Mice! Grrrrr....

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Westi
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Mice! Grrrrr....

Postby Westi » Sat Aug 13, 2016 6:57 pm

Now the wee mice are on the attack again. Not happy with the chaos caused by stealing all my courgette & squash seeds they have seen off every single cob of corn! Not just every cob but every single piece of corn, just the cores sitting on the plants - all 20 of them!

Now I'm saying mice, even though there are chickens around and there have been rats seen, but they would have broke some of the stems with their weight I would have thought. Had them netted so not birds. My sweetcorn has been taken before in a similar fashion but not every single one & never completely cleaned off, so I could cut cob in half & at least get a taste!

Fortunately my lottie neighbour has grown too many and is going to give me some when her's are ripe so will still get some, but was pretty gutted!

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Re: Mice! Grrrrr....

Postby peter » Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:02 pm

Having seen a rat eating sweetcorn on the plant I can report;
    they sit in the join of cob to stem
    wrap their tail round the stem
    use their front paws to prop on the cob and hold back the sheath
    use their teeth to strip the sheath
    sit there and eat the lot
smaller and lighter than you may think. :?

Thieving little ***s.
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Re: Mice! Grrrrr....

Postby Monika » Sat Aug 13, 2016 7:18 pm

We have a resident pair of pheasants this year, refugees from the shoots on the moor ("glorious 12th" yesterday!), and they have been pecking at the broad beans and peas at the bottom of the plants, but as they also seem to hoover up slugs and snails and also look very pretty, I am not too concerned at the moment. Though even the new sowings of green manure had to be securely covered with chicken wire netting, otherwise all the seeds would be gone.
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Re: Mice! Grrrrr....

Postby robo » Sat Aug 13, 2016 8:20 pm

We used to have a resident pheasant when we first got the plot it was with us for the first two years eating everything we planted but left the weeds alone, it used to strut up and down the track that runs down the centre of the allotments I'm sure it was goose stepping
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Re: Mice! Grrrrr....

Postby Pawty » Sun Aug 14, 2016 7:08 am

Oh no! I had the same happen to my sweetcorn last year. They waited until they were the perfect sweetness.

I haven't been to the allotment since Monday as my 7yr old niece has been staying with us and I'm nervous about what might have happened to them. I took her to see a live outdoor performance of David Walliams Ratburger.... Now there's a thought.....

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Re: Mice! Grrrrr....

Postby Johnboy » Sun Aug 14, 2016 11:06 am

We have had this problem on this forum many many times over the years.
I think the best advice given in the past was to use a 2 pint plastic milk container and you make a cut where the thread is then it can be opened up slightly and slip it over the cob and put a strand of wire round the thread to hold it fast.
Being that we grow fodder maize I no longer bother to grow sweetcorn I just put up with freshly picked cobs from the crop.
It is a good year for maize this year with many cobs per plant and our crop in most places is nearly 8ft tall and there is some way to go before it is harvested.
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Westi
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Re: Mice! Grrrrr....

Postby Westi » Sun Aug 14, 2016 6:06 pm

Well Rats are likely then - thanks Peter!

Would have to have been an awful lot of mice to take that much, but I expect I'll dig a bit somewhere on the plot in the future and find a stash if it was mice. There were no droppings so nothing to go on there. Thought we'd cracked the rats, council put down loads of bait boxes on every site with chickens, but there's always the lucky few that get away - and chicken keepers who revert to poor habits!

Only problem now is I'm unlikely to get the neighbours kind offer - if rats their crop will be next. She plants hers through bottles and her hubby has made environmesh mega structure as well, but they'll get through that with a few bites if they want.

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Re: Mice! Grrrrr....

Postby Pawty » Sun Oct 09, 2016 5:10 pm

Hi,

Well, I learnt something new about mice today - and before I say this, may I add that I grew up in the country in an old house where mice lived in the walls. The following was also news to my husband who grew up on a farm.....

So, with the great weather today I decided to dig over what was this years squash patch. I put the fork in the ground which was followed by screeching! Out of the ground came an adult mouse and two baby mice! On closer inspection having put the mice (alive) in the hedge, they had made a nest out of straw underground. An hour later I came across another one! Good job a got my squash in early - they had set up home in the ground below the squash plants waiting for the perfect moment!

I always thought mice lived In Hedges, natural hollows, etc...l I never knew they made dens in soil (I have since googled it). It's the first time I have come across this at the lotty - twice in one day. And yes, when I first saw/ heard them, not knowing what it was, I jumped about 3ft in the air and screamed!

Pawty
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Re: Mice! Grrrrr....

Postby Westi » Sun Oct 09, 2016 6:41 pm

Hi Pawty

I see loads of those little nests when I take my black plastic up in Spring - very sweet. My guest today was another rat - this one very much alive & healthy - & bold!

Westi
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Re: Mice! Grrrrr....

Postby Primrose » Sun Oct 09, 2016 8:26 pm

We also found had a mouse nest in the soil when we had an allotment and like you I was totally surprised at finding it as until then I hadn't realised they nested underground. This nest was just below the surface of the soil tucked right up in the couch grass which had been chewed up i to a cosy ball by the edge of the path. The babies were so tiny they were cute and we couldn't bear to hurt them but when you think of the damage a family of them can do to vegetables really the best thing to have done might have been to bang them sharply all on the head with the flat side of a spade.

Pawty, sounds as if you rescued your squashes just in time but have you made sure they haven't actually built their home inside any of your pumpkins . That really would be taking advantage of your hospitality!
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