Safe rodent control with pet ducks

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Mudbillkisses, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. Mudbillkisses

    Mudbillkisses Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a question about using poison for mice. We don't have a rodent problem per say but I know they're around. We usually keep traps set every few months just to be proactive. That can be hard to keep up with though, so I'm wondering if I put poison out in our detached garage (out of their reach) I want to be sure:

    1. If the mouse dies in the yard where the ducks free range- are they at risk? My female muscovy has only come in contact with one field mouse that I saw and seemed interested but that was when it was alive and moving. I'm not sure what she'd do if it was dead and free for the taking.

    2. Would the mice or other rodents eat the poison there or take it with them and stash it somewhere the ducks could get it?

    Anyone have experience with this?
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2016
  2. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I haven't had that happen because I won't use poison.

    Once, the Runners found a dead mouse. They played keep-away with it till I intercepted it and sent it away.

    Carmella goes frog-hunting, and I suspect she'd try to eat a live mouse if she could get ahold of it.

    The ducks rummage through all kinds of things, foraging, so they could ingest bits of poison if they got into a midden.
     
  3. Mudbillkisses

    Mudbillkisses Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah, I have been playing it safe for those reasons but wasn't sure if it was just so unlikely that I could still use it at a low risk. Any risk isn't worth the convenience of using poison I suppose. What do you use to keep them away or to a minimum?
     
  4. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    I have cats that go outdoors, I try to keep things that might attract them farther away from the pen, and I have the advantage of wildlife here that in fact go after rodents.

    I occasionally, once the ducks are in their night pen (far from the day pen), use those smoke bombs.

    This year we are building Day Pen II, covered entirely with metal hardware cloth. Big project. But part of the reason is that I want to keep the few rodents we do have from getting into the pen.

    Oh, another thing - I leave water in the swim pans overnight, because sometimes the rodents will get in and drown. It means I must scrub the pan really well in the morning, but it is more effective than any trap I have ever tried. And with cats and ducks around, I hate setting traps because what if I forget to disarm one?
     
  5. Mudbillkisses

    Mudbillkisses Out Of The Brooder

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    A lot of people I know who have ducks seem to also have cats. That seems to really help with rodent control. Having a cat isn't an option here for us. I only have two pet ducks with a smaller- average yard so I also don't have the same wildlife that you would.

    I'm not familiar with smoke bombs. Would this be an option for use in a detached garage or it it for outdoor use only? Our garage has a lot of wood for our workshop and gives them great hiding places. We haven't seen any blatant activity or signs but we assume there's always some here and there.

    One place I know for sure we don't and won't have any rodents is in the coop/run (under it is a different story) but they can't get in because ours is covered on all sides with metal hardware cloth. That was a project (though not huge because the area is fairly small for 2 ducks) and has required a yearly maintenance check to make sure the wire is still attached tightly all the way around (no biggie).

    That's interesting that drowning has had the most impact for you. I thought rats were excellent swimmers? Is it that they can't get out?

    I only set traps in the cellar or garage, never outside where the ducks could find them. It's just highly dependent, obviously, on checking and resetting continually. So I'm up for trying any alternative methods that are safe (for us and our ducks).
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2016
  6. Mudbillkisses

    Mudbillkisses Out Of The Brooder

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    On a side note- I have an ancona (a descendant of indian runner breed) and I can see some of that in her for sure. Curious about what you like the most about runners?
     
  7. Amiga

    Amiga Overrun with Runners Premium Member

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    Yes, I think the rats cannot get out of the swim pan once they fall in.

    Hard to say what I like best about them. Probably that they are my flock!

    They are friendly, cheerful, engaging, bright, and beautiful. How's that for the top five reasons? Oh, and they lay delicious eggs, eat slugs, and make excellent fertilizer.
     
  8. lomine

    lomine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Poisoning rodents can cause havoc on a local ecosystem. In my area we are overrun with rabbits and some are carrying a plague that is deadly to dogs. We have so many rabbits because the local foxes are gone. It is believed that the foxes died because they ate poisoned mice. I just want to put this out there.

    I haven't had a huge mouse problem in my run and don't have any in my house. Those in the run I took care of them with some regular old snap traps. I placed them along the walls of the run under cardboard boxes with holes cut in them. The mice could easily go in but the ducks couldn't get to the traps or the dead mice.

    My parents have some mountain property and had a travel trailer there for a few years. Always had a problem with mice and pack rats getting in. Last year they tried a spray called Critter Out. It actually worked well when we were able to keep up with the spraying. I think you have to reapply every two weeks. Unfortunately it doesn't work against bears so the trailer is gone now. [​IMG]

    http://www.amazon.com/Critter-Out-4...ent spray&qid=1461172303&ref_=sr_1_16&sr=8-16

    I've also read about a trap called a bucket trap. Seems to work well for many people.
     
  9. DucksAndGardens

    DucksAndGardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of my ducks ate a field mouse. ATE IT. WHOLE!
    It was kinda gross. So poisoning isn't a good idea. As for keeping them away, just make sure there's no food around and they should stay away for the most part. I have 3 cats though and they do rodent patrol and I have 3 dogs that take care of any rats that the cats miss.
     
  10. cayugaducklady

    cayugaducklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't risk poison. My experience with foraging ducks is that they'll try anything once. And then they'll keep trying it if their flock mates are interested in trying it.

    I highly recommend the cheap 4 for $20 electrocuting traps but I've never used them outside. More humane than other trap methods.

    I highly recommend ratting dogs, too. I have two of them and they can dispatch vermin before you can blink an eye.

    If friends have ratting dogs they may jump on the chance to give their dogs a reason to work. Depending on your area you may be able to find a vermin exterminating service that uses dogs.

    Also- if you decide to use the humane hav a heart traps you have to rehome mice at least 2 miles away from where they were caught. We used to catch thme at home, commute all the way to work and release there. But ultimately we decided it was probably more humane to use the electrocuting traps.
     

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