Our chicken the mouser?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Esteri, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Esteri

    Esteri In the Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Sacramento, CA
    When we were moving the chicken tractor last week, we watched with bemusement as one of our younger pullets (a Red Sex Link - RRI x Delaware cross) ran down a field mouse that had taken up residence in/near the tractor, caught it, and took it off to presumably eat it. She was quite busy with it for a while anyway. We weren't able to find any remains, though we didn't search for very long. Has anyone else had this happen? Did she eat the entire thing, or did we just miss finding the bits? It's a week later and none of the young pullets (we made the mistake of getting 9 of the same breed - there's no telling them apart - won't be doing that again) are sick or showing signs of distress - so I'm not terribly worried. More curious about the behavior, and wondering if I need to worm them or something - assuming the mouse was indeed consumed.

    Thanks!
    Esteri
     
  2. flowerchild59

    flowerchild59 Songster

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Southern IL
    That is just part of their nature. Some hens/roosters are excellent mousers and will track down all sorts of vermin if given the chance.
     
  3. hennyannie

    hennyannie Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    Our whole flock chased a mouse to death and fought over the carcass. I told my family that it was the fact that they knew he was stealing their food on a regular basis. Totally gross food fight, I tell you.
     
  4. BayouPoules

    BayouPoules Songster

    Yep,. it's a chicken thing,..
     
  5. hennyannie

    hennyannie Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    Yep, I am just glad they grew out of trying to eat each other. Got so mad about that.
     
  6. BarnGoddess01

    BarnGoddess01 I [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]

    My chickens are better mousers than my cats!!
     
  7. RainbowBirds_of_a_Feather

    RainbowBirds_of_a_Feather Songster

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    Mar 19, 2010
    Maui
    Aloha,

    Yes chickens will do that. If they are (mice) eating their food, then you have nothing to worry about. I had a whole family of mice destroyed when I moved this piece of roofing away. My hens were all in wait mode and went after the mice, 10 +6 newborns, it was just a massacre of immense proportion. But if the feral cats aren't doing their job, then my hens will. [​IMG] But there were also other occasions that the mice played Russian roulette and try to steal their food. Well that was the end of that the chickens killed any mouse who dares. But if the mice are eating the feed then there is no problem. My hens are fine. They get a lot of good stuff from them, calcium, protein, feed, and the chase. They eat them whole unless they are playing tug a war with it then it is a free for all. (sorry this sounds graphic but it is true)
     
  8. koda55533

    koda55533 In the Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2011
    this happened to me, my small flock played tug o war with it .... it was kinda gross to see
     
  9. warhorse

    warhorse Songster

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Cibolo, TX
    I had the same thing happen last fall... moving the tractor a field mouse was flushed and one of the hens broke out and got it in an instant. She then proceeded to dart hither and yon thinking one of the others was going to claim her prize. The other chickens were more interested in their mealworm treats so all her darting around did was alert the resident throw-away chichuahua who trotted after her for a good 5 mintues I'm sure out of simple curiousity. The two red heelers were having a coniption fit that they were locked up and had to watch. The chicken made her way back to the coop and sat in the corner and ate her mouse. (bleh)
     
  10. Esteri

    Esteri In the Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2009
    Sacramento, CA
    It sounds like she ate it whole then. It's wasn't a very big mouse - field mouse sized. The whole family stood and watched with our mouths hanging open as she chased it down. It was crazy. The mouse dodging and darting, and the chicken bearing down on it. None of the rest of the flock was nearby, or noticed, and as soon as she caught it she carried it off to a quiet corner. So she didn't have to share. Since it seems like it had taken up residence in the roof of the nesting boxes, I expect it was living off the feeders quite happily at night.

    My 9yo was a bit mournful about the fate of the mouse, but shrugged it off as "that's how the world works, everything eats everything else". Since our girls free range during the day, it's hardly the first "icky" thing they've eaten. When my husband was digging up some irrigation pipes, he had the entire flock at his feet at the worm buffet. He eventually had chase them all off since they kept getting under foot.

    Thanks for letting me know this isn't unusual. Chickens are the funniest critters. Someone dumped a bunny [​IMG] at our place, it took up residence in a blackberry bush, and they chased it around for a couple of weeks. It seems they've come to an agreement as everyone is living peaceably.
    .
     

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