Nice shelter and shade, access to plenty of food, and great places to hide–all of the reasons that your chickens love to spend time in the coop make this also an ideal spot for rats and mice. Unfortunately, when rodents take up residence inside of your chicken coop, you could be facing all kinds of problems, from stolen eggs and missing chicken feed to exposing your flock to potential illnesses carried by the critters. It is always wise to bring a rodent control expert on board when you spot signs of rodents in your coop, but there are also things you can do to prevent the problem.
Make sure your chicken coop is completely secure.
Mice and rats can slip into some of the tiniest cracks and crevices that you may not be concerned about your chickens getting out of. Therefore, even if a small hole or area is not open enough for one of your chickens to escape the coop, it should still be closed off completely so mice and rats do not make their way inside. Pay careful attention to cracks and openings around doors and windows, holes at the overhangs of the roof, and gaps in the floor.
Collect eggs immediately and keep chicken feed in a sealed container.
If you are like most chicken owners, you will give your hens and roosters a certain amount of feed once or twice per day and it will be quickly gobbled down by your flock. Therefore, this feed is not really a concern where rodents are concerned. However, feed that you keep inside of the coop that is yet to be fed must be kept in an airtight container to keep rodents from being attracted. Likewise, make sure you are collecting eggs early in the day as soon as they are laid so a rodent does not see a freshly laid egg as a meal opportunity and try to get inside the coop.
Clean out your nesting boxes regularly.
keeping the nesting boxes lined with hay is the best way to prevent eggs from getting damaged during the laying process and is also a friendly way to keep the boxes comfortable for your hens. Just the same, mice and rats will find hay-lined nesting boxes ideal for hiding out. Therefore, make sure you take the time to clean out your nesting boxes regularly and replace the nesting material inside. Even though the rodents will still be drawn to the areas, they will be less likely to set up shop here if you are consistently rustling around.