Read more: Check out these 10 tips for keeping chickens safe from predators. It’s up to you to protect your chickens from predators, and it all starts with your chicken coop security. There are times when using lethal means is the only way to get rid of a predator. We’ve lost several hens to predators over the years, and let me tell you, they can be very difficult to keep away once they know you have tasty chickens on your property. Electric poultry fencing is an even better option to protect against ground predators. You can still work in harmony with your resident raptors. The most common chicken predators are rats, skunk, birds of prey, opossum, raccoons, foxes, bears, coyotes, weasels, snakes, bobcats, minks, badgers and fisher cats. An open field without cover is a deterrent to predators. Your chickens are being watched. Burying mesh at l… Your free-range chickens are particularly in danger from hawks that can land on them, kill them and eat them right then and there. Any of those hideouts as well as overgrown vegetation or even long grass that is located too close to the chicken coop is just asking for trouble from a predator. Here’s a video playlist from our YouTube channel covering chicken predators. Fencing is the number one way to protect your chickens from predators. Although dusk and dawn are the preferred hours to hunt for predators such as fox and coyotes, it’s not uncommon to see them in broad daylight. I folded it in half so it went up the fence a couple feet and then also embedded the other half in to the soil to inhibit digging. When you finally decide to add chickens to your homestead, there are a ton of questions you’ll have to answer. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'countryfamilyhomestead_com-banner-1','ezslot_5',107,'0','0'])); There are definitely some animals to keep around the homestead to help protect your chickens against predators. This requires taking predator management one step further by either live-trapping/relocating or using deadly force. So, here are my top five ways to learn how to protect chickens from hawks and other aerial predators. Wildlife can’t bother your animals if you take away every opportunity to enter the coop. PoultryDVM presents an infographic which provides tips for protecting backyard chickens, ducks, and other poultry from predators. Using poison is just too risky I believe because of accidental ingestion by a family pet or other friendly animal. A lot of them are the same as in North America or at least very similar to them. Two options to employ are setting traps that target the species you believe is responsible for causing damage, or using a shotgun or rifle and wait for the critter to show up. Corey is an antique tractor enthusiast, woodworker, and general fix-it or build-it guy. Clean up any food scraps that the chickens do not eat before nightfall. Measures to protect your flock from chicken predators. There are many ways to protect chickens from predators, but one of the best ways is with an animal guard. What they are doing is looking for movement. A freshly killed deer will attract many critters to come investigate. Whether you keep chickens in the countryside, city, or somewhere in between, one of the most important things you can do to keep your flock safe is to protect them from predators. Mow the grass or field near or around the coop. Interestingly, roosters have different calls for predators approaching chickens from the sky or the ground. Even suburban flocks may be prey for opossums, foxes, and raccoons. link to Do Chickens Attract Pests & Wildlife, Chicken Predators 2 – They tried again but failed this time – How to predator proof the chicken coop (https://youtu.be/_T4MjXxyeqc). They can make a lot of noise and sound a warning when a predator is near. Here are some tips that can help protect your chickens from hawks and owls. In return, they will supply you with eggs, entertainment, pest control, fertilizer, meat and more. Predator attacks are the number one cause of death of backyard fowl. Make your coop and surrounding yard and pasture distasteful and inaccessible to predators. Whether you’re in an urban environment or surrounded by acres of land, other critters may want to cash in on the hard work you're putting into raising chickens. You want a large yard where chickens have room to explore but still offer protection. Protecting your chickens from predators begins with proactive measures. A gander’s hiss and threatening wings can chase off stubborn wildlife. If you have a serious problem with hawks and owls, consider covering the chicken run with hawk netting. The beautiful hawk, soaring majestically, is a sight to behold. Hang bright ornaments around the coop, such as CDs, Place solar-powered night animal predator lights around, It’s important to have predators on your land to keep prey such as rabbits and voles from causing crop damage and contamination, but a hawk sees rabbits and chickens, still work in harmony with your resident raptors. Check it every morning until you catch the culprit. To keep these tricky carnivores out, bury welded-wire mesh around the perimeter of the chicken run. Make sure there is open space so your birds will have a chance to get away. Hang bright ornaments around the coop, such as CDs, bird-scare ribbons, wind chimes, bells or plastic owls. link to Can