Rodents in the duckpen!

AimToMisbehave

Songster
Jul 13, 2015
405
108
146
Snohomish, WA
I keep spotting little vermin scurrying about the duck house! I'm certain they're after the duck food (which I keep in a hanging feeder, but goodness knows the birds don't have the best table manners) but I worry about droppings/fleas harming my flock. Does anyone have a neat trick or product recommendation for keeping my pen pest-free?
 

Free Spirit

The Chiarian
Oct 21, 2015
637
106
108
NWA
If there is a food source then there is always a possibility you will keep finding mice. You already know that. Ducks are very messy eaters. You already know that too.

Here's what I do.

I changed from a hanging feeder to a 1 gal bucket. They make a tiny mess but a whole lot less than before because they can scoop up a mouthful easier than with the hanging feeder. All (well, most anyway) spills fall right back into the bucket. On nice days I put the bucket in their run and on rainy days I put the bucket in their house so it doesn't get wet. Then when I lock them up at night I bring the bucket into the house (I don't give them food or water in their house at night).

You can also put a tray under the hanging feeder to catch spills and remove it every evening to clean up any access to free rodent food. When there is no more access to food the rodents will move elsewhere.

Just my suggestions, other members will have good ideas too.
 
Last edited:

quackingdom

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 10, 2015
637
520
252
I would definitely not keep food out all the time! I only feed my ducks twice a day. I bring some food, let them eat for about fifteen minutes or however long until they leave and go back to their normal activities, and then take the food away. There is no opportunity for rodents or birds or snakes or anything to steal food.
 

AimToMisbehave

Songster
Jul 13, 2015
405
108
146
Snohomish, WA
If there is a food source then there is always a possibility you will keep finding mice. You already know that. Ducks are very messy eaters. You already know that too.

Here's what I do.

I changed from a hanging feeder to a 1 gal bucket. They make a tiny mess but a whole lot less than before because they can scoop up a mouthful easier than with the hanging feeder. All (well, most anyway) spills fall right back into the bucket. On nice days I put the bucket in their run and on rainy days I put the bucket in their house so it doesn't get wet. Then when I lock them up at night I bring the bucket into the house (I don't give them food or water in their house at night).

You can also put a tray under the hanging feeder to catch spills and remove it every evening to clean up any access to free rodent food. When there is no more access to food the rodents will move elsewhere.

Just my suggestions, other members will have good ideas too.

I'll definitely give the bucket system a try when I bring the feeder in tonight! Anything that helps them make a little less mess...
 

Free Spirit

The Chiarian
Oct 21, 2015
637
106
108
NWA
I keep the bucket out all day and bring it the house at night. But I also do a similar feeding as @HannahDuckLover and feed twice per day. I feed in the morning what they will clean up in about 30 minutes then about 2 hours before sunset I bring out their dinner that they should clean up in about 30 minutes. I collect the bucket and anything they didn't finish when I lock them up for the night.
 

Tevyes Dad

Leader of the Quack
6 Years
Apr 22, 2014
2,665
1,107
306
Montana
My ducks don't get food in the house period. They have duck food available all the time in a grandpa's feeder which stays relatively clean for ducks. They are pretty expensive, and I still have one duck that I am pretty sure doesn't know how to drive it (Noir). But that's OK because she knows that is where the food is and knows how to mooch when the other ducks are feeding so she never goes hungry. I also put out additional "easy" food for them either corn or duck food in the winter but only in quantities they will eat right away. We get mice in the house occasionally (two in 5 years) and there is high grass all around us so I am sure there are hundreds of mice in the vicinity. But there are very few crumbs for them and most of those the sparrows eat.
 

smonkeySK

Chirping
6 Years
Dec 20, 2013
337
53
97
wigan uk
We have a large roaming rat population (canals and town centre nearby), and we regularly have families of them move in to our yard - you get rid of one lot and at best it'll be clear for 3 or 4 months before more move in.
The more food you leave lying around the bigger the rat problem.
I've wound up having to use traps and poison before now but if you go that route be very careful that you don't allow your flock access to anything you put down.

I have to say though; the best rat killers I have are my mallards and calls - they circle any rat that pops up and herd it into the pond. Then they all sit around the edge making sure it doesn't get back out till it's too exhausted to stay afloat..
Evil little buggers :D
 

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