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Mice problem

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by frenchblackcopper, May 13, 2015.

  1. frenchblackcopper

    frenchblackcopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I seem to have a mouse problem here and it's breaking me buying mice bait. These thieves have went thru no less than 4 bags, each containing 16 packets of mouse bait. Believe me I put the bags out religously when I see all the baits gone but it only takes 2 days and that packet is gone.

    It started last fall when I moved all the birds inside for the winter. I started noticed holes in the dirt floor and under the feed and water bowls. So I started putting out bait in places that was peafowl safe. I opted for the larger sized chunks,each one about as big around as a dime. I figured they would eat these where they found them, and I didn't have to worry about any birds getting the chunks themselves,and none did. But I couldn't put out as much bait at once to eradicate all of them.

    Now that the birds are outside in their pens I've noticed dirt piles between the metal sight barrier where the mice has been digging to get from pen to pen and once again are eating the peas feed. I know if there is a steady supply of feed this will harbor mice and rats continually. All my feed is kept inside plastic 55 gallon barrels with lids that has a band around the lids to keep them on and tight. My problem is the mice follow the feed bowls of the peafowl and eat feed that is on the ground from when the peas scratch some out,or tip the feed bowl over.

    I'm wondering if I took a new 5 gallon plastic bucket with a lid ($4.99 ea. at Big R) then cut an opening maybe about 1/3 of the way down from the top and then hung this bucket with feed from a wood post and away from the post about 12", if the peas would eat from it? Most of my breeding pens only consumes about 1 large scoop of feed every 2 days so it's not like the bucket capacity would need to be full all the time. I'm guessing one full scoop of feed would only amount to maybe 4-5" in the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket,since it takes about 6 full scoops to fill one. If I bought buckets with lids even when it rained not much water would get on the feed inside of the opening I cut wasn't too big. If the bucket is about 8" off the ground and not next to anything a mouse could crawl up,to get inside or on top of the bucket I wonder if lack of a food source will drive them away? Or starve them out?

    Last night in my bssp pen I picked up and dumped their water bowl and about 5 adult mice took off scrambling and there was 5 little blind naked mice all curled up in a ball under where the water bowl was.. The bait costs about $19.00 for a bag of 16 individual packets. I'd rather use that money to buy pea feed because either there is hundreds of mice I'm not seeing, or the bait isn't working. Anyone use a hanging feeder? Wonder if the peas watch me put feed into one how long it will take them before they investigate and learn to eat from one?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2015
  2. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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    I recently was having a rat problem. I think all of them are dead now thanks to the help of Dylansmom, Zazouse, and probably some others. I think Dylansmom said she recently had a bad mice or rat problem so she may be able to help with solving a big infestation.

    I was seeing the same thing as you those dirt piles and the hole and little rat tracks. We got a plastic box and put green blocks of poison in there. It is peanut butter flavored I forgot the brand name but it is exactly what Zazouse told me she always uses for rats and mice. After a few days I was finding dead rats and the ones I wasn't able to find I could smell.

    I recall some members saying they have their food off of the ground to prevent rat and mice issues and that it helps. I will probably just put a block of bait out every now and then just incase if more rats come. Their holes are filled with leaves now and I know if they were here it would be nice and cleaned out so I think they are gone.

    Now I have a large skink in my pen that likes to root through the leaves in search of bugs. It is a very fun new resident to my pen. [​IMG]
     
  3. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017 Premium Member

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    I hate to say it but that really sounds more like rats than mice, and you could have both. We have had mice for years, but they never got too out of hand, and they never dug holes in the dirt, they prefer walls. Last fall we started to find holes dug up through the concrete floor of our barn, always inside the Pea pens. And then we found holes and piles of dirt outside along the outside walls of the barn always inside the outdoor Pea runs. Rats are smart, they never had to come out anywhere a cat could get to them. I stressed all winter about using poison but decided I had to. It took about a month of baiting, and I bought bait stations too, but the rats would not enter them to get the bait. I ended up dropping the chunks down the holes themselves and then covering the holes with pavers or cinder blocks so the bait wouldn't get pushed out into the pens. This is what I used , but I wouldn't recommend the stations, if you really want some I'll send you mine.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Protecta-...811?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e70cc72d3


    [​IMG]