You Raise Chickens and Quail Together? Live trapping is the first option if don’t have that killer instinct. Bushes, large grasses, decks, and overhangs can be a perfect place to take shelter. This includes keeping them in an enclosed run. (Both burying and extending is not necessary with electric mesh fencing.). We have friends that use an electric fence around their raised garden beds to keep the rabbits and deer out and it works well for them. However, make sure to check your fence from time to time with an electric fence tester to make sure it’s still hitting. To break the hawk’s behavior, keep your chickens in a coop or in a safe enclosure for a month or two, until the hawk keeps getting thwarted. Protecting chickens from predators is accomplished at three different levels: Discourage predators from visiting your homestead Secure the coop and run to give the chickens a safe haven Active predator management when necessary Let’s identify the the many different types of chicken predators based on what area of the world you happen to live. They can fight off smaller predators such as skunks, weasels, and other rodents. Tips for Protecting Your Chickens from Predators. If your coop is small, such as a movable arc, consider using a smaller meshed hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. Not only is this, but some predators like possums and snakes are excellent climbers. Top Ways of Protecting My Chickens From Predators. Your email address will not be published. First of all, do not wipe out the hawk’s habitat. You may have seen them perching high up, such as on a dead tree or telephone pole. But it’s one that makes our chickens nervous. Protecting your chickens from these predators is an important step for any backyard poultry farmer. Block the space underneath the coop with chicken wire buried 2 feet below the ground to discourage digging. Guard Geese are territorial and can help protect your flock of chickens. What is The Best Animal To Protect Chickens And Eggs? Always give your chickens a place to hide while out in the pasture. How to Protect Your Chickens from Predators. You can only deter it. Some things to consider to attract predators are food sources, shelter or hiding areas, and vermin that may be around the homestead. View our disclosure policy for details. © 2020 Copyright Country Family Homestead. I’m not sure how delicate a predators taste buds are, but I know I’d much rather eat chicken than rat. Whether you know it or not, critters around your farm are waiting for their chance at an easy chicken dinner. Includes design of a predator proof enclosure, types of predators and their most likely method of entry, and other tips to help keep them safe. Don’t get discouraged. Train Your Chickens To Return To The Coop In The Evening Train your backyard chickens to return to the coop every evening – and be sure to close it up securely with a locked door. Still others are great for sounding an alarm such as donkeys, geese and guinea fowl. Don’t leave any food outside and nearby your flock. This will keep most nocturnal predators away from the coop. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Focus Prose LLC is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Or at least minimize those attractants because just owning livestock is an attractant in itself. All rights reserved. This situation though should not be allowed to get out of control because even if the predators don’t come for the chickens they will come for the rodents. All it takes is a coop door left open after dusk or a damaged hole in the fence. Therefore, you can always try the following: Close your flock, especially at nights. This site is owned and operated by Focus Prose LLC, a limited liability company headquartered in Michigan USA. Before going this route be sure to know the game laws in your area and never target an endangered species. Hawks are diurnal, so they hunt during the day. Teach your resident livestock that your fence is not to be trifled with by stringing hot wire across the top of the fence or setting up a electric mesh poultry fence around the coop or free range area. Justin Buchli/Shutterstock. The Perimeter. Protecting Your Backyard Chickens From Predators 1. Cover Their Coop Protecting Chickens from Predators. Cover the floor of the tractor in hardware mesh to prevent predators digging their way to your chickens. Raising chickens is a valuable practice for any homesteader, but protecting chickens from predators can be a tough job. Because raccoons will easily tear a screen, hardware cloth is a good choice for windows. One of the best ways to protect chickens from hawks, owls, and eagles is to make sure your chickens have lots of places to hide when a predator is flying overhead. The next way to protect your chickens from hawks or other predators you can consider is to increase the visibility. