POULTRY PRODUCTION MANUAL

CHAPTER 13 - Rodent and pest control

RODENTS

Rodents can act as biological or mechanical vectors for a wide variety of poultry diseases. Rodent control is probably the single most important on-farm intervention against food safety related Salmonella spp.

Rodent activity disturbs the normal feeding activities of broilers and can cause avoidance activity which reduces feed efficiency. Rodents will eat chicks, dead or alive. At current feed prices [2007], a rat will consume about $5 worth of broiler feed annually; a mouse about $0.50.

Did you know?

  • Mice originated in Asia and arrived in the America's in the 1500's along with the Spanish explorers.
  • Mice usually begin breeding at two months of age and tend to produce 6-10 litters of 9-12 pups a year.
  • Rats become sexually mature in just 5 weeks and a female will have her first litter by 120 days of age. She will continue to produce a new litter every 40 days.
  • Mice can jump 12 inches vertically from a standstill.
  • Rats have a 36-inch vertical jump and a 48-inch horizontal jump.
  • Mice have been known to survive 12 foot drops without dififculty.
  • A rat can drop down 50 feet without injury.

One of the main ways rodents interact with their environment is through gnawing. Their upper incisors never stop growing. If they didn’t chew on things all the time, they’d get too long. Unless the thing they are gnawing on is tougher than tooth enamel, the rats/mice will eventually win.

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