How do you get rid of mice and get rid of rats from your duck and chicken coop? This was what I set out to learn. It took me a long time, but once I figured it out, it has worked like a charm.
What Attracts Mice And Rats To Your Coop?
If you want to get rid of rats and mice, it’s helpful to know what attracts them to your coop in the first place.
Rats and mice want food and shelter and what a perfect place to get both food and shelter but in your duck, and chicken coop.
It’s warm and out of the weather and has a steady supply of food. Your coop is a rodent’s nirvana.
So, your job is to make your coop as undesirable as possible for mice and rats.
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Why Keep Mice And Rats Out Of The Coop.
Why go to all this trouble? Why try to keep rats out?
Rodents carry diseases that are harmful to chickens and ducks, and you too for that matter. They will attack baby chicks and steal eggs. They eat the chicken feed costing you money, and are just plain gross!
And to make matters worse, they reproduce so fast you will have an infestation before you know it.
Rats and mice will:
- Eat chicken feed
- Eat eggs and baby ducklings and chicks
- Contaminate feed, water & the coop
- Carry and transfer to your flock, lice, mites, fleas, and other parasites
- Transit diseases
- Damage buildings
- Chew through wires that can cause a fire
- Dig holes under fences letting other predators in
- Injure chickens and ducks
- Stress your girls causing a drop in egg production
- Cause your neighbors to hate you for bringing rodents into your neighborhood
Don’t Chickens And Ducks Kill Mice?
Yes, chickens and ducks do kill mice. But they only kill a few and rats and mice reproduce very fast. Besides rodents are nocturnal. They come out mostly at night while your birds are sleeping.
Rats In My Coop.
I walked into my shed one day and could smell the stench. You can’t mistake that smell. The smell of rodents. I kept my duck food and the hay for my duck’s deep litter in that shed.
Upon looking around I found the rats had chewed through the heavy duty plastic bin that I kept the duck food in and made a nest out of the hay. I had to find a way to get rid of rats, and fast!
So I began the search for how to get rid of rats and get rid of mice and find how to keep them away. I tried almost all of these, and yes, I finally got my rodents under control.
How To Get Rid Of Mice And Rats From Your Coop. (And Keep Them Out)
Here are many ideas. It usually takes a variety of these to achieve success.
- Clean the Coop. Keeping the area around the chickens’ coop tidy will help deter rodents by leaving them without a place to set up housekeeping.
- Build Barriers. Use ½” hardware cloth and bury it 12” into the ground all around the coop and run.
- Have a secure coop. Concrete floors are the best, and ½” hardware cloth over all the windows and openings.
- Store Feed Properly. Plastic does not work. Use metal containers.
- Strong smells like coyote pee and mint help some. You can plant mint all around the coop.
- Snap Traps and Glue Traps – Be careful where you place these so your birds don’t get into them.
- Have a heart trap – It may not be legal to relocate rodents.
- Electric shock device. These work well for a while, and then the rodents learn.
- Colony Traps – But then you have to kill and dispose of the rodents.
- One of the more successful solutions is getting a Mouser Cat or a Rat Terrier.
- Treadle Feeder. This is the one thing that has provided the best results for us. And it worked really fast too!
Things Not To Do To Get Rid Of Mice.
Don’t Apply Rodenticides. Even if you keep it away from your ducks and chickens, if your bird kills a mouse that has ingested the poison, it will be poisoned too.
Other wildlife is at risk as well. We have a nest of bald eagles that we follow locally. They recently had two of the baby bald eagles die because the mother brought a poisoned rat back to her nest.
Related>> 10 Necessities To A Perfect Duck House.
The Automatic Chicken Feeder.
The one thing that had the biggest effect on getting rid of mice and getting rid of rats, is the type of feeder that we started using.
You can feed your birds only during the day and picking up their feed every afternoon and secure it away. But the rodents can still get to it during the day.
Besides, that is very hard to do if you work long or odd hours. And don’t even think of going away for a weekend or on a week’s vacation.
It was a game-changer when we changed our feeder to Grandpa’s Automatic Treadle Feeder.
Why use Treadle Feeders For Rat and Mouse Control.
Treadle feeders are not cheap, they are an investment to be sure, but they pay for themselves in reduced feed waste and rodent control.
A rat proof feeder is what you need to keep from feeding rodents. Until the chicken steps onto the treadle step, the food is safe and covered.
Automatic feeders offer several huge benefits over traditional (gravity) feeders; firstly they help reduce waste from food spillage, and they keep the feed fresh and dry for longer. But the biggest advantage is they keep mice and rats out.
This means you save on feed costs.
How Do Treadle Feeders Work?
On-demand feeder means your hens will have access to feed all day long, which ensures optimal laying and healthy chickens.
The feeder only opens when the chicken or duck steps on the treadle. Otherwise, it stays closed and keeps the feed dry, But best of all, you can leave the food right in the feeder all night long without providing a feast for your rodent families.
You can also go away for a few days and not worry your girls will run out of food.
We chose to get two feeders so everyone gets to eat without being picked on. It was one of the best investments we have made for our ducks and chickens. Of course, if you have a large flock, you may need more than two.
Be advised, treadle feeders are not all created equal. we did our homework and found Grandpa’s Treadle Feeders work well and have a superior reputation.
Keeping Rats And Mice Out Of Your Coop.
If you keep your coop area clean, secure it with welded wire, and keep their food secured, you are going to go a long way in keeping rats and mice out of your coop.
And this means a happier, healthier coop for your chickens and ducks and you will be happier too.
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