ROUSes. The sequel.

I have returned to the house after sorting the hens away for this brutally cold night. I made an extra trip, after The Big Girl Boost, because I wanted to unplug the pop door from its timer. It is forecast to be all of 8F tomorrow morning at 7:30, and I’d just as soon the girls hang out in the barn until the mercury reaches civilised levels.

I stood at the interior coop door, ready this time. There would be ROUSes, in all likelihood. I wanted to see them in their full glory, not just a fleeting, horror-movie shadow zipping by my feet. I held my iPhone light at the ready, and, after warning the girls it was just me, swiftly opened the door.

I trained the light in the direction of the roosts and poop pit, as it has been from under/behind the poop pit which I have seen them flee in the past. But I was not ready. Not nearly ready.

I saw, not one, but THREE ROUSes. Not rats, thank heaven for small mercies, but very large, glossy, well-fed mice. They came, not from behind the poop pit, not from under the poop pit. They came from INSIDE the poop pit.

Now, I am a reasonably clever person, and I have been known, on occasion, to be witty, even. But, please believe me when I tell you, I have not the imagination nor the perversity to make that up. From INSIDE the poop pit.

EWWWWWW.

Are they living there or just eating there? Is it a bedroom or a cafe? The poop pit is half-full with wood shavings and chicken shit, the latter making up at least 75% of the potpourri. They’re not there during the day, I can assure you.

Have they been driven to this because I now cover the feeder at night? I really must get some poison and toss it down the door track, which seems certainly their point of exit and, one assumes, entrance. I have nothing against mice in the abstract, but I do object to them cohabitating with me (yes, they do…) or with my chickens.

Sometimes one learns things one didn’t want to know. And one can’t unlearn them, can one??!!

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