG]
  4. briteday

    briteday Songster

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    But what if the poisoned mouse runs into the coop and is eaten by a chicken? I never use poison in or around my coop. I do have some neighborhood cats that patrol the area sometimes. And our local humane society adopts out spayed/neutered barn cats for free. When I have a heavy infestation I revert to feeding the birds twice per day, pellets outside in the run if necessary to keep all food out of the coop. And don't put down more than they can eat in 15-30 minutes, depending on the number of chickens you have. Then I set LOTS of traps every night and every morning. I put the snap traps under little plastic baskets so the chickens cannot get to them, put a heavy rock or something on top of the basket. I also have some of the mouse traps where they can go in but not come out. So I bait those daily when I empty out the mice I have caught. They are generally dead and I just empty it into the trash. But my objective is to catch tons of mice quickly so that the breeding/rearing cycle stops quickly. Lastly, be sure that all of your chicken food is kept in metal containers with tight lids. No food, no mice.
  5. One Sunday morning about two months ago I went out to feed the hens. I tried to catch a small mouse in the hen house with a peanut butter jar to show my children. I kept missing and the mouse raced out the house. The chase was on! Every one of my hens chased the mouse. Finally a Red Sex Link hen grabbed the mouse, then the game of Keep Away began! When the hen got ahead of the other girls, she would pound the mouse on the ground. I figured she was trying to stun the mouse. Finally the other hens tired of the chase and the hen dropped the mouse on the ground and gave it the One Eye examination.

    The hen grabbed the mouse head first and ate it. In one piece. Made me think of a large lizard swallowing its prey.

    I was grossed out. I think shredding the mouse to eat it in smaller pieces would have been less... upsetting. [​IMG]

    Since the hens will eat the mice if given the chance, I won't be using poison anywhere outside my house. I have some snap traps I need to re-bait. I am still torn about feeding the captures to the hens, but I can always dispose of the dead mice someplace else if need be.
  6. christa7032

    christa7032 In the Brooder

    Sep 11, 2009
    I keep wishing my girls would eat them but they couldn't care less! I have seen the mouse sitting right next to the hens like they were all buddies and everyone was waiting for me to feed them together! The girls (and roosters) don't care about the squirrels either. I wish they would help with the hunt though. I am also getting a lot more mice in my house lately and I am assuming it is because of all the mice in the coop since it is right next to my house. I will set traps tonight. I am also very afraid that the girls will be exposed to the poison somehow even if I am vigilant about how I put it out.
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Poison can be indiscriminate in its choice of victims. I will never use it. Even if poison is put in one place it can be moved by certain animals to alternate locations and then some unfortunate creature, some unintended victim, gets nailed. And the death is pretty agonizing.
    The best long term solution is to make the area less attractive to mice. Keep food utterly inaccessible at night. And if you can, feed in the daytime in a way less accessible to mice (e.g. hanging containers that can't be accessed from the ground). Try getting some Bonide mouse repellent (Mouse Magic) - it is just peppermint and spearmint leaves in little packets that can be placed wherever you want and no one gets hurt. Try soaking cotton balls in peppermint oil and putting them wherever you don't want mice. I get the occasional flareup of mice but am never overrun.


  8. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    I agree with trying to avoid poison whenever possible. Our lab got into some poison when he was a pup that a friend thought was safely out of the reach of pets. Scary experience and really ugly vet bill.
    Mice will only come if there is food so I also agree with those suggestions to make sure feed is in metal cans and hang feeders. The only problem is that the birds love to scatter their food.
    I do not envy you...spiders and snakes I am fine with but mice and rats....[​IMG]
    Another option is to get a cat....ours are wonderful little hunters and I love that they hang around the coop watching the chickens. If there are little rodents about I just want them dead before I see them.
    Good luck to you!

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