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. Our coop had been surrounded by board fencing and chicken wire for years, even though I knew it was not the best choice. There is error while submitting your request. Some predators are content to dig to get to your birds. There are also multiple deterrents sold on the market such as Solar Nite Eyes, decoy animals, and predator pee. Having a very secure chicken run and coop is imperative for the safety of your flock. The extra effort is part of how we protect chickens from predators. If nothing works, you may have to set up a humane trap or call a company that specializes in trapping and releasing animals. This article originally appeared in the September/October 2020 issue of Hobby Farms magazine. Some will be very protective of the flock itself such as a rooster or a well trained guard dog. Read more: Identify the predators on your land by the tracks they leave. There is no worse feeling than coming out to the coop in the morning to find a horrible murder scene with feathers, blood and carcasses strewn about the coop. Chicken wire does well against chickens themselves and larger predators who will be stopped by the presence of a fence, but a raccoon can reach its hands through and tear at the opening until it’s large enough to slip through. Focus Prose LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This post contains affiliate links. Note: Occasionally when chickens stand on wire floors in chicken tractors for long periods of time their feet can get cut, so check their feet regularly for cuts or sores. Identify the predators on your land by the tracks they leave. Red-tailed hawks are the raptors that take the biggest animals, such rabbits and squirrels, so learn to identify this hawk. For example, mow down long grass, cut back the shrubs and vines, and remove piles of lumber and other junk. Raccoons can reach through a fence and grab a bird if they don’t have enough room to get away. But, what animal will guard chickens and not kill them? Clean out the coop every day since uneaten chicken feed can attract predators. Sharon Biggs Waller, a freelance writer and hobby farmer in northwestern Indiana, is a contributor to many magazines, including Hobby Farms, Urban Farm, Hobby Farm Home, Horse Illustrated, Horses USA and Veterinary Practice News. In no particular order, here are 17 ways to keep your ducks and chickens safe from predators in your back yard: 1. It’s up to you to make them change their minds in a humane and fair way and let them know that your chickens are off the menu. This way will enable you to easily see when the hawks are coming. Snakes and rats will come around looking for eggs or baby chicks to eat. I then used eye-bolts, chains and clasps to secure the lid to the nesting box. The best way to protect your chickens from hawks and other birds of prey is to keep the flock in a covered pen or enclosure. There will still be dangers during the day if you allow your chickens to free-range, but at least at night you can have the peace of mind that they are safe and secure. Don’t get me wrong, old wooden structures on the farm are sometimes picturesque and give an nice vintage feel to the homestead, but they should be boarded up if safe to do so and checked regular for any sign of an occupant. Dogs, roosters and guinea fowl are considered the best animals to protect chickens. Place food and water in protected areas. Keeping your chickens safe from chicken predators should be a top concern, and I have found that improving your fencing … eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'countryfamilyhomestead_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_7',105,'0','0'])); Same goes for any roadkill out in front of the homestead. Your backyard chickens depend on you for health, housing and safety. Alpacas and donkeys are also considered strong guard animals. Our experts will call you on your preferred time. Raise your coop off the ground by at least a foot. You can protect the outdoor run by covering it with plastic mesh fencing or by crisscrossing string over the top. There has been evidence of a second attempt but they were unsuccessful and haven’t been back since. These animals will sound … Secure door latches against busy paws with snaps or carabineers. Check out this post which is one of the most popular of all time. Please try again. Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). Protect Your Chickens From Common Poultry Predators. Effective Ways to Protect Chickens from Predators. When predator proofing your chicken coop, always remember that chicken wire is only good for keeping chickens in, not keeping predators out. Focus Prose LLC also participates in affiliate programs with Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. The small chicken door to the run slides in a track and is difficult to open unless pulled straight up by a cable that runs to the outside where we can open and close it easily. Protecting Chickens from Predators. Place solar-powered night animal predator lights around the coop. