What’s in your chicken coop?
A chicken coop, or other structure that houses animals like a duck house or pet gazebo, has a strange way of attracting other pesky pests that you don’t want living alongside your feathered friends. Unwanted guests are attracted to these spaces because you are providing the perfect atmosphere and environment for your beloved pets—and mice love to join in on all that love! One thing about mice is that they are the world’s best freeloaders and they can’t help being attracted to a free meal and warm place to call home; you can’t blame them, really. But as bad as you may feel for the mouse, they can cause more damage than just a couple nibbles out of your pet feed.
Damage caused by a mouse infestation:
- Structural damage. Mice will gnaw and chew through wiring, wood, and other materials that you have in place to keep your animals safe.
- Mice will make nests out of anything they can chew through and take apart. Could be a feed bag, could be hay or straw, and it could just be part of your structure. You will find the nests pretty much anywhere; in bags of pet food, on shelves, in corners and under the buildings.
- Mice call the world their bathroom, and relieve themselves wherever they are. This includes in the feed, on your walk way, and on shelves.
- The CDC has documented 11 diseases directly transmitted by rodents—6 of them can be transmitted through “breathing in dust that is contaminated with rodent urine or droppings”.
3 steps to mouse proofing for chicken coops, duck houses, or pet gazebos:
- Clean the perimeter. Mice come out of hiding as much as 20x a day to eat and usually live within 20 feet of their food source. By keeping the perimeter of the location clean of clutter, you are eliminating any and all places that mice think to hide. Things like hay bales, wood piles, leaves, sticks and other debris provide for a perfect hideout for rodents.
- Seal up holes and cracks and create a barrier. The bones of a mouse can contract to the size of a number two pencil eraser. So any hole or crack in the foundation or other areas of the pet gazebo, duck house, of chicken coop will prove to be vulnerable to a rodent infestation. Build a fenced in area at least 18 inches tall.
- Store the feed properly. Food is the number one reason that a mouse will find its way into your area and stay; and since eliminating the food is not an option, you have to seal it properly. Store all pet food in a plastic, airtight container that holds a seal well. By doing this, you are removing the smell that attracts rodents.