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Ferrets as mouse deterrents?

This is a discussion on Ferrets as mouse deterrents? within the Barn Maintenance forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Keeping ferrets as rat deterrent
  • Ferrets catching mice in barn

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    11-25-2013, 08:46 PM
  #21
Showing
A female terrier will go after mice. Both my Cairn and my min. Schnauzer/poodle cross did. So would the big retriever except he was the proverbial bull in a china shop when in persuit of a mouse.
     
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    11-26-2013, 09:45 AM
  #22
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
A female terrier will go after mice. Both my Cairn and my min. Schnauzer/poodle cross did. So would the big retriever except he was the proverbial bull in a china shop when in persuit of a mouse.
So will a male terrier? Haha. My boyfriend's family has five rat terriers and a farm. One of them in the bunch is a big ratter, and she gets all of the others excited and into the game.
     
    11-26-2013, 09:53 AM
  #23
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by PunksTank    
My ferrets live in my (heated) tack room, in cages but loose in the tack room when I'm in the barn. They do stink. I love them and don't mind, but that's why they're in the barn not the house :P
As for mouse deterrents - not at all! I have caught mice eating the food my ferrets have spilled right outside their cages!! I've seen mice scurry across my floor while my ferrets are playing - they do not chase them. Maybe mine are too domestic, but the mice don't mind them one bit!!


The best thing I've done to keep mice out of my feed is making a big wooden feed bin and maintaining the edges.

While I love the mental image of mice snitching food from the ferrets, it's frustrating. I asked my dad about the mice last night, and he said the mice in their house were actually as bad as ever; he said that they had a big party in two of my Mom's flowerpots, and that while my Mom thought they were gone, they are not. I don't want to hurt or kill them; I just want them to move outdoors. The mice, not my parents. Just want to clarify.
     
    11-26-2013, 10:18 AM
  #24
Showing
"I don't want to hurt or kill them". Mice bring all kinds of filth and disease with them. Killing them is the only way to get rid of them. Tell your father to fill a 5 gal. Pail 1/3 full of water. Cut small holes near the top rim so a piece of dowelling will span the pail. Drill thro the cap and end of a small plastic bottle and thread it on the dowel to the middle. Smear a little peanut butter on the bottle. As the mouse attempts to get the peanut butter, the bottle will spin and mousey will drown in the water. I'm told this is the only way that's 100% effective, better than traps.
     
    11-26-2013, 12:41 PM
  #25
Green Broke
This is very interesting; I have never heard of ferrets being used to deter mice. Or...really for anything. XD They sure are cute, though :>
     
    11-29-2013, 05:43 PM
  #26
Weanling
Granted, mice are dirt and filthy. But should that warrant a death sentence, if there is another way to get rid of them? They canít help being disease-carrying, flea-infested, freaky almost human-handed little vermin, can they? I have to say though, with the dismal failure of the ferret stink deterrents, my Mom is seriously considering walking down the De-Con trail. Just before Thanksgiving they stole all of her pumpkin seeds and buried them in her herb window pots, making a huge dirty mess behind them, AND they peed on her egg timer. She is not amused.

So, I have been inspired by Saddlebags ingenious mouse trap, and have invented a Have-A-House trap. It works off of the same principal, but is a non-lethal alternative. I have included some drawings for illustrative purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saddlebag    
Tell your father to fill a 5 gal. Pail 1/3 full of water. Cut small holes near the top rim so a piece of dowelling will span the pail. Drill thro the cap and end of a small plastic bottle and thread it on the dowel to the middle. Smear a little peanut butter on the bottle. As the mouse attempts to get the peanut butter, the bottle will spin and mousey will drown in the water. I'm told this is the only way that's 100% effective, better than traps.
My trap uses a large flower pot with an attached saucer, instead of a five gallon bucket. Two holes are drilled up near the rim, and a dowel with a peanut butter smeared bottle is inserted. There is also a biodegradable funnel under the dowel. See picture:

DSC_5775.jpg

Note that the attached saucer has a bit of water in it so the mouse won't be thirsty before you check your trap. When the mouse is trapped inside, you put a lid on the flowerpot and carry the whole thing by the supplied handle to a far away place or to a disliked neighbor's home, flip the pot over, and remove the handle/dowel. See picture:

DSC_5788.jpg

The net of supplied food swings over and the fluffy bedding falls down. By removing the handle, you open up two escape holes, and the mouse can go; yet it has a little home to return to if the weather is fierce. The attached saucer now stops being a water bowl, and becomes a rain-proof roof. Ingenious, no?
     
    11-29-2013, 10:21 PM
  #27
Trained
Keeping or selling a ferret that is not spayed or neutered is illegal in the state of Georgia. The reasoning on this is that if they got loose and reproduced, they could devastate our chicken industry. I really don't think that keeping ferrets loose around chickens will work out well...........
     
    11-30-2013, 01:54 AM
  #28
Yearling
It seems silly to get a predator and expect it not to go after the chickens. Cats, ferrets, and dogs are ALL designed to chase and kill prey. Shooting it for acting out a natural instinct is idiotic. Should I shoot my dog for killing squirrels? Or shoot my cat for bringing home dead baby rabbits? Or shoot my cat for killing birds? Yet I want this same cat to kill mice and rabbits?

How is a cat supposed to know the difference between a chicken, a bird, a rabbit and a mouse? They all are prey.

It never makes sense to me when people try to raise predators and prey together and the predator gets blamed for eating the prey. Dogs are different in a way as they can form packs, and recognize the family pets. But still it is instinct. I even catch my dogs trying to chase the horses if they could get away with it. Except one of my horses thinks it is equally fun to chase the dogs! The dogs now hide when they see her coming!

My cats are great at getting rid of mice, rats, and any flying bug they can get. Nothing makes it into my house and leaves alive. I suppose it depends on the cat. Some overfed cats can't be bothered, others will even go after your prize chickens. My cats will eat anything they can catch. I'm sure chickens would be fair game, except around here if you want your chickens to live, you better have some fox-proofing!
     
    12-13-2013, 09:29 PM
  #29
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Endiku    
We had 6 barn cats at my old barn and I STILL always saw little mice running around... ._.
Stop and think about how many nooks, crannies, and cracks are in a barn. From hay stacks to grain sacks.... And the term breeding like rats? Yeah, they can breed when they are 3 months old and can get pregnant right after giving birth. They are breeding machines. I put out two repeat live traps and they had about 15 mice in EACH one the next day and for days afterwards. My Muscovy ducks loved eating the mice. My little barn cat can't possibly catch that many mice. Neither can the chickens or ducks... But I think I've finally made a dent. Ugh there was mouse poop everywhere for a while. Just gross...

How would you keep a ferret in the barn? Or are we talking about keeping it's cage in there? Ferrets stink - even descented. When we lived in California, I was thinking about putting a ferret down the ground squirrel holes. But we never did it.. I wonder if that would have worked any.
     
    12-13-2013, 11:46 PM
  #30
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepnGirl    
How would you keep a ferret in the barn? Or are we talking about keeping it's cage in there? Ferrets stink - even descented. When we lived in California, I was thinking about putting a ferret down the ground squirrel holes. But we never did it.. I wonder if that would have worked any.
"in the old days" we kept them in connected, elevated pens with some "houses" in each. Took them out to play or "hunt" each day. Put them back in when they finished or had run around enough. Fed them pig liver on days they didn't hunt. They were given their prey after the hunt on days they hunted.

Yes, they'll clear out ground squirrels. Just make sure you know where all the holes are or keep a close watch...you should find them as the squirrels vacate for their lives or if the ferrets pop out (but they might got right back down too so you need to be ready to catch them or they could stay down there for a bit hunting and/or eating if they caught any)
     

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