Mice and other small rodents are often attracted to a chickens’ coop. There is usually going to be food, nesting materials, and somewhere warm to hide.
However, if you raise chickens, you’ll be very aware that chickens aren’t fussy when it comes to eating just about anything that moves.
But, do chickens eat mice?
You bet they do!
Most chickens love the chase of catching a mouse, and will happily gobble it up if they can catch hold of it – and often they can.
It’s not always a pretty sight, but it’s completely natural for chickens to eat mice, lizards, insects, bugs, and most other small reptiles and animals!
Why Do Chickens Eat Mice?
There are a few reasons why chickens like to eat mice.
The first is that it’s fun!
Chickens love to chase and catch things, and a small, fast-moving mouse is the perfect target to help deal with the boredom of scratching around.
Another reason is that chickens are omnivores, which means they enjoy eating both plants and animals.
A mouse is a good source of protein for chickens. Chickens, and laying hens, in particular, need a lot of protein in their diet, and animal proteins are ideal.
The third reason is that chickens see mice as a threat.
Mice can steal food from a chicken’s coop and feeders, and hens likely see them as posing a threat to their eggs.
So, by eating mice, chickens are protecting themselves from potential harm and getting a nutritionally rich snack in the process!
Do Chickens Keep Away Mice?
One of the benefits of chickens is that they can help keep away mice and other small rodents.
This is because they see mice as both a snack and a threat.
So, they’re not going to just ignore a mouse that’s within their line of sight, they’re going to attack it.
So, if you have a problem with mice in your yard, getting some chickens or allowing chickens to roam where the mice are may be the answer.
Can Chickens Get Sick From Mice?
Yes, chickens can get sick from mice.
They can also pass on parasites, such as mites and ticks.
So, it’s important to take precautions if you have chickens and there are mice around.
Make sure your chicken coop is well-ventilated and clean, and that the chickens have access to plenty of fresh water.
You should also consider getting your chickens vaccinated against diseases such as Salmonella.
By taking these precautions, you can help keep your chickens healthy and reduce the risk of them getting sick from eating mice.
What Attracts Mice?
There are a few things that can attract mice to your chicken coop.
One is food.
Mice are attracted to the same foods that chickens are, so if you have uneaten chicken feed or scraps of food around, it’s likely that mice will be attracted to it.
Another thing that can attract mice is nesting material.
Mice like to build their nests out of soft, warm materials, and chicken coop bedding such as straw or hay can be perfect for this.
So, if you have mice in your chicken coop, make sure to remove any uneaten food and keep the bedding clean and dry.
You can also try using mouse traps or setting up a sonic mouse repellent to help keep them away – or follow some of the following tips.
Related – Do rodents attack chickens?
Ideas for Mice-Proofing Your Chicken Coop
If you’re worried about mice getting into your chicken coop, there are a few things you can do to mouse-proof it.
First, make sure the coop is well-built and has tight-fitting doors and windows.
Mice can sneak in through the tiniest of holes, so you can also put wire mesh over any small openings.
Another way to deter mice is to get a cat.
Cats are natural predators of mice, and they’ll help keep the mouse population down.
You can also try using traps or poison, but you have to be very careful if you have children or pets as they could be harmed.
Personally, I prefer using humane mice traps. These either trap mice inside by closing behind them or literally stick mice to the trap.
The only problem with humane traps is that you need to check them regularly to see if there is a mouse trapped inside.
If you have a serious problem with mice, you may need to call a professional pest control company.
Mice are crafty little rodents and can easily populate in large numbers quickly if not dealt with.
Chickens will eat mice if they have the opportunity.
The main reasons for this are that chickens need animal protein in their diet and they see mice as a threat (or something to play with).
While having chickens can help keep away mice, there is also the small risk that chickens can also get sick from them.
I wouldn’t encourage mice, as they can cause a lot of damage and are generally annoying pests – but if they’re brave enough to venture into your chicken’s coop or run, nature is going to take its course!
Image credits – Photo by Joshua J. Cotten on Unsplash