CLEANING THE INSIDE OF THE WATER VESSEL:
Further to an earlier post, we found the implement required to clean the algae from the inside of the waterer. It's an algae-cleaning aquarium brush on a metal slightly bendable rod. Reaches every nook & cranny. With some hot water, a smidgeon of bleach, and the rod carefully manouevered to get the brush to each patch of algae, the inside of the container is "as new".
Not a new species of rodent, rather these are the mice that live in the quaviary given half a chance. They eat the feed for the birds. They eat the feathers of the adult birds (from the birds themselves). They eat the eggs - to be more accurate, they crack the eggs & eat some of the ones they've cracked. There must be a family of them in the aviary again, and my simple solutions follow.
- Live trap, which works particularly well for young mice. I can have no mice in there for weeks, or even months, then a new batch of mouselings will be apparent when I check the live trap & find several young mice in it in one night. Usually followed by another night or two capturing the remainder of the nest of little rodents. It is possible to put bait in the live trap, which would cause them to die in there & as they can't get out again there would be no bait risk to the quail... but I don't like poisons. I usually give captured mice their "freedom" outside the aviary. What happens to them after that is nature taking its course.
- Chooks, who are excellent at capturing adult mice the moment they show themselves to my beaked raptors. Today, on spotting an almost fully grown mouse underneath the quail feeder, I have put our two d'Anvers into the aviary. They are small enough to not cause the quail to change their behaviour one iota, but large enough to eat adult mice. We used to have a d'Uccle, who was adept at catching (and eating) adult mice, and at stealing them from larger chooks given the opportunity. We haven't witnessed either of the d'Anvers do the same, however there haven't been enough mice around since we've had the d'Anvers to know if they're mouse-hunters. Their jaunt in the aviary today (and I may leave them in overnight & tomorrow) is a new method, and I hope they enjoy a good hunt.