We are surprised to see just how brazen these field mice are down at the hangar barn. Despite the fact that chickens are omnivores, they have failed to dispatch these mice. Typically, mice will brave entry into a chicken coop to pilfer food while the birds are sleeping. But to do it in “broad daylight” is not normal.
However, just outside the nesting box the mice are balled-up in, shines a heat lamp. Perhaps a chance to warm up together is just too much of a temptation for them!
It is interesting to observe how mice will ball-up into a close huddle and rotate their positions from the center of the ball – then to the edges – and then back again. This organizational behavior can also be observed with penguins that huddle together in sub-zero climates.
Meanwhile, the eight feral barn cats sit idly by as mice scurry in and out of the barn. The cats are seemingly oblivious to the rodents. Perhaps they are spoiled by us feeding them so well as has been asserted by our old friend Tom Marks in an earlier post about the cats…