Do Chickens Eat Mice? Is It Safe?

Chickens enjoy eating many types of foods whether it’s fruits, vegetables, and even meat. When it comes to mice, you may wonder if your chickens will eat them.

So, do chickens eat mice? Yes, chickens do eat mice, and they enjoy eating them. Mice are a great source of protein and have plenty of other nutrients that can benefit the health of the chickens. Once the chicken finds mice, they will kill them, and then peck and eat pieces of them.

Are Chickens Good At Catching Mice?

Chickens are actually great hunters when it comes to catching mice. With their excellent eyesight, they can spot mice from far away. Then they will run quickly after them and will kill the mice with their beaks and claws.

This is a natural behavior for chickens, both in the wild and those raised on the farm. In the wild, their main diet consists mostly of bugs and will also eat smaller animals.

Chickens are only good at catching mice during the day. At night, due to their poor eyesight, they won’t bother trying to catch any. This is the reason why mice will usually come out at night to find out. They are at a lower risk of getting eaten by the chickens.

Can Mice Make Chickens Sick?

Chicken Eating Food

When it comes to mice, there’s a chance that it can make the chickens sick. Mice and many other rodents like rats, gerbils, and hamsters are known to carry diseases. The diseases not only can harm the chickens, but humans as well. Some diseases include lymphocytic choriomeningitis (LCMV), hantavirus, leptospirosis, Tularemia, and Salmonella.

It will be hard to prevent the chickens from eating the mice. Any mice that wander into the coop during the day will likely end up as food for the chickens.

However, a larger threat to the chickens is rodent poison. In places that have a lot of mice and other rodents, most people will put rodent poison to try to control the population. Mice breed quickly and often and can produce a lot of offspring within a couple of months.

Once the chicken eats the mice that have eaten the poison, it can take several hours for it to die. During this time, the mice can wander into the coop or near the chicken. The chicken will see it as an easy food and eat the mice. Unfortunately, the chicken could die from the poison as well, depending on how much of the mice they ate.

Therefore, if you’re raising chickens, it’s best to avoid using any rodent poison. Instead, use other methods such as setting up a trap, securing the coop, or keeping the coop clean, especially any leftover foods.

Can Chickens Swallow A Whole Mouse?

When chickens find a mouse, they’ll start to attack it by pecking at it with their beaks and sometimes may use their claws. After the mice die, the chickens will peck and pull them apart.

A chicken will unlikely swallow a mouse whole. They know it is too big and could cause them to choke on it.

However, there are times when the chickens will try to follow the mouse whole. When a chicken finds a mouse, the entire flock will go after it as well. To prevent the other in the flock from eating the mouse, the chicken may try to swallow the whole mouse.

In most cases, there will be no harm to the chicken that swallow the mouse whole, but it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them for any signs of choking or digestive problems. The mouse will go into their crop, where it will soften up for digestion.

However, there is a chance that it may cause crop impaction or even a sour crop. This happens when the food is too large and unable to move past the crop and down to the gizzard. Both of these are dangerous for the chicken, even death can occur.

A chicken that swallows a mouse whole will usually go about its usual business. They’ll forage and will eat other food as well.

To be on the safe side, it’s a good idea to monitor the chicken to ensure they have no problem.

Do Chicken Coops Attract Mice?

The chicken themselves don’t attract mice, but the chicken coop and run will. This is due to leftover foods that are left by the chickens. Also, it provides the mice everything they need such as shelter, warmth, and water.

To prevent mice from making the chicken coop their home or coming to the coop, there are things you can do. Below are some ways in which to keep mice out of the coop and run:

  • When feeding the chickens, ensure that there is no leftover food. This means the ground and the feeders should be clean.
  • In the evening, once the chickens have gone in to roost, remove any food that’s left in the feeders.
  • Secure the chicken coop by making sure there are no cracks or holes. If there is a ventilation hole, cover it with a mesh wire.
  • Keep the door of the coop closed when all chickens have gone in to roost.
  • All chicken feeds should be placed in a container or bin that is sealed.

If the mice come by the coop and there’s no food and other necessity for them, they’ll go somewhere else.

Can You Feed Dead Mice To Chickens?

It can be tempting to feed dead mice to your chickens. After all, it’s packed with protein and other nutrition, and chickens enjoy eating it.

Feeding them dead mice will depend on how long they have been dead. If the mice just recently died due to catching them in a trap, it’s perfectly fine to feed them dead mice. It will be the same as feeding them live mice.

On the other hand, if the mice have been dead for a long time (a day or more), it’s best to not feed the chickens. Once the body starts to decompose, the flesh will start to become bad and will be contaminated with harmful bacteria.

Conclusion

Mice are nutritious and healthy, which means the chickens will eat them if they find any. Mice don’t pose a threat to chickens, but they can cause harm to them. These rodents are known to carry diseases, and some can be very contagious and deadly. For that reason, it’s best to try to keep the mice out of the chicken coop and away from the chickens. If they do each the mice, monitor your chickens carefully to see if their health changes.