Recently we had been doing well with traps around the perimeter of the house and last weekend we discovered a few mice building a nest on the porch under our barbecue. Kove caught one, and was able to get another that had fled under the porch.
To preface what happened next: I have heard stories before about chickens killing all types of insects, I've seen them catch lizards, and I've heard they are rather brutal hunters but I had no idea they were capable of taking down a mouse. We have two large hens that patrol our yard, Rachel and Mia. They are both very docile except when it comes to food. I give them veggie and fruit scraps all the time and it's like watching shark week, feathers flying while they destroy whatever sad piece of melon rind I just gave them.
Rachel is more timid passively feasting on the plants and feed we have in the yard but Mia catches everything from grasshoppers and crickets to moths and lizards. To my knowledge this was her first mouse.
|Suspect #1. Name: Mia. Likes: chasing bugs, getting treats. Dislikes: poultry wire, the hose, mice.|
After Kove had caught the first two he was pretty thrilled but called out the chickens for not helping him. No sooner had he said this than Mia raced across the porch and grabbed one of the mice in her beak. She then proceeded to knock the mouse around the yard as if trying to crack open a nut.While Kove stood awe-inspired, so proud of his chicken huntress. I on the other hand stood spell bound, it was one of those train-wreck moments where you don't want to watch but I just could not believe what I was seeing. It was so primal, so predatory, and rather impressive. I'll never be able to look at the chickens the same way again. (editor's note: we took the mouse away from the chickens so they wouldn't eat it, I'm not sure I could stomach mouse tainted eggs, bleh!)
Our mouse problem has begun to dwindle off, be it the traps, the end of the spring population boom, or the fact that we have some rather effective birds of prey in the yard.