Keeping mice and rats out of your chicken coop is no easy task, but it CAN be done. If you are trying to figure out how to get rid of mice in the chicken coop, you are in the right place.
We have the occasional mouse build a nest in our coop, and with all the grain we have on our farm, we’re ripe for an infestation.
Preventing mice is definitely better than trying to exterminate, so use the pro tips in this article to prepare for the chances that a rodent freeloader will try to make a nice home in your coop.
- My favorite battle-tested way to prevent mice in your coop
- The secure ways to make sure your feed doesn’t attract mice and rats
- How to make sure your coop is prepared to fend off a mouse visit
Table of Contents (Quickly Jump To Information)
6 Ways To Keep Mice Out Of Your Coop
Below you will find 6 of my top tips for keeping mice out of your chicken coop. You may use one, or you may use them all (I recommend all). None of these tips include more aggressive things like poisons or snap traps. I like to encourage other deterents first. Let’s go.
1. Make It A Challenge
That’s right. Give those mice and rats a run for their money. The harder you make it for them to get what they want, the less likely they will come around. Use tough, secure containers for your feed. We all know feed is what they are after, followed by nice warm nesting material.
I recommend containers such as metal trash cans with lids that snap on tight. Plastic trash cans are okay but, believe it or not, mice can chew through them if they are desperate enough. They can also slip through the lid if it doesn’t fit tight enough (which means open access for cute, but destructive, little mice). If you do choose to use plastic be sure that it’s a heavy grade with a quality lid.
If you don’t have a large flock you might use a heavy duty 5 gallon bucket. You can get those with screw on lids that will make it impossible for a mouse to slide through.
2. Keep It Clean
I know, we are all busy. But keeping your coop clean is so very helpful in keeping rodents out. Mice and rats love old chicken feed, broken eggs, loose feathers for nesting, and more. Cleaning your coop will not only keep old food from being easily accessible, it will also stir up nests. In essense, you will be a home wrecker…but you want to get rid of mice don’t you?
Also, it may be a pain in the chicken butt, but if you put up any feed at night (I mean not leaving feed out all night in the feeders) that will be helpful too. Mice just love to come raid your coop, and the feeders at night. Try to avoid leaving any spilled feed on the floor as well.
Poultry herbal blends specifically for deterring pests are always a perfect, and sneaky, option. Your hens will love it and benefit from it and your rodents won’t know what happened (they’ll just know they want to get away from the smell). Mice just don’t care for the scent of certain herbs, such as mint.
Try this nesting herb blend. It will make your coop smell delightful and possibly send an unwelcome message to pests (including your mice). This will also help repel mites and other parasites.
If your coop has any holes or gaps – cover those bad boys up. They are like little inviting open doors to our tiny rodent friends. You can use hardware cloth to cover areas of intentional ventilation. This will help with snakes as well.
5. Shut It
It may be obvious, but make sure the door(s) to your coop is shut tight. If there are gaps then you are at risk of making easy access to your mice friends. And then you’ll have to evict them (which isn’t friendly at all).
Rodents love trash. Plain and simple. If you have barn trash, like old feed sacks, then remove it and clean up regularly.
Not only is trash like that (feed bag) a great place for nests to be made, but they also smell good to our little enemies (and why not, they can usually find a piece or two of grain and other yummy food sources in the trash).
This is my best and favorite battle-tested tip. A good ol’ barn cat is the best method I have found to get rid of mice in the chicken coop. Cats thrive on hunting and most of them do a pretty good job. Now don’t run out and get a pet you aren’t committed to, but if a cat is a pet you are prepared for and would enjoy – then have at it. It’s a pet that earns their keep.
Dogs are a close second. They usually love to snif out critters and scare them off.
There are several really simple things you can do to keep mice feeling unwelcome and solve your rodent problem. They may just pack their bags and head for the hills if you follow these 7 simple tips. Then you can live the backyard chickens dream life, right? Well…perhaps that’s overboard, but it will be nice to keep the pest population down.
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.