Catching a mice around or inside of your chicken coop isn't a very rare occurrence. Mice love the warm and comfortable environment that chicken coops offer! However, seeing mice around your chickens may make you wonder about your chickens' relationship with mice. Do they co-exist, or is there a predator/prey relationship between the two?
Do Chickens Eat Mice?
Yes, chickens can and do sometimes eat mice. While mice aren't necessarily a common food in a chicken's diet, it's not out of the ordinary for a chicken to devour a mouse that finds its way into a chicken coop.
All chickens are different, and some will go crazy for mice while others want absolutely nothing to do with them. Regardless, if you fear that your chickens are eating mice -- don't worry! It's entirely natural and there's very little risk involved.
Will A Chicken Actively Hunt For Mice?
Chickens are very omnivorous and aren't extremely picky with what they eat. While the most common living creatures that they eat includes lizards and small insects, mice still fit the bill for a nutritious meal. While well-fed chickens may not feel that hunting and killing a mouse is worth it, others will be happy to partake in the unique snack.
Many people see their chickens as rodent control due to their excitement towards eating mice. Since chickens coops and farms in general tend to attract a lot of mice, there never seems to be a shortage of these creatures running around. So, when a chicken is tired of their normal feed or if they have a taste for mouse flesh, they'll frequently hunt down these mice.
Chickens will also kill and eat mice if the mice are "annoying" them. Mice will sometimes nest right near chickens, eat their food, and even pick at their feathers. Since chickens can be slightly territorial, this may prompt the chicken to attack the mouse. Then, since they're quite opportunistic, they'll eat their fresh kill.
Is It Dangerous If Chickens Eat Mice?
In general, no, it isn't extremely dangerous if chickens eat mice. If your chickens are eating mice, you don't need to put effort into stopping them. However, you should be aware of a few things that could be dangerous.
First of all, note that whatever the mouse has inside of it, your chicken will soon have inside of itself. If a mouse has recently ingested something harmful, it can likely cause great harm to the chicken that eats it.
If there are mice around your property or in your chicken coop, don't use poison! Mouse poison also doubles as chicken poison and can cause serious harm to a chicken that eats a poison-filled mouse. Consider using different traps to catch and contain mice instead of slowly poisoning them as they run free.
Additionally, mice can be prominent carriers of worms -- something that every chicken owner wants to avoid. Fortunately, most chicken owners are good about this and worm their chickens regularly. Pumpkin seeds are great for natural worming and drastically reduce the chances of your chickens falling ill to those annoying creatures.