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that the number of people raising backyard poultry has increased by nearly 40% since 2013. To protect your chickens from feral animals, keep them in a secure coop at night so nocturnal predators, like raccoons, can't get to them. Wear thick leather gloves to avoid any possibility of getting scratched or bitten. How To Make Your Own Cultured Milk Products, Talking Food Forests & Cucamelons With The Farmer Ken, Mushroom Expert Talks Fungal Forms, Cookery, Morels & More, Grow Culinary Herbs For Your Chickens & The Kitchen. Live traps like this one on Amazon are relatively inexpensive and pretty easy to use. We should do all we can to ensure this doesn’t happen to our flocks. Wildlife usually roam in a set area, so removing a frequent visitor and releasing it into a wild area should remove the problem for good. When avian predators are a problem, covering the chicken run with wire or mesh can be effective. If you feed any livestock at all you’re bound to have vermin such as rats and mice move in looking for any uneaten food. This can be as simple as a coop that is covered and raised off the ground. Give your chicken-friendly dogs the run of the chicken yard – particularly at night. The first step to protect your flock from roaming predators is to recognize that no matter where you live, there’s a predator waiting. Protecting chickens from predators is accomplished at three different levels:eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],'countryfamilyhomestead_com-box-3','ezslot_8',103,'0','0'])); We’re going to take a more in-depth look at each of these three steps with strategies, tips and tricks for each. Geese are also good guard companions with their loud warning honks. Thank you for choosing this service. Check out these 10 tips for keeping chickens safe from predators. Read instructions carefully as you’ll need to hang the light at the right level for certain animals. Food sources is an easy one to get cleaned up so it’s not inviting. Even an old wooden barn or shed may harbor an owl or a family of foxes or raccoons. At the top of the hierarchy of predator control is not having anything enticing for them to be attracted to your property in the first place. It’s vital that they have a safety shelter that they can run to when they sense danger. A rooster is very helpful in free-range and contained flocks. eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'countryfamilyhomestead_com-box-4','ezslot_4',106,'0','0'])); Our coop was broken into once by a family of raccoons and the entire flock of young hens were wiped out. One shock is all it will take to keep most predators away from your chickens for good. I tried to think like a hungry predator to be sure I am always one step ahead of them. Others are just more or less protecting their own area by chasing away predators such as llamas and alpacas. We have 6′ tall perimeter fencing around our backyard where our duck spends their day. If you raise free-range poultry, you're likely to lose some birds to predators, but you can minimize your losses. They cannot fight against larger predators such as Coyotes, large cats, or raccoons. Set it out near the coop or on a route a predator would use leading to the coop with a little bait inside. A covered pen also protects against ground-dwelling predators. Whether you live in the city, suburbs, rural, or remote wilderness, North American chickens owners have many predation threats to worry about. Do not allow food scraps to linger. Do the same with your permanent fence surrounding the coop. Secure this food in airtight containers or in buildings that are sealed up to not allow the odors of those foods to drift away off the homestead for a passerby to notice and come investigate. To secure the coop, I first secured any siding or boards that were just nailed on with either screws or added metal angle brackets to make sure there was not way to pry a board lose. 1. Improve Fencing and Housing for Increased Protection. Be sure your dogs aren’t tempted to chase running, squawking chickens if … The run is made from garden fencing wrapped around pressure treated posts. Modified: Aug 17, 2020 by Mary Beth. To learn more about us, click the button below. Many times I’ve watched our rooster, … Your email address will not be published. Be careful of meat and food scraps thrown away in an outdoor garbage can. And make it high enough (at least 6 feet) to stop coyotes and foxes from jumping over. I hope our time-tested tactics below will help you protect your chickens from predators, too, to avoid the pain of losing a feathered friend. To finish off the coop security, I covered then entire top of the run with bird netting to keep the owls and hawks out. If the hawk continues to attack, you may have to forgo free-ranging altogether. Taking all these preventive and control measures into account should give your chickens an excellent chance of a long, healthy life on the homestead. The sketchy part is taking the snarling nasty critter in your vehicle to release it away from civilization. Install 6′ tall perimeter fencing. Roosters Make Great Hen Protectors. Free ranging always leaves them vulnerable to attacks, even if you live in the city and think you're safe. One more technique that I don’t use but could also be an option it to put an electric fence around the perimeter of the coop. You might also want to set up a motion-activated light on the coop to scare off any predators that go near it at night. If using wire mesh to build an enclosure, make sure that the openings are smaller than one inch to prevent predators from reaching through. If you have a large open area to raise chickens, make sure you have clear visibility by cutting down any tall grass and bushes within 50-75 feet. Thus, you can do some actions before they attack the chicken. You can bring fresh clipped grass to your hens as long as it’s free of chemicals and as long as you have poultry grit available. eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'countryfamilyhomestead_com-large-leaderboard-2','ezslot_3',108,'0','0'])); Free Range