    Proof of effectiveness, we found several of these, and the rest are still smelling up my barn from inside the walls. I found several well travelled rat trails during spring clean-up, they pee as they walk to mark their trail, I have been keeping an eye on these trails and they have dried up and remain dry, after about 2/3 of the bucket the baits stopped disappearing. It also put a dent in the mouse population, but I do still see a couple of them, but the barn cats need a hobby so. With the amount of bait you have disappearing, I am thinking you may have these guys, do you have a game camera, that's how we confirmed that we had them. Rats will get very nasty when they are hungry, they quickly resort to cannibalism and if all you do is remove the food supply from an existing colony they will turn to other sources such as eggs, and I don't know if it is true, but I've heard people say they will kill birds/chickens at roost as well. They can also move the whole colony to other buildings if there are food sources there. I talked to an old farmer neighbor of ours and he swears that for every rat or mouse you see there are 50-100 you do not see, I only ever saw 1 live rat, but there were a ton of holes.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  4. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with Dylansmom it sounds like rats, if you had that many mice you would smell them for sure keep baiting and baiting till they stop taking and eating all the bait if you find big chunks missing you know for sure you got rats because they can haul them off into their holes very easily, good luck and keep on baiting because you will have snakes next if you do not get a handle on this BIG SNAKES .
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2015
  5. frenchblackcopper

    frenchblackcopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've lived on a farm all my life and know the size diffrence between a mouse and a rat. These are mice,maybe 3" long including their tails. I'm wondering if they're not taking bait back to their tunnels with them and stockpiling it for later.
     
  6. MinxFox

    MinxFox Overrun With Chickens

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    A local peafowl breeder told me the rats will kill baby birds such as ducklings, peachicks, etc. He pointed to a caged duck with ducklings and said that is why they were in a small guage wire cage.

    The rats here did start eating my peafowl eggs. They were using a tarp over one area as their bathroom making the small pen smell bad. They were chasing off squirrels too.
     
  7. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    I had a rat issue last winter, it didn't last long after I started pushing the rat blocks, (Tomcat) down the tunnel and covering it up like DylansMom did. The mice are another problem although not a bad one for me.

    I have the luxury of feeding twice per day and the birds clean up the mash pretty well before roosting time so I don't have much feed out for them. I also have a cat that has learned that if he follows me around when I gather eggs about dark thirty, he can pick out which pen he want to stay in overnight. I wish I had a couple of him now, I have never liked cats, but this one is a good addition to the farm.

    When I visited Legg's peafowl farm and got the 'Grand Tour', I noted two things about his feeding. One, his watering buckets were sparkling clean white five-gallon buckets. Two, he also used five-gallon buckets with lids sitting on the ground with a window cut in the side so the birds could reach inside to eat.

    He does not, and I would not, suspend a feeder by a wire for fear of a bird flying into it and injuring itself. The buckets do not make the feeding any less messy as there were a LOT of wasted pellets laying on the ground. I asked if he had a rat problem and he said he did not, he must be extremely lucky as there was a tremendous amount of waste.

    Mice will use the bait stations if you want to keep the peas from the poison. Personally I would use a more effective bait than what you have been using.
     
  8. frenchblackcopper

    frenchblackcopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I pick up eggs nightly so no worry about egg eaters here.It's spraying season here so I think I can talk to a fertilizer dealership and get either 2.5 gallon sized plastic jugs or 5 gallon buckets with lids. Many chemicals comes in both sized copntainers that are not harmful to wildlife such as spray adjuvant, foam,ect. A couple good rinses and they will be like new. I have a sawzall that can cut an opening in them.
     
  9. monkeymom

    monkeymom New Egg

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    I'm finding that I also have developed a mouse problem around my chickens. I have seen the little buggers dashing back and forth like lightening. I'm worried that whatever I put out will hurt my chickens, though. Will they ignore the poisons and leave them to the mice? What about glue traps? I hate to use those so much, but what are my options? I think there are too many to use snap traps. I keep my birds up close to my house, so I'm concerned that the mice will try to get in my house.
     
  10. Birdrain92

    Birdrain92 Overrun With Chickens

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    You can try live metal box trap. I've got multiple mice that way by putting some bird feed into it to bait them in. I have 3 cats and they like the freshly caught mice.
     

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