Mice...seem to breed faster t han rabbits. Help!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dadingwall, Sep 21, 2008.

  1. dadingwall

    dadingwall Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2007
    How to get rid of mice who have created Carlsbad Caverns under the egglu and run and extended run. I dismantled the nearby composter. Found a nest of baby mice. Cute, but. So I gave them the opportunity to learn to swim in the creek.[​IMG] Traps worked in the composter for a night or 2 but the mice smartened up fast. Suggestions that won't kill the girls, please.
     
  2. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but have you considered the benefits of a cat? When we first got chicks, we also got a couple kitties to hold down the rodent population we knew was coming, with all that nice free food and infinite nesting possibilities. Our cats don't generally go into the coop (unless I'm right there), but they like to patrol outside the coop and catch those productive little varmints, coming or going. [​IMG]

    To help train those kitties, I pointed them towards a nest of baby mice in the garden.......it was a BIG hit! (Sorry mice, but I know there will be more of you)
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  3. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    Maybe try the sticky traps, if the mice are smart to the snap traps (of course where the chickens can get stuck to them). The cat idea is the best you will find. We have two kittens that love to hunt.
     
  4. dadingwall

    dadingwall Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2007
    I have a cat but she has not been allowed into the chicken area because she is such a bird killer. I guess the girls are big enough to take care of themselves. Also the mice seem to come out at night when the girls are in the egglu. I even had to plug the drain hole in the bottom of the egglu nest because it had become a mouse entrance. They are so clever I wish they were useful.[​IMG]
     
  5. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    Missouri
    I would LOVE to get an outdoor cat, but its gotta be a cat that wouldn't try to kill my chickens. I can't afford to enclose the top of the run because my mouse control has become chicken control!

    Any suggestions for how to prevent a cat from becoming a chicken killer? If we got one she would be strictly outdoor ONLY (our dogs HATE cats) and she would probably be adopted as a kitten from our shelter. We'll have to be able to afford it, so it'll be a while, but just in case....
     
  6. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Feed the mice to the chickens, they love um. I am surprised they haven't caught any. As for paying for a kitten, you don't have to do that. Someone always has free kittens. Let the kitten be around the chickens growing up and it won't hurt the chickens. But until it is grown you will need to protect the kitten from the chickens. A chicken will kill a kitten given the chance.
     
  7. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    central Vermont
    cjeanean, we had the same concerns about cat and chickens when we first got started. I took seriously the warnings I'd read about regarding cats sometimes killing chickens and made sure the two never bumped into each other. We got our first two kitties from a farm family (yeah - free!) who raised chickens, a good start. I still kept them separate, but I started noticing interesting things, like...when Loco, the nuttier & larger of the two cats, came into the coop with me, he'd go up to the inner wall made of fencing and playfully poke his paw at one of our full-grown chickens. They'd respond by jumping towards him and giving a vicious jab with the beak! End of game! (We'd pretend the chicken said, "Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty...Make my day!") Those ladies seemed quite capable of taking care of themselves, even eager for Loco to make an attempt. He learned fast.
    Finally the day came when I was working outside and suddenly noticed Loco was in the chicken run with the chickens, who were totally ignoring him and scratching around. He was lolling on his side with a jaded look, looking like a bored Roman Emperor. I flew into the run and they all acted like, "What's the big fuss?" After that, I let them spend more time together, especially as we started to free range our "girls". There was never a problem. The cats at that time were completely outdoor cats, except for wintertime. Loco was a great hunter!
    Now we have 4 cats, who intermingle with the girls when they're out. At first the two new kitties thought it was a cool game to practice stalking and ambush the hens...that game didn't last long, either! Now I occasionally see a hen chase one of the grown kitties all across the yard! Payback! All of our outdoor cats are hunters, which really keeps our rodent population in check, including things that were decimating our gardens thru winter. For our situation, we let our cats in nights due to predators (coyotes, owls, fishers...you name it), but that's just us.

    What age are your chickens? When we have chicks, I make sure the cats can't get to them. By the time the hens are grown, our cats know better than to mess with them, and don't seem interested in that anyway. Other BYC'ers have posted cute pics of cats right in with their little chicks, but that would bear watching. I just haven't tried that.

    Personally, it seems like a good idea getting a kitty (or two to keep each other company; works great) and letting it grow up in your setting with chickens. Hope this helps and sets your mind at ease, as we went along the same path. [​IMG]
     
  8. orbirdman

    orbirdman Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2008
    oregon
    my dad used to tell me when he was a kid his parents would make 'concrete' chocolate chip cookies for the vermin. you add just enough 'crete so that they can still eat the cookie. eventually they will eat enough and will be weighed down and just die. i have never tried it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2008
  9. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    My chickens are the best mousers I ever had!
     
  10. ChickaD

    ChickaD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    wow, orbirdman, what a great family recipe! [​IMG] If I make some, that just might be the last time I'd be asked to make cookies for a bake sale! [​IMG]
     

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