I have an aviary. It holds four ancient but happy Cockatiels who consume quite a bit of bird seed each week.
The aviary has wire around 2/3rds of it, made up of 1cm square holes.
Over the last 12years I have spent a gazillion dollars buying that expanding foam stuff and have plugged up every other hole to stop the mice getting in. I also used to have a good mouser, Gretel, but she passed away earlier this year. I can't let the other two, now ancient, dogs into the aviary as they don't have Gretel's training not to kill the Cockatiels also.
For a long time there it looked like I had won the battle with the mice getting in...until recently when I realised they had finally bred themselves down to a size where they could wiggle in and out of the 1cm wire. Good grief. The mice had won.
Occasionally I go in there at night time using a torch and catch some of these dear pretty little mice by the tail and offer them up to the ancient dogs. The dogs want them badly, but it's kind've a relief that their eyesight isn't what it used to be, especially in the dark, and the mice all get away. I sort of hope that the mice have "learned their lesson and won't come back" but I know I'm just trying to fool myself.
This morning I went in to change the birds water and seed and movement caught my eye. Down low there was a poor little trapped pregnant female mouse, half in and half out of the aviary and unable to get her belly through the 1cm square. What the heck do you do? If the dogs could get at her they would kill her quickly but on the other side of the wire is the neighbours fence so that's not happening.
I got down and massaged her belly and hind quarters and gave her my finger to push against with her little feet. Poor wee thing thought I meant to kill her....which of course I should have done. After 10 minutes of this it was apparent we weren't going to get her through. I had a choice of leaving her there to die slowly through the day or getting her out. I found I couldn't abandon a pregnant female.
So I went and got some snippers :/
And now she's free to birth those little baby mice that I will eventually be chasing around the aviary at night with a torch and offering up to the old dogs.
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