Read instructions carefully as you’ll need to hang the light at the right level for certain animals. The first step to protect your flock from roaming predators is to recognize that no matter where you live, there’s a predator waiting. I then used eye-bolts, chains and clasps to secure the lid to the nesting box. The extra effort is part of how we protect chickens from predators. 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. 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. Raccoons can reach through a fence and grab a bird if they don’t have enough room to get away. These animals will sound … View our disclosure policy for details. In return, they will supply you with eggs, entertainment, pest control, fertilizer, meat and more. Interestingly, roosters have different calls for predators approaching chickens from the sky or the ground. The holes in the fence are 2″ by 4″ which is big enough for a raccoon to reach into or even for a rat to fit through. Corey is an antique tractor enthusiast, woodworker, and general fix-it or build-it guy. PoultryDVM presents an infographic which provides tips for protecting backyard chickens, ducks, and other poultry from predators. Make your coop and surrounding yard and pasture distasteful and inaccessible to predators. Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). First of all, do not wipe out the hawk’s habitat. Your free-range chickens are particularly in danger from hawks that can land on them, kill them and eat them right then and there. © 2020 Copyright Country Family Homestead. Poultry Predator Prevention. Chicken predators consist of many different types of critters including mammals, other birds, and reptiles. Many predators such as hawks or owls dive right in from the sky and will take your chickens away. Identify the predators on your land by the tracks they leave. Whether you know it or not, critters around your farm are waiting for their chance at an easy chicken dinner. Red-tailed hawks have a reddish hue on the tops of their tails, a dark bellyband and dark wingtips. Whether you live in the city, suburbs, rural, or remote wilderness, North American chickens owners have many predation threats to worry about. Wear thick leather gloves to avoid any possibility of getting scratched or bitten. Do the same with your permanent fence surrounding the coop. Do not allow food scraps to linger. This is another method used to protect … Some things to consider to attract predators are food sources, shelter or hiding areas, and vermin that may be around the homestead. Surround your coop with a quality wire that dissuades climbing. A rooster will hustle his girls inside or under cover as soon as a threat appears. Protecting Your Backyard Chickens From Predators 1. I zip-tied the edges to the top of the fence to make it more difficult if a critter tried to climb up and over the fence. If you allow your chickens to roam free rather than keeping them in a coop or pen, it’s much more difficult to protect them from predators. Food sources is an easy one to get cleaned up so it’s not inviting. Geese are also good guard companions with their loud warning honks. I vowed to never let this happen again so I fixed up the coop to be as secure as Fort Knox. All of them would take advantage of an easy chicken dinner if given the chance. Here are some tips that can help protect your chickens from hawks and owls. Dogs are also a danger to backyard flocks. Check out these 10 tips for keeping chickens safe from predators. There are tens of great predator-safe chicken coops in the market. They can fight off smaller predators such as skunks, weasels, and other rodents. 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. The run is made from garden fencing wrapped around pressure treated posts. 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. Taking all these preventive and control measures into account should give your chickens an excellent chance of a long, healthy life on the homestead. 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. Tips for Protecting Your Chickens from Predators. 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. Be careful of meat and food scraps thrown away in an outdoor garbage can. Fences not only keep predators out, but also keep chickens from becoming a nuisance on the neighbor’s property. Justin Buchli/Shutterstock. We should do all we can to ensure this doesn’t happen to our flocks. Let’s look at the effective methods of preventing predators from attacking your flock of chickens. Hang bright ornaments around the coop, such as CDs, bird-scare ribbons, wind chimes, bells or plastic owls. A rooster is very helpful in free-range and contained flocks. 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. Figure out Who Done It. Or at least minimize those attractants because just owning livestock is an attractant in itself. There are times when using lethal means is the only way to get rid of a predator. Fencing is the number one way to protect your chickens from predators. We have lots more on the site to show you. 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. While a coop should keep your chickens safe at night, there are still predators that hunt by day. Therefore, you can always try the following: Close your flock, especially at nights. Can You Raise Chickens and Quail Together? What they are doing is looking for movement. Even suburban flocks may be prey for opossums, foxes, and raccoons. However, make sure to check your fence from time to time with an electric fence tester to make sure it’s still hitting. 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. 3. link to Can You Raise Chickens and Quail Together? Mow the grass or field near or around the coop. A freshly killed deer will attract many critters to come investigate. Don’ts for Protecting Chickens from Predators Don’t leave your chickens in an open area. Raising chickens is a valuable practice for any homesteader, but protecting chickens from predators can be a tough job. So, here are my top five ways to learn how to protect chickens from hawks and other aerial predators. You can only deter it. Don’t leave any food outside and nearby your flock. We have 6′ tall perimeter fencing around our backyard where our duck spends their day. My hens were always pretty good at protecting themselves. In this video, I provide some tips for keeping your flock safe and happy. Block the space underneath the coop with chicken wire buried 2 feet below the ground to discourage digging. One guy for 10 girls is a good ratio. Many times I’ve watched our rooster, … Not only is this, but some predators like possums and snakes are excellent climbers. The most common chicken predators are rats, skunk, birds of prey, opossum, raccoons, foxes, bears, coyotes, weasels, snakes, bobcats, minks, badgers and fisher cats. It’s up to you to protect your chickens from predators, and it all starts with your chicken coop security. 