How to Keep Rodents out of your Chicken Coop

If you’ve ever had rodents in your chicken coop, you may know how it feels to let your chickens out in the morning, only to discover that their tail feathers have been chewed on.  You may also notice that an egg or two has been cracked open.  These situations are what chicken lovers hate. An experienced chicken keeper would most likely identify this as a rodent invasion. Rodents are pesky and annoying creatures that devour your feed and harm your chickens, as well as being carriers of disease. Mice and rats can be a problem not only for chicken keepers in the country, but for keepers of backyard poultry in the city as well.
 

If rodents get into your coop, they will make a habit of consuming eggs and feed, increasing your costs and resulting in a loss of tasty breakfast eggs. Mice are also known to gnaw on feathers, which is a particularly big concern for those keeping show poultry.  Nevertheless, the chicken keeper should be careful of using rat killer to get rid of rodents. Poison can be an effective killer, but you will want to be careful to make sure that your fowl doesn’t get into the poison.

Mice are able to fit through holes the size of a dime, so keeping them from entering is not always easy. The first thing that you will want to do is make sure that your coop is elevated off of the ground. By allowing space between the coop and the ground, you will be making the rodent’s job more difficult.  Secondly, be sure to close up your coop every night. This will make it hard for rats and other vermin to get into your hen house.
 

The biggest objective that one should have while trying to prevent rodents from entering their coops is making the coop unattractive to these pests.  You should make a conscious effort to minimize food waste. This might mean raising feeders to a certain level so that chickens cannot scoop food out on the floor with their beaks.  One might also want to invest in a feeder with a guard that doesn’t allow chickens (who are notoriously messy-eater) to spread their feed all over the floor. Secondly, the owner should make sure that eggs are collected on a regular basis. You do NOT want rodents to get into your eggs-- especially if your chickens make a habit of pecking their eggs. Again, the easiest way to deal with rodents is to not let them start at all.  Prevention is the key.
 

Along with confirming that your feed waste is minimized, invest in a metal trash can for storing your feed. Mice can gnaw through plastic trash cans, so a sturdy metal garbage can is the way to go. Ensure that the lid is closed tightly every night. Another benefit of storing feed in a metal garbage can is that it keeps the feed dry.
 

Chicken keeping doesn’t have to be difficult, and you shouldn’t be overwhelmed by the threat of rodents in your coop.  There are many simple ways to fight these feed consuming nuisances, such as the methods listed above.  Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to stopping rodent infestation in your chicken coop.