Do you have a chicken coop rodent problem? Rodents are attracted to chicken coops and surrounding areas mostly by the chicken feed and during the winter months by the warmth. It is often so much easier to just ignore them and let them live among the chickens than trying to control the situation. However this is not recommended as rodents can be hazardous to your chickens.
Why Should You Keep Rodents Away From Your Chickens?
Besides feeding on the feed, they will also nibble on the chickens feet, baby chicks and any eggs that they find in the coop. They carry many diseases and pests such as fleas and lice that they can transmit to your chickens. Their fur, droppings and urine can find its way into the waterer and feeder. They have also been known to chew on the feet of hens as they sleep and also stress them out resulting in a reduction in the number of eggs being laid.
4 Ways To Rodent Proof Your Coop.
So what are some of the things you can do to control rodents?
1. Adopt A Cat
This would be the most obvious thing you can do. Cats and rodents are like water and oil, they do not mix. The cats do not need access to the coop, just their presence will leave a scent that keeps rodents away.
2. Remove Or Cover Food Sources
When it is nightime remove any water, chicken feed or eggs from the coop. Alternatively if you can cover the feeders securely or use a nipple waterer, you could do that instead of moving the feeders. Don’t store the feed in the coop itself and also make sure that you clean up any feed that may have spilled onto the floor.
3. Secure Your Coop
All areas that may be used by the rodents for access to enter should be blocked. The best way to do this is to use 1/2″ hardware cloth to cover any problem areas. It might be easier to just use it all the way around the coop.
4. Natural Repellents
Plant some natural rodent repellents around the coop. Rats and mice can be kept away by any mint plant such as spearmint, wintergreen and peppermint. Bobcat urine can also be sprayed around the coop and used as a natural repellents.
These are just some of the simple things you can do, to help you control your rodent problem. Whatever you do, DO NOT use any poisons around your coop. Many of the traps can also harm your chickens, so try not to use those too.