Mice issues

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by mkearsley, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know I have mice. They live quite comfortably under the concrete in my dog's run & come up regularly for a free meal of dog chow. Last summer, my husband had a grand time flooding them out & shooting anything that came out with an air-soft gun. Well, three days ago, I noticed a hole heading under my chicken coop. I kicked dirt back in it, & reminded myself to refill the bait stations. The next day, I was watching my birds, and noticed that my polish hen had blood on her leg, like the scales have been ripped off. I thought maybe the other girls had been attacking her, but, as I watched them interact, they all ignored her. Yesterday, the blood was all dried & starting to scab over. Do you guys think this damage may have been mice? I really don't mind them as long as they stay out of my house (the bait traps are along the house & in the crawlspace in the house), but if they are trying to eat my birds, I'm ready to wage war on the little vermin. I've had the birds since June (outside) and have never had problems with their legs. Could it be something else? Like I said, it was just little spots of blood up & down one leg, and on her toes on that leg. The other leg had a little bit on the toes. It looked like the other birds had pecked her, or something had just ripped off the little scales that cover their legs. Unfortunately, the hen doesn't cooperate with photos [​IMG]
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    I've not heard of mice taking a bite or two of chickens, but I have heard of rats doing so. Either way, rodents are a pox on poultry and their keepers. They spread diseases, open tunnels for more nefarious predators, eat a sizable amount of feed in large numbers, and can injure and kill young birds. They should be given no quarter. Set traps and keep them baited at all times.

    I have rodent problems that I had a laissez faire attitude about until I became so overrun with them that I had to take serious measures to deal with them. I have the population weeded down to a portion of what I had, but I still need to be trapping constantly to keep the numbers in check. I was losing eggs, an astronomical amount of feed, expensive bulbs from my gardens and the chickens were very nervous and ill-at-ease. Things have settled down a bit since I went on a rodent killing frenzy. I am now going through about a third less feed, the birds are comfortable and I am getting a lot more eggs. My garden is going to be a bit thinner this coming year, though, because I didn't replace the $200 in bulbs that were taken out.

    Good luck.
     
  3. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like it could have been a rat. But hard to say. If you use poison, but very careful. Could end up being deadly for one of your birds. Once winter hit, so did the mice. I bought a ketch all trap and so far doing a great job. Can catch up to 10 mice at once. Good luck.
     
  4. MyKidLuvsGreenEgz

    MyKidLuvsGreenEgz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    CMV: You're serious ... that mice took or ate the eggs? We're so overrun with mice here, and are only getting about 3 eggs out of our 11 hens per day ... is it possible? Could the 2-4 inch long mice be taking care of our eggs, and not leaving a trace? And leaving the plastic eggs?

    Never crossed my mind. Jeez Louise!

    We have lots of traps out but the mice just laugh at them. So far, the only thing that works is poison, which I hate to do, but I can't have the mice running willy nilly (especially in the house .. ugh.)
     
  5. GSCforester

    GSCforester Out Of The Brooder

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    Have any of you tried the bucket repeating mouse trap? You take a bucket with a few inches of water in the bottom. Place a wire across the middle of the opening, which has a pop can threaded on to it. Smear some peanut butter on the can. Then place a board from the ground to the rim of the bucket. The mice run up the board, jump onto the can (which rolls), then fall into the water and drown. Pet safe antifreeze can be used in cold weather.

     
  6. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2010
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    I've been using poison all summer, for whatever reason, my birds could care less about the dead mice in the back yard - the dogs were considerably more interested. However, I've tried to be very diligent about properly disposing of any bodies I happen to find. Before I even started using these bait boxes, I talked to the salesman about their safety around my birds & dogs. He said that if there were any signs of poisoning - i.e. continuous bleeding, or weakness, to take the critter to the vet & get vitamin K shots. So, when I was worried about my dogs (they'd found the boxes & had chewed on them) I just gave them some milk & watched them - no problems. Even with the chihuahua puppy probably eating a few dead mice.

    The tunnels we have are much too small for a rat - maybe 1" diameter. Its been raining by the time I get home, so I haven't cleaned out the coop to see what it looks like under the straw. I' waiting for a relatively dry day so the fresh straw doesn't get moldy, which is supposed to happen tomorrow.

    I'm kind of concerned about my birds trying to get that peanut-butter covered pop can. These girls are so curious, I'd be afraid they'd go after the trap & get caught themselves.
     
  7. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    I use the poison under and inside my coops. I've never lost a bird to it but I do take precautions to make certain they are not curious about the green thing they see laying there by putting it in a small cage or under something where they can't see it.

    As mentioned the birds seem to care less about the dead rodents but disposing of them when found is a smart thing to do.

    There has been extensive discussion on another board concerning the types of poison sold in feed stores for use around the farm. The type and amount of poison that the bird might get by ingesting a poisoned rodent is so low that sickness is very, very low.

    Remember the salmonella problem in the commercial egg farm? That ties back to the rodent infestation they had at the facility.
     
  8. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I have and they do work. My problem was my dog was licking the peanut butter off the soda can. So I just got a ketch all trap. Smaller and keep it in the outdoor run.
     
  9. Black Cochin Bantams

    Black Cochin Bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you put food away at night? I have used poison bait bars for years. I make a baits station out of 3-4" diameter pvc pipe 3' long. drill a hole at halfway point of pipe. I then wrap a piece of copper wire around a bait bar. Other end of copper wire out the hole and pull bait bar to center of tube. I then wrap wire around a large nail or bolt that can not be pulled thru the hole. Place the bait along a wall or where you think they are running. I eliminated the problem at my Coop and not keep a bait station outside my coop to get them before they move in. No chicken can get to the bait but the rodents (both rats and mice) can and do. Putting away the food at night and storing all food in metal containers will force them to try the bait.
     
  10. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    I had mice last year. They were actually quite brazen and would come out in daylight, right in front of me to eat from the chicken feeder. Then my Red Star discovered they were fun to catch. She turned into a better mouser than my cat has ever been - and he's a pretty effective predator. She made great inroads into the mouse population. None of the others ever caught on to catching them but once the Red Star had them caught and killed, they'd chase her all over the yard to steal her treat from her. Sadly she was killed by my neighbor's dog in November. I'm thinking about trying to get some Buckeyes this year for when the mouse population returns to its pre-Red Star levels again.
     

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