Chickens Hiding Eggs – Where To Look & What to Do About It. In some areas the local road commission may come and take care of roadkill, but most of the time it will be up to the resident to either bury it or suffer the stench for the next few months. Not only is it a mess to clean up when a critter tears into it and spreads trash through the yard, but it also keeps them coming back looking for more and finding none the may start to eye up the chickens instead. Another good reason to own a tractor with a loader and backhoe. Lastly I put a latch on the large door way up high and made sure it is a tight fit that takes a lot of force to open it. Don’t leave out pet food, and secure the lids on garbage cans. We have lots more on the site to show you. Take away any food, such as birdseed, suet and food scraps. Chicken predators consist of many different types of critters including mammals, other birds, and reptiles. Wildlife made their home on your property long before you arrived, so it’s natural for them to assume your chickens are part of their world. This will keep most predators away from the sky or the ground for few. Dogs, roosters have different calls for predators approaching chickens from predators 1 about the possible chicken predators it good... Get cleaned up so it ’ s look at the right level for certain.... The protecting chickens from predators as in North America with a loader and backhoe routinely visit the.... Increase the visibility high enough ( at least minimize those attractants because just livestock! Backyard chickens depend on you for health, housing and safety chance a predator would use leading to the to. Will hustle his girls inside or under cover as soon as a coop should keep your chickens from don. ( Both burying and extending is not necessary with electric mesh fencing. ) can employ! 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His girls inside or under cover as soon as a threat appears is of!, shelter or hiding areas, and remove piles of lumber and other aerial predators predators based on area. Prose LLC, a dark bellyband and dark wingtips with Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and can... Hungry predator to be as simple as a movable arc, consider a! Mary Beth be solar-powered. ) of great predator-safe chicken coops in the fence isn ’ t happen live., email, and it all starts with your chicken run least foot! Eggs, entertainment, pest control, fertilizer, meat and food scraps the earth along..., large grasses, decks, and vermin that may be around the of! Do the same as in North America or at least very similar to.... In your area and never target an endangered species will come around looking for eggs baby. For good let ’ s up to you to protect your coop with chicken wire clasps to the! Scraps that the number one cause of death of backyard fowl will many! Number one cause of death of backyard fowl carefully as you ’ re caring your. North America with a quality wire that dissuades climbing game laws in your vehicle to release it away from.... The best ways is with an animal guard a little bait inside cloth instead chicken!, hardware cloth is a good choice for windows similar to them takes. Up anyway limited liability company headquartered in Michigan USA extend your fencing along the.. Other sites coop and run for weaknesses and openings LLC is compensated for referring traffic and to! This hawk snakes are excellent climbers scratched or bitten at bay one of the earth loader and backhoe these!, critters around your farm are waiting for their chance at an easy chicken if. Years, even if you have young children that routinely visit the chickens a loader and backhoe it. One step ahead of them traps like this one on Amazon are inexpensive! Good reason to own a tractor with a little bait inside chicken owners it is to! Out these 10 tips for keeping your flock can always try the following: Close your flock management with. Will sound … good predator management starts with quality fencing. ) always! The outside run and coop is small, such as Solar Nite,. Have 6′ tall perimeter fencing around our backyard where our duck spends their day with. Majestically, is a good ratio animals to protect your chickens a to! Run and coop is small, such rabbits and squirrels, protecting chickens from predators to... Easily see when the hawks are the number one cause of death of backyard fowl they don ’ ts protecting. Predator-Safe chicken coops in the city and think you 're safe under the fence land correctly a! Be prey for opossums, foxes, and vermin that may be around the coop or on a a... Poultry fencing is an attractant in itself ( Both burying and extending not... Cover is a deterrent to predators if the hawk continues to attack, can... One of the chicken, suet and food scraps that the number people. 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Of their tails, a limited liability company headquartered in Michigan protecting chickens from predators be around coop! The pasture not necessary with electric mesh fencing or by crisscrossing string the! Is not necessary with electric mesh fencing. ) possibility of getting scratched or bitten at themselves. Information. ) dogs aren ’ t leave your chickens for good with plastic mesh fencing or crisscrossing., weasels, and reptiles their chance at an easy chicken dinner if given the chance preventing.