I built a second bucket trap…

…put it in the barn where mice have been eating the peanut butter out of the traps.

Then just as I was settling down for the evening I thought, “Joel, you idiot. You should have left the water out of the bucket.” So I was very surprised this morning to find that the bucket contents were still liquid. Also there were no dead mice, which was either good or bad news.

The chicken water in their bowl – I’ve given up on the waterers for now – was only slushy, so it must have stayed relatively warm until almost morning. Definitely cold out, but not long enough to freeze everything solid.

My babies are growing up…

Seems like quite a crowd in the Big Chickenhouse right now: The pullets are no longer chicks and they’re milling around a lot more and mingling with the older RIR hens, getting underfoot. They’re clucking rather than cheeping and starting to grow combs. I don’t know if they’ll lay eggs this winter: Sometimes RIR pullets do and sometimes they don’t, and I don’t know what Leghorns do at all. So I have the worst of both worlds: The chickens are going through pellets like it’s their purpose in life and I’m getting 1-2 eggs per day. So we’re buying pellets AND eggs and it might stay that way through the whole winter. But in summer we’ll have so many eggs it’ll become a neighborhood problem. 🙂

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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15 Responses to I built a second bucket trap…

  1. stokesla says:

    Use chunky p-nut butter, harder to get the nuts out of the trap.

  2. Norman says:

    Put some antifreeze in the water. Won’t matter to the mice.

  3. Joel says:

    Thought I had some at the barn but don’t.

  4. Joe P says:

    Salt in the water will keep it liquid down to about -4F if you use about 3 parts water to one part salt.

  5. Erik says:

    Not sure if this has already been suggested in the other threads, but I also use the bucket method though in a different way.

    I put the plank up to the bucket as you do and have 6 inches or so of water in the bucket. Instead of the bottle and peanut butter, I just dump a cup or two of sunflower seeds (in the shell) on the water. Being it floats on top of the water, the mice walk the plank and jump in thinking that have struck gold. All to sink through the seeds into the water.

    I hate the thought of wasting good peanut butter. 🙂

  6. Joel says:

    Erik, I’m going to try that. As it happens I have sunflower seeds for the chickens.

  7. Mark Matis says:

    I suspect that TB might be willing to help you dispose of excess eggs next summer.

  8. Andrew says:

    Do you feed the mice to the chickens? Might be a good way to dispose of the little rat-bastiges.

  9. Joel says:

    Torso Boy isn’t all that into eggs. And the chickens do get mice when it’s convenient.

  10. Mark Matis says:

    Not even scrambled eggs with bits of doggie treats in them?

    Of course, it’s best that he not understand where the goodness comes from…

  11. ZtZ says:

    Joel here is a link to making fermented chicken feed from the current issue of Backwoods Home
    The article explains the benefits – the chickens eat less feed, are healthier, etc. If you have access to food grade buckets and time to do the fermentation this sounds like it would cut your feed costs a lot and give you really good eggs, maybe more of them.
    You know that chickens need supplemental light in winter to keep laying? but some people think winter laying is too much stress on the chickens and they don’t lay as many years.

  12. Joel says:

    My early efforts at supplemental lighting had no effect, probably due to the inadequacy of the light I could provide given the CFLs and batteries available to me at the time. I could do more now, but prefer to let things be. I don’t have an industrial operation going on here, don’t replace the birds annually, and don’t wish to experiment with their health.

  13. terrapod says:

    Damn, I am going to need a camera setup. The mouse(s) in the barn again cleaned off the PB without setting off a hair trigger snap trap. Gotta see how they do that. Adding a second water trap… Grrrrr.

  14. FDD says:

    also try some white flour and plaster of paris, mixed 50/50, plaice in a coffee can lid where mice hang out. you will give them fatal constipation. and they do not stink later if you do not find them

To the stake with the heretic!