The other day I was out in the orchard/forest garden tending to some work that had to be done there clearing and harvesting and I saw the most astonishing thing. Yes – it turns out chicken eat mice! Whole! Like snakes! For the first time I could see the resemblance between T-rex and its closest living descendent. The chicken (I think it was Clara) was really almost like something from Jurassic Park.
I had heard that chickens occasionally ate mice but I found it rather hard to believe and even harder to imagine. But when I pulled some weeds up and a mouse ran out, all the chickens knew what to do and one despatched it quickly. We do have quite a lot of mice and other rodents round here so this is yet another way in which the chickens are well and truly earning their keep! Who needs a mouse-catching cat when the chickens are about?!
So, in addition to providing us with three or four eggs a day between them, fertilising our soil, activating our compost, scratching up the vegetable beds, eating slugs, cutworm larvae and other pests and keeping down some perennial weeds, the chickens are also keeping the mouse population down! They really are incredibly useful creatures.