Mice are harmful pests which bear ailments and transmit other pests such as ticks, mites, and lice. Moreover, they cause the destruction of equipment in the chicken coop and consume the chicken feed leading to additional losses. Furthermore, serpents and other vermin use the holes created by the mice to gain access to the chicken shed. Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the chicken shed is free from the rodents.
The common solution to the mice problem is the application of poisonous chemicals, but this is unsuitable around poultry. This is due to the likelihood of a hen dying after devouring a poisoned rodent. Other animals including owls, eagles, and hawks might also meet a similar fate after preying on an affected mouse. Therefore, there is a need to use non-poisonous measures to deter rodents from infesting the chicken coop.
Consequently, the measures taken to prevent mouse infestation involve depriving these rodents of the incentive to attack the chicken coop. The two main reasons why mice are drawn towards chicken shelters are a need for shelter and food. If the feed is kept away from the coop and conditions in the coop are made unsuitable for the inhabitation of mice, they naturally stay away.
First, the poultry farmer needs to separate the hen roosting area from the feeding area. This is accomplished by placing water and chicken feed outside before releasing the chicken to the field to feed. The water containers should then be stored at dusk and the feeding troughs covered or stored to prevent wastage of feed. This ensures that there is no leftover food to attract rodents.
To discourage the mice from inhabiting the chicken coop, the objective is to introduce a strong scent that simulates the presence of a predator. The sense of insecurity that results from the scent will deter the mice from establishing living and breeding centres in the coop. Scents that are repulsive to rats include mint, lavender, rosemary, citrus, pine, and balsam. Planting mint around the structure is, therefore, a suitable deterrent for mice encroachment.