Rodents In The Hen House: The Problem It Creates And How To Safely Treat It

Ridding your home, garage shed, and backyard of mice is a process that can be accomplished by leaving poison bait and mouse traps to reduce and eliminate the problem. But handling the same type of rodent problem in your chicken coop and hen house is a more difficult situation, as you don't want your chickens becoming injured or poisoned by traditional treatments. Here are details about why rodents are a problem in your chicken coop, and some chicken-friendly methods to help you eliminate a mouse problem in your chicken coop and run.

Why Rodents are a Problem 

Chickens do not attract mice, but it is their environment that attracts them and provides a comfortable place to live. Your hen house provides shelter, bedding materials, water, and food from the chicken feed and other types of food scraps you give to your chickens to eat. Mice and other rodents are such a nuisance because they cost you money when they eat the feed, but they also spread diseases from their droppings, such as salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. A mouse produces 80 droppings every day and up to a quart of urine each year.

Mice and other rodents can also chew at electrical cables and wiring, damaging heating elements and warming lamps used in your coop to protect your chickens. Rodents have been found to be responsible for more than one-quarter of all farm fires each year, which can damage your outbuildings and kill your entire flock of chickens overnight.

How to Eliminate Mice Problems

Install a Rodent Zapper

Because it's important to get rid of mice in and around your coop safely and without poisons and traps that can harm your flock, there are several chicken-friendly methods you can use. You can buy an electronic rodent zapper that will zap and kill each rodent with a single electric shock. A rodent is attracted to the interior of the rodent zapper by a food source inside, and once inside the zapper, the rodent will be killed from the electrical shock.

Your chickens won't be able to fit inside the zapper, so they won't be harmed by it. There are also no poisoning involved with the zapper, so there is no risk to worry about your chickens finding and eating it. The zapper will alert you to a killed rodent with a blinking indicator light on its top, so you can empty it and replace the zapper back into the coop. This type of electronic zapper runs off several batteries and is completely cord-free with nothing for the rodents to chew on.

Use a Trap Containment Box

Another way to kill off mice in your coop is to install a trap containment box containing snap traps. A trap containment box can be found at most home improvement stores. Just as with the rodent zapper, this trapping method has a small opening that your chickens won't be able to get access to and be harmed by the snapping traps. Be sure to place this type of trap over a pathway that rodents are known to travel, such as along the walls of your coop or run.

Adopt a Good Mouser

You can also adopt a cat to live in your backyard and help kill off your mice population. If you know someone who has a good "mouser" or a cat that is good at catching mice and has recently had kittens, adopt one of the kittens. As mother cats train their young for survival knowledge, a good "mouser" will usually train her kittens to hunt and catch rodents just as she does. To help keep your cat roaming your neighborhood, you should provide outside dry cat food and water to keep them close to your home. 

Hire Pest Control Services

A local pest control company can also provide rodent elimination options safe for your chickens. The pest control professional can give you various options for treating all areas of your home, yard, and outbuildings for a rodent problem and to safely treat your chicken coop and run.

Use this information to treat and eliminate rodent problems in and around your chicken coop.