Newbie questions- worried about mice and pests!

monica.stromberg

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 31, 2011
47
1
22
OK, last night I read some back issues of Chicken magazines, and I read an article on lice, mites, ticks and lice. I am totally grossed out! Right now I have pine shavings in the bottom of the coop. My girls are going to free range in the yard, but they are spending their first week strictly in the coop to learn that this is home. I have been leaving the food and water in the coop all night to make sure they had enough to eat and drink. The article really advised against this, said it could attract mice and other pests, which could infect the girls with nasty things.

I live out in a town in the country, with a fenced in yard, two labs and about 14 cats. So far the cats and labs have been good about understanding they have to leave Momma's chickens alone. When we have little breaks, all of us go outside and the boys take their air guns to warn off the pets, but that only had to be done a few times. Now they all kind of look away rather disdainfully! Anyway, I NEVER see snakes or mice, because the cats get them quick. Isn't it funny that they don't mess with the toads, though?

Any advise? I will put down DE as soon as it arrives. I do have a wood coop and 2X4 roosts, everything with several coats of paint. Again, the article said to empty the coop EVERY WEEK and scrub with detergents and hot water, and to be honest, I just don't have time to do that!

Paradise Chickens
"Poultry in Motion!"
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
25,734
15,806
777
Southeast Louisiana
Boy, you can hear some strange stuff. If I had to clean my coop every week, I would not have chickens. But there are probably some people with those little bitty coops that do clean them a lot. We are all in different circumstances so we are not a real consistent group in what we do.

If you have chickens and feed them, you are probably going to have mice. You can safely lock the feed away at night. (I recommend a metal garbage can. Mice can gnaw through a plastic one. At least they did mine.) This may reduce the chance of mice some and will keep them from eating the usable feed, but the chickens will probably spill enough feed in the bedding that the mice will be attracted.

Chickens will not eat at night in the dark. You do not need to leave feed or water out for them. Chickens will eat the mice if they can catch them. The trouble is that they cannot see in the dark to catch the mice either.

Chickens are birds and mice are mammals. I'm not aware of anything that they can infest each other with. The different parasites are usually fairly host specific. I'd think wild bords are more likely to infest your chickens than mice.

Some people feed in the run instead of in the coop to try to keep the rodents out of the coop. Others don't like to feed in the run because they wind up feeding a lot of wild birds.

Interesting that the cats and labs don't bother the toads. My chickens like the frogs and toads as much or more than the mice. Just think of the chickens as feathered velociraptors.
 

gmendoza

Songster
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
2,341
42
204
Rock Hill,SC
We have a new cure for our growing mice problem.He goes by the name "SCRAPPER". He is a 1 year old black ferel cat that is at home in our back yard.He has already iced mice,rats,and a baby bunny this morning.Right now he is in the green grass sleeping near the mouse burrows trying to digest the bunny wabbit.
 

laseterlass

Songster
8 Years
May 13, 2011
1,193
56
178
Anchorage Alaska
mouse feces can carry bacteria that can harm horse and cattle. Not sure about chickens. On the farms we kept the feed in old refridgerators laid on the back to keep the barn mice out. We had lots of cats ,but if you have a hay barn. You will have mice.
 

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