Is it that I’m acutely aware of them this year of are there more mice (and their revolting, larger counterparts) than ever before? The other day I opened up the feed store where we keep the girls’ pellets and corn to discover each of the half-dozen strong paper sacks had been nibbled by mice. Not only that but when I lifted one bag out and two of the infiltrators jumped out of one of the tiny holes and scurried into the nearest hole in the ground. Needless to say I let out an involuntary shriek despite their completely unterrifying nature. James and I still can’t work out how they’re getting into the supposedly vermin-proof plastic box. There doesn’t seem to be a hole anywhere. Baffling.
As well as being more populous, this year’s mice seem that bit bolder. This morning I lowered Audrey and Mabel’s hopper from its hook and found a mouse still on board, clinging on till it was nearer the ground so it could run away across the undercover run. Clearly, it wasn’t remotely scared of me.
The cheek of it! Meanwhile, we continue to do battle with the not-remotely-endearing larger variety of vermin – the rat – by replacing the bait beneath the coop (safely out of reach from the girls, of course), on a regular basis. Judging by the quantity we’re getting through, there’s an army down there – which, of course, means we’re not supplying any of our much-in-demand eggs to friends or family just in case they’ve come into contact with the dreaded creatures. Let’s hope we crack the problem before our customers revolt!