OuelletteFlock

In the Brooder
Apr 4, 2020
31
18
26
We are new to having chickens. It took me quite a while to convince my husband to let me have them. He keeps reading things on the internet about mice/rat problems with owning chickens. Is it a guaranteed thing that we will have mice/rats if we own chickens? What are your beat tips for avoiding the issue if at all possible?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
Sep 13, 2011
21,770
33,651
1,036
southern Michigan
Food brings rodents, so managing food and having a safe coop will pay off.
For the coop, no openings larger than 1/2" diameter anywhere! Do you have your coop? Pictures! Having a run as safe as possible too...
Then feed stored in metal containers only. Mine is in metal garbage cans, in the original feed bags, and with a good lid.
There are 'rodent proof' treadle feeders available, which will work for standard sized chickens, but not for chicks or bantams. If you have only large birds, look into them.
Otherwise, stay ahead of them! Trap as necessary, and realize that rodents are actually everywhere anyway. If you feed wild birds, they are out there for them too.
Mary
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
24,324
15,544
751
Florida
My Coop
:welcome :frow From one Ouellette to another Ouellette, Mary has given you good advice. I have a lot of chicken so I use 5 gallon buckets for my feed. It's easier to deal with. For my scratch, I keep it in a metal garbage can. Good luck and have fun...
 

Al Gerhart

Songster
Sep 29, 2011
626
541
231
Oklahoma City
Much easier to prevent rats by storing your feed in metal can s and using a good treadle feeder. Still you might not get infested for some time and if you do the same two things will make them move on. No feed, no rats or mice.
 

Chicklady707

Songster
Apr 27, 2020
123
259
136
Northeast Wisconsin
I haven’t even had my chicks 🐣 for 2 weeks yet (Wednesday will be 2 weeks) and this evening I just saw a mouse 🐭 crawling through a hole in the wall of the coop that connects to the barn. I have all food in metal containers but there is food spilled inside the brooder box with the feeders available 24/7. (This is an old pic from when I just got the chicks. I am using just pine shavings now.)
 

Attachments

BDutch

Crowing
May 19, 2015
1,874
6,050
387
the Netherlands
My Coop
I have no problems with mice or rats thanks to the cats of our neighbours. 🐀 🐈

Of course I have my stocked food wel contained in strong plastic buckets (re-used painting buckets). I have no special feeders and I even don't take away the left overs at night. I know there are mice in the barn where I keep the feed in stock. But I never see any around the coop.

All my neighbours have cats. All together there are 5 cats who are regular visitor’s. And one cat even likes to enter the run and coop. Sometime this cat is there for hours. And she even spend one night there when I locked her in (not noticing).
7A135CC3-30C6-4CC4-861C-4A49DBCB3E2E.jpeg
 

Al Gerhart

Songster
Sep 29, 2011
626
541
231
Oklahoma City
Rodents are weird, some people never have a problem, others get overran quickly. Some cats kill mice, many don't. Rats are the real problem, a big rat will give most cats a fight they would rather avoid. With the covid shut down they say the down town rats are migrating to the suburbs. One thing for sure, managing your feed security from day one is better than rolling the dice.
 

Al Gerhart

Songster
Sep 29, 2011
626
541
231
Oklahoma City
I haven’t even had my chicks 🐣 for 2 weeks yet (Wednesday will be 2 weeks) and this evening I just saw a mouse 🐭 crawling through a hole in the wall of the coop that connects to the barn. I have all food in metal containers but there is food spilled inside the brooder box with the feeders available 24/7. (This is an old pic from when I just got the chicks. I am using just pine shavings now.)
Looks like you could easily build a crate and block out the mice for chicks of that age, for the first month anyway. Then you have that awkward couple of months before they are big enough to use a treadle feeder.
 

CalBickieMomma

Songster
Jul 27, 2019
363
747
176
San Luis Obispo County, CA
Yup. Metal trash bins are the best for food storage. I’ve had my fair share of mice and rat problems (but I live out in the boonies - zoned industrial - and we have junkyards nearby, so that might be part of it). After the rat issue was resolved, I went around and tried to seal up every nook and cranny. The mice still find ways in (they chewed a bigger opening in the wooden bottom wall of the coop, and they dig past the barriers). I set traps when I see evidence of them coming back (those black plastic snap traps baited with peanut butter under a sturdy box so only the mice can get to it). Surprisingly, my biggest rodent issue right now is gophers digging up into the run area to eat spilled food :barnie .
 
May 10, 2020
1,131
6,600
326
Chester, Nova Scotia
My Coop
I was wondering this as well. I store their food in our shed which is about 60 feet or so away from the coop, and it’s in a metal garbage can, I only have one feeder for them and it’s in the coop, nothing left in the run at night. I haven’t seen anything creeping around but have wondered if they may go in the coop during the day to steal food? Our run has 1/2in hardware cloth on it. Fingers crossed they don’t appear.
 

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