Friday, March 1, 2013


We had a day of sun and loveliness earlier this week. It happily coincided with the day I finally had the cash to pay for a full load of hay, so I got to hang around the barn waiting for the hay guy all morning. I seized the moment to move a pallet of stall mats that had been sitting outside the new barn since Thanksgiving. They were leftover from a batch I bought to finish the stalls in the new barn last fall. They'd been dumped by the delivery guy in an awkward spot to start with and had stayed their all winter. You know, stall mats are h.e.a.v.y and they don't move themselves.

So there they sat all winter. Every time it snowed I noticed tiny tracks going back and forth between the pallet and the barn. At the barn end, they disappeared under the wall by the feed room. One especially dark night in midwinter, I caught a glimpse of a tiny creature sitting on top of the feed bin as I walked into the barn, before it vanished into the shadows. So I've known for a while that we had squatters and that they had set up house under the pallet.

 I was curious to see what was under there after I got the ton of stall mats off the pallet. Mice. Two to be exact. There were no signs of babies. I was happy that I evicted them before they'd had offspring. I know I shouldn't encourage mice, and I won't, but I would have been upset to to have disturbed a nursery. The mouse I got the clearest view of looked very healthy and sleek and their nest looked pretty cozy. It must have been, considering all the down feathers the mice had co-opted for their own use. Not surprising I guess, given their proximity to the chicken coop.

Both mice took off straight for the barn when I exposed them. Now every time I walk into the feed room I expect to see them there and wonder where exactly their new nest is. Somewhere inside the feed room I suppose. Ironically, none of the multitude of unremarkable cats live in the barn at the moment, so I expect the mice will stay. Though, I wouldn't put it past the chickens to eat one if it strayed their way in the light of day.


  1. Tricksy, tricksy mousies! The Goatmother uncovered a nest of babies under our wooden spool while cleaning the barn. Well, she didn't have the heart to remove them either so she just put them all back in the nest and set the spool back over them. :) She's been known to leave a Peanut out for them too when it is really, really cold. Me, I wouldn't share anything as good as a Peanut.

  2. You are very nice to leave them, my hubby likes to feed them to the chickens! Yikes!! Our barn cat has been doing a good job recently, there have been no signs of mousies in a couple of months.