Published on November 10th, 2013 | by Backyards Made Better0
How To Keep Rodents Out Of Your Chicken Coop
Here’s a fact. As the weather cools off, a lot of critters start looking for a warmer place to hang out. The biggest issue we’ve ever had living in the upper Midwest is with field mice, but you have to admit, having any rodent infiltrating your home, garage, barn, or coop just isn’t all that appealing.
For this article we wanted to focus on the chicken coop more specifically because it can be a major attraction to rodents. There’s food left in there often enough, in the form of grains, which they like, and it’s usually pretty warm with some available bedding to boot.
So here’s a couple of tips to keep mice from setting up shop in the chicken house.
1. Block any entry points that you can. It’s amazing how mice can get in through the smallest of places, but with some 1/4″ to 1/2″ hardware cloth, you can seal up many gaps, holes, or other points of entry.
2. Put some mint in the coop. It might be hard to believe, but it’s reported that mint is a natural repellent for rodents. Plant some around the coop, and put dried mint inside and see if it might help.
3. As long as your coop is sealed up well, consider getting a few kitties to roam around the yard. We’re not necessarily in favor of keeping cats outdoors and free-roaming all the time, but their presence can deter various pests from hanging out in the area.
4. Don’t leave food in the coop. Do your best to keep uneaten food out of the coop at night and secure any feed that you may have in rodent proof containers.
Keep in mind too that as tempting as it might be to put out other defenses like traps or baits, anything that might hurt the birds will be counter productive. So keep the traps, baits, or poisons out of the coop!
For more information on rodent reduction in and around your chicken coop, check out this article from communitychickens.com