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). Unfortunately, chickens are vulnerable to a dismaying number of predators, from petite weasels to brawny bears. Make sure there is open space so your birds will have a chance to get away. This will keep most nocturnal predators away from the coop. The sketchy part is taking the snarling nasty critter in your vehicle to release it away from civilization. In no particular order, here are 17 ways to keep your ducks and chickens safe from predators in your back yard: 1. This way will enable you to easily see when the hawks are coming. Live traps like this one on Amazon are relatively inexpensive and pretty easy to use. Our experts will call you on your preferred time. 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. Check it every morning until you catch the culprit. The Top: Create some kind of cover for your chicken run. Hang bright ornaments around the coop, such as CDs, bird-scare ribbons, wind chimes, bells or plastic owls. Some predators are content to dig to get to your birds. Take away any food, such as birdseed, suet and food scraps. Your backyard chickens depend on you for health, housing and safety. Do Guard Geese Protect Chickens from Hawks. Raptors are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, so you can’t harass it in any way or try to force it off your property. Effective Ways to Protect Chickens from Predators. All it takes is a coop door left open after dusk or a damaged hole in the fence. All these should be prevented from accessing your chickens by all means. 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. Chicken keeping is such a wonderful hobby for anyone with a small amount of space in the backyard or garden and a desire for fresh eggs (and entertainment). To learn more about us, click the button below. 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. 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. Don’t leave out pet food, and secure the lids on garbage cans. Good predator management starts with quality fencing. They can make a lot of noise and sound a warning when a predator is near. 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. For free-rangers, don’t let the pasture grow so long that the chickens can’t see what’s creeping up on them. Copyright © 2020 EG Media Investments LLC. Secure door latches against busy paws with snaps or carabineers. 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. 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. (These fences are easily moved and can be solar-powered.). There is also a danger of something digging it’s way under the fence to get into the run. Wildlife can’t bother your animals if you take away every opportunity to enter the coop. Protect Your Chickens From Common Poultry Predators. Using poison is just too risky I believe because of accidental ingestion by a family pet or other friendly animal. This can be a hay wagon, a raised coop, small hutches, hedges or a simple plank over two large buckets. Red-tailed hawks are the raptors that take the biggest animals, such rabbits and squirrels, so learn to identify this hawk. Set it out near the coop or on a route a predator would use leading to the coop with a little bait inside. 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. 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. Keeping your chickens safe from chicken predators should be a top concern, and I have found that improving your fencing … 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 as the same thing: food. But it’s one that makes our chickens nervous. Don’t get discouraged. 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. But, what animal will guard chickens and not kill them? 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. 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. Another good reason to own a tractor with a loader and backhoe. 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. Along with their care and maintenance, you’ll want to consider the impact the... Part of a larger homesteading family, Maria and Corey Sitkowski enjoy their small Michigan homestead by raising poultry, growing fresh produce, making maple syrup and providing for themselves as much as possible. 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. If you raise free-range poultry, you're likely to lose some birds to predators, but you can minimize your losses. Free ranging always leaves them vulnerable to attacks, even if you live in the city and think you're safe. You may have seen them perching high up, such as on a dead tree or telephone pole. 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. There has been evidence of a second attempt but they were unsuccessful and haven’t been back since. Cover Their Coop 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. Mostly the same as North America with a few additions: There are predators anywhere in the world that people keep chickens. You can also employ the guardian animals mentioned previously. No matter how much preventative measures you take, there is always a chance a predator will show up anyway. Please try again. 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. Thank you for choosing this service. The beautiful hawk, soaring majestically, is a sight to behold. Because our chickens are so prone to predation, we have to think like predators in order to convince them that invading our coop isn’t worth their time. An open field without cover is a deterrent to predators. Let’s identify the the many different types of chicken predators based on what area of the world you happen to live. Perhaps the best possible thing you can do to protect your chickens from predators is to ensure that they are in a secure chicken coop. Burying mesh at l… If you have a serious problem with hawks and owls, consider covering the chicken run with hawk netting. Improve Fencing and Housing for Increased Protection. Place food and water in protected areas. Measures to protect your flock from chicken predators. The U.S. Department of Agriculture states that the number of people raising backyard poultry has increased by nearly 40% since 2013. Cover the floor of the tractor in hardware mesh to prevent predators digging their way to your chickens. Dogs, roosters and guinea fowl are considered the best animals to protect chickens. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. They cannot fight against larger predators such as Coyotes, large cats, or raccoons. (Check out All About Birds for more information.). For these reasons, I used heavy-duty hardware cloth with 1/2″ holes around the entire coop. It’s vital that they have a safety shelter that they can run to when they sense danger. If you have any dog or cat food stored in an outbuilding it will attract critters such as raccoons and possums for sure. 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. Electric poultry fencing is an even better option to protect against ground predators. This site is owned and operated by Focus Prose LLC, a limited liability company headquartered in Michigan USA. One shock is all it will take to keep most predators away from your chickens for good. Here are some tips for coop construction and care that will help keep predators at bay. There are also multiple deterrents sold on the market such as Solar Nite Eyes, decoy animals, and predator pee. The first thing you should do is remove all potential hiding spots in and around your chicken cages, chicken run and backyard poultry coop. And if you have a resident raptor you’re caring for your land correctly! Focus Prose LLC also participates in affiliate programs with Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. Once you know about the possible chicken predators it is good to protect your coop as much as you can. Place solar-powered night animal predator lights around the coop. As cold weather approaches, check the exterior of your coop and run for weaknesses and openings. Read more: Identify the predators on your land by the tracks they leave. If nothing works, you may have to set up a humane trap or call a company that specializes in trapping and releasing animals. And, 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. 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. If using wire mesh to build an enclosure, make sure that the openings are smaller than one inch to prevent predators from reaching through. To finish off the coop security, I covered then entire top of the run with bird netting to keep the owls and hawks out. 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. 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 requires taking predator management one step further by either live-trapping/relocating or using deadly force. Skunks can be difficult to trap for obvious reasons! Always give your chickens a place to hide while out in the pasture. To keep these tricky carnivores out, bury welded-wire mesh around the perimeter of the chicken run. If your coop is small, such as a movable arc, consider using a smaller meshed hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. Snakes and rats will come around looking for eggs or baby chicks to eat. Still others are great for sounding an alarm such as donkeys, geese and guinea fowl. Others are just more or less protecting their own area by chasing away predators such as llamas and alpacas. This includes keeping them in an enclosed run. Employ a stock companion, such as a well-trained dog or an older child looking for extra pocket money, to deter hawks from landing and frighten ground predators away from chickens. A lot of them are the same as in North America or at least very similar to them. If burying the fence isn’t an option, extend your fencing along the ground for a few feet. For example, mow down long grass, cut back the shrubs and vines, and remove piles of lumber and other junk. Before going this route be sure to know the game laws in your area and never target an endangered species. Protecting your chickens from predators begins with proactive measures. Maria is an excellent cook, and enjoys many crafty hobbies such as crocheting, soap making, and has a knack for learning how to make just about anything she wants. 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. 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. The next way to protect your chickens from hawks or other predators you can consider is to increase the visibility. 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 A covered pen also protects against ground-dwelling predators. There is error while submitting your request. And make it high enough (at least 6 feet) to stop coyotes and foxes from jumping over. 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. Protecting your chickens from these predators is an important step for any backyard poultry farmer. Thus, you can do some actions before they attack the chicken. Top Ways of Protecting My Chickens From Predators. Our coop had been surrounded by board fencing and chicken wire for years, even though I knew it was not the best choice. Required fields are marked *. Guard Geese are territorial and can help protect your flock of chickens. After the attack we attached a second layer of welded wire fencing to the outside. How to Protect Your Chickens from Predators. You can protect the outdoor run by covering it with plastic mesh fencing or by crisscrossing string over the top. As chicken owners it is our responsibility to protect our chickens from harm. 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. 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. If the hawk continues to attack, you may have to forgo free-ranging altogether. 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. A gander’s hiss and threatening wings can chase off stubborn wildlife. 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. This is where they should always be at night. Give your chicken-friendly dogs the run of the chicken yard – particularly at night. There are many ways to protect chickens from predators, but one of the best ways is with an animal guard. Check out this post which is one of the most popular of all time. For example there are different species of foxes that inhabit nearly every corner of the earth. 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