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We have three rabbits in a pen on the balcony. For a couple of days, a mouse has been joining them, eating some of their pellets and — more worryingly — leaving some droppings in the food bowl. How can we prevent the mouse from coming in, or at least from pooping in the food bowl?

Background: The rabbit pen consists of wire mesh on al four sides. On three sides, it's a square mesh with 16mm square holes, on the fourth side the holes are a bit larger. When I went to feed the rabbits last night, that is also the side where I saw the mouse come from, although this could also be coincidence as that is also the most sheltered side.

We usually give the rabbits their food in the late afternoon/early evening, feeding them out of our hand before leaving the bowl there for them until the next feeding time.

My first thought was to screw a 40cm board to the side with the large holes and see what happens, but would that be enough? Or do you have other, easier suggestions?

  • if you seal one side, the mouse will climb and use another... I could not imagine something that will be both: mice safe and usable in the daily business. – Allerleirauh May 12 at 13:24
  • to keep a mouse out you will need to use a metall screen with no holes larger than 6mm as mentioned in the answer below,mice will chew holes in any type of wood or plastic so the area needs to be fully covered with a metall screen.this means the roof,the floor and all sides must be covered,we tried to use metall sheets to cover the holes in our chicken house and it did not stop mice and rats for more than a few hours. – trond hansen Jun 24 at 6:58
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Mice could actually fit through surprisingly small openings and the spacing in the mesh should be no bigger than 0.6 x 0.6 cm or else it would not be reliably mice-proof (source). For that reason the mouse would easily fit even through the smaller 1.6 x 1.6 cm spacing you've mentioned unless it's remarkably big and fat.

I could advise sealing the whole balcony with specialized rodent mesh curtains. I don't know exactly how does your balcony setting look like and whether that would be applicable. Maybe there could be a simpler approach but any homemade solution I could come with would be chewed through and wouldn't prevent the mouse from squeezing on the other side.

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