Tuesday 24th November

What Can You Do About Feed Contamination?


Closed pubs and restaurants help boost rat population to 150 million

During the winter months, many farmers will bring animals inside and into sheds. This is to keep them out of the wet weather and to make sure they get the correct nutrition when the grass stops growing. Hopefully, this blog can help you to identify signs of rodent infestation in your feed and protect your feed (and livestock) from rodents. 


How much feed can rodents contaminate?

Unprotected livestock feed can easily become contaminated by rodent waste if there are rodents present on the farm. It's a great, easy source of food for rodents over the cold winter months when they tend to come onto farms to find food and shelter. One mouse can eat over 2kg of feed and contaminate another 40kg in a year while rats can eat almost 6kg of feed in a year.     

Animals, such as sheep and cows, will avoid feed contaminated by rats more so than mice. At lower levels of contamination, animals like sheep & cows are able to pick out the rodent waste. At higher levels of contamination, they are unable to pick it out so avoid the feed all together. Sheep and cows cannot pick out the mouse droppings so just avoided the feed entirely. Despite this, a ‘significant’ level of faeces was ingested even at the lowest levels of contamination which poses a threat to your herds health.   

If the animals reject the feed, they miss out on the vital nutrition with no other way to gain it. This will lower the growth rate which will have a knock-on effect on the profit margin per animal.  


What are the signs of a rodent infestation?

Rats and mice are a common pest found on farms. Unfortunately, the likelihood is that your farm has at least a few unwanted guests but it can be hard to know exactly how bad the rodent problem is. If you need help identifying signs of rodent infestation, here are a few:

  • Sounds - like squeaking, gnawing and climbing around in walls & in the roof
  • Droppings - the small, dark brown droppings can be found along walls and in/near food supplies (feed sacks, feed bins etc.)
  • Gnaw marks - small chew marks can be found on all sorts of materials from wood to cardboard. Make sure to check around bins! You might also find softer materials which have been chewed to use as  bedding material - this could be blue paper towels, straw or fabric.
  • Strange odours - rodents tend to give out a musky odour which gets worse as the infestation gets worse. There might also be a strong smell of rot if a rodent dies.
  • Smudge marks - these greasy marks can be found on pipes, on rafters or in tight spaces where the rodents' dirty coats leave a film
  • Visual sighting - it is quite common to see mice during the daytime but you will only see rats during the day if the rat population is very high. You might have to search at nighttime to see the rats. 


What Are the best ways to protect your farm from rodents?

There are a number of different ways that you can protect your farm from rodents. 

  • Try and secure all the feed that you can into bins or silos. This will limit how much of the feed that the rodents can get access to. 
  • Try and rodentproof your buildings by sealing up any gaps that rodents could fit through with caulk, concrete or metal
  • Make sure you keep your farm as clean as possible - rodents love places to hide
  • A farm cat can be your partner in the fight against rats. The Cats Protection League have a scheme where they try and place feral cats onto farms.
  • Use Lodi's Gems rodenticides and Lodi's traps to quickly and effectively reduce the rodent population

It's not only feed that can be effected though! The poor harvest has meant that straw stocks are low and prices are up by 40% on this time last year.  Ken Black at Bayer says farmers should be making sure that "rodent control is going to be especially vital this winter".


With rodent activity on the rise, up by 120% since lockdown began, farmers are facing a huge influx of rodents onto their farms.

Check out our rodent control user guide to learn how to protect your farm from infestations this wintertime.

You can browse our range of rodent control products here to find your perfect solution.   

If you’re looking for the closest stockist of the product that you need, you can fill out a product enquiry. 




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