Originally Posted by Cowgirls Boots View Post
You should acquire a pet snake at the barn as well ;)
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There are snakes around here....but not really in the barn. They turn up squashed in the hay bales from time to time. :(
Looks like some white mice might have gotten into the gene pool.
Most "white" mice you see in pet stores and labs are unpigmented albinos, which is a recessive gene that has nothing to do with white markings. I would say that the odds of there being introduced genetics are extremely slim, for a number of reasons. First, this is a rural area, and we have few neighbors. All of the neighbors we do have are the original owners, and all of the houses are four years old or newer--this whole property was one giant hay/cattle farm before that. None of the people within a mile + radius keep or have ever kept pet mice. Not to mention that domestic mice are a different species than their wild counterparts and would probably not too readily interbreed due to territorialism and differing behaviors....domestic mice would probably not even know how to survive long in the wild.
Ok, here's a clue: you want birds? Put out a bird feeder. You want mice? Put out a mice feeder. That's what you have -- a mice feeder.
Feed your cat ONCE a day. Same time, every day. Just a handful, not a whole freakin' bowlful! Sole purpose of providing feed for the cat is to keep it around. The cat must have motivation to hunt. Your "feral" cat is probably too well fed to be bothered to hunt.
If we only fed the cat once a day, she wouldn't eat. The only time we ever see her is rarely at night, slinking around. At the first sign of people she's gone. And despite having had her vaccinations, she's pretty skinny and crappy-looking. Even the vet said she doesn't take good care of herself.
I do, occasionally, find bloody mouse parts in the barn, so she is hunting some. And she's run all the birds off, which is great, because the finches were making an absolute unsanitary mess, with bird poop everywhere.
And even if we took the cat food away, that wouldn't solve the mouse problem, as there's no way to restrict their access to the grain that the horses drop--the problem was the same before the cat and the cat food ever came.