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. 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. Good predator management starts with quality fencing. This is another method used to protect … link to Can You Raise Chickens and Quail Together? Not only is this, but some predators like possums and snakes are excellent climbers. One of the most important things for you to do when you are going to be getting chickens is to make sure that you have provided them with a safe and secure place to live. As chicken owners it is our responsibility to protect our chickens from harm. (Check out All About Birds for more information.). Protecting Chickens from Predators. Electric poultry fencing is an even better option to protect against ground predators. 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. Because raccoons will easily tear a screen, hardware cloth is a good choice for windows. Here are some tips that can help protect your chickens from hawks and owls. Read instructions carefully as you’ll need to hang the light at the right level for certain animals. This includes keeping them in an enclosed run. They cannot fight against larger predators such as Coyotes, large cats, or raccoons. 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. The sketchy part is taking the snarling nasty critter in your vehicle to release it away from civilization. After the attack we attached a second layer of welded wire fencing to the outside. The extra effort is part of how we protect chickens from predators. 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. To keep these tricky carnivores out, bury welded-wire mesh around the perimeter of the chicken run. If using wire mesh to build an enclosure, make sure that the openings are smaller than one inch to prevent predators from reaching through. 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. Ways to protect your chickens from predators when they free-range. 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 Don’ts for Protecting Chickens from Predators Don’t leave your chickens in an open area. And make it high enough (at least 6 feet) to stop coyotes and foxes from jumping over. These animals will sound … Check out these 10 tips for keeping chickens safe from predators. You may have seen them perching high up, such as on a dead tree or telephone pole. The Perimeter. 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. Your email address will not be published. As cold weather approaches, check the exterior of your coop and run for weaknesses and openings. The run is made from garden fencing wrapped around pressure treated posts. PoultryDVM presents an infographic which provides tips for protecting backyard chickens, ducks, and other poultry from predators. Chicken predators consist of many different types of critters including mammals, other birds, and reptiles. This post contains affiliate links. What is The Best Animal To Protect Chickens And Eggs? Any time a chicken is free-roaming in the yard, you run the risk of an opportunistic hawk swooping in for the kill. Place food and water in protected areas. Block the space underneath the coop with chicken wire buried 2 feet below the ground to discourage digging. 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). For these reasons, I used heavy-duty hardware cloth with 1/2″ holes around the entire coop. If burying the fence isn’t an option, extend your fencing along the ground for a few feet. I’m not sure how delicate a predators taste buds are, but I know I’d much rather eat chicken than rat. In return, they will supply you with eggs, entertainment, pest control, fertilizer, meat and more. Bushes, large grasses, decks, and overhangs can be a perfect place to take shelter. Before going this route be sure to know the game laws in your area and never target an endangered species. Raise your coop off the ground by at least a foot. 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). One shock is all it will take to keep most predators away from your chickens for good. Therefore, you can always try the following: Close your flock, especially at nights. When avian predators are a problem, covering the chicken run with wire or mesh can be effective. Free ranging always leaves them vulnerable to attacks, even if you live in the city and think you're safe. For example there are different species of foxes that inhabit nearly every corner of the earth. Improve Fencing and Housing for Increased Protection. 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. 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. Your free-range chickens are particularly in danger from hawks that can land on them, kill them and eat them right then and there. Do the same with your permanent fence surrounding the coop. 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. A covered pen also protects against ground-dwelling predators. This can be as simple as a coop that is covered and raised off the ground. But, what animal will guard chickens and not kill them? Predator attacks are the number one cause of death of backyard fowl. There are also multiple deterrents sold on the market such as Solar Nite Eyes, decoy animals, and predator pee. One guy for 10 girls is a good ratio. What they are doing is looking for movement. Using poison is just too risky I believe because of accidental ingestion by a family pet or other friendly animal. 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. (These fences are easily moved and can be solar-powered.). This can be a hay wagon, a raised coop, small hutches, hedges or a simple plank over two large buckets. Set it out near the coop or on a route a predator would use leading to the coop with a little bait inside. Please let us know a convenient time to call you on, (*All time slots are available in CDT zone.). There are many ways to protect chickens from predators, but one of the best ways is with an animal guard. 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. Don’t leave out pet food, and secure the lids on garbage cans. Don’t leave any food outside and nearby your flock. 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. 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. The next way to protect your chickens from hawks or other predators you can consider is to increase the visibility. Whether you know it or not, critters around your farm are waiting for their chance at an easy chicken dinner. Another good reason to own a tractor with a loader and backhoe. The Top: Create some kind of cover for your chicken run. 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. 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. A rooster will hustle his girls inside or under cover as soon as a threat appears. There has been evidence of a second attempt but they were unsuccessful and haven’t been back since. When you finally decide to add chickens to your homestead, there are a ton of questions you’ll have to answer. You can also employ the guardian animals mentioned previously. Focus Prose LLC also participates in affiliate programs with Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. Thus, you can do some actions before they attack the chicken. Taking all these preventive and control measures into account should give your chickens an excellent chance of a long, healthy life on the homestead. Please try again. Raccoons can reach through a fence and grab a bird if they don’t have enough room to get away. 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. This is where they should always be at night. Justin Buchli/Shutterstock. They can make a lot of noise and sound a warning when a predator is near. Hawks are diurnal, so they hunt during the day. 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. This site is owned and operated by Focus Prose LLC, a limited liability company headquartered in Michigan USA. How to Protect Your Chickens from Predators. Even suburban flocks may be prey for opossums, foxes, and raccoons. Be sure your dogs aren’t tempted to