Contents: Do Chickens Attract Mice?
Are Mice Attracted to Chickens?
Many people think you’ll get infested with mice and other types of rodents if you raise backyard chickens. It’s even one of the primary reasons some communities don’t allow people to raise poultry.
But mice are not attracted to chickens. It’s mostly the chicken feed and treats you give your chickens and fresh compost that attract mice.
So in this post, we’re going to look at easy things most backyard keepers can do to keep these pesky mice away from their chickens, and backyard.
How Do You Keep Mice Out of Chicken Coops?
Rodents are always looking for food, water, and shelter. And if your chicken coop has an isolated corner that your chickens can’t reach, mice might just make the coop their home. So a well-built, secure chicken coop is a must to keep mice and other predators away.
Regular chicken wire has large enough holes for rodents to fit through. So I recommend you use 1/4 inch hardware cloth (Amazon) for your chicken coop.
If you see any holes around your coop, cover it with hardware cloth so rodents or other predators can’t get through. And, remember, even the smallest of holes will invite predators inside the coop.
And since rodents are also great at digging holes and tunnels, it’s a great idea to include a predator apron all-around your chicken coop and run.
If you don’t know what a predator apron is, definitely make sure to check out my post on how to build a predator apron. It’s easy to do and will save your chickens from so many different types of predators.
Clean Chicken Coop
Keep your chicken coop as clean as possible by doing the following:
Clean any scattered chicken feed and treats that may attract rodents or other pesty animals.
- Rodents and other predators love eggs! So try to check for eggs as much as you can throughout the day. I also check the nesting boxes before the chickens go to roost at night.
- Remove all water and feed from your yard and chicken coop at night. Chickens don’t eat and drink at night anyway.
Treadle Feeders & Poultry Nipple Drinkers
A great way to keep your property rodent-free is by using a treadle feeder (Amazon) and a poultry nipple drinker (Amazon).
The treadle feeder is a type of feeder that requires chickens to step on it in order to get food. When the chicken steps on the treadle, a lid opens and exposes the feed. Since small pests like mice, rats, squirrels, and birds aren’t heavy enough to open the treadle feeder, it keeps them from getting an easy meal.
On the other hand, poultry nipples are great to make sure that no mice droppings end up in the chickens’ water, which can cause chickens to contract diseases.
Since chickens don’t eat and drink at night, it’s best to it’s still best to store any feeders and waterers away from the yard each night.
the smell of chicken feed will be attracting any mice around. So make sure to store all the chicken feed in a strong container.
Since most rodents are very good at chewing through things, including thick plastic, it’s best to get a metal bin. Ever since I got these locking-lid cans made out of galvanized steel (Amazon), I haven’t had any problems with rodents getting into my feed.
Ultrasonic Pest Repellents
You can also plug in an ultrasonic pest repellent (Amazon). It’s supposed to annoy rodents by putting out a sound that only they can hear.
Plug this in near your feed, and you should annoy the mice in no time!
Rodents love to hide anywhere they can. The fewer areas there are to hide in your backyard, the less attractive your yard and chicken coop will be for rodents.
Keep your grass mowed, bushes pruned, and your yard free of brush and leaf piles.
Will Chickens Keep Mice Away?
In a way,
yes. Chickens have been known to kill and eat mice, lizards, snakes, and other small animals.
So even if your chickens might not prevent mice from going near the chicken coop, they will keep the mouse population down by attacking them.
In fact, my chickens will attack a mouse and not even let my cat a chance to go after it.
So why do they do it?
It’s likely because they see these small animals as a threat (especially if you have baby chicks around) or as prey. Whatever the reason, it’s important to be aware that your chickens may go after small animals if given the chance.
Conclusion: Do Chicken Coops Attract Mice?
As previously mentioned, the main reason mice are attracted to chicken coops has nothing to do with the chickens themselves. Rodents are mostly attracted to the feed and other treats you give your chickens.
Mice are especially likely to lurk around in the fall and winter when food is harder to find.
So, if you leave any kind of food outside, you’re more than likely going to attract mice and other vermin.
So it’s really that simple. Stop feeding the annoying rodents and you won’t be infested with them.
And if you do get a mouse problem, you can always set humane rodent traps (Amazon) or get a cat.
Cats can coexist with pet chickens quite well, especially if your cat was introduced to chickens as a kitten. And, of course, cats are notorious for keeping the mice and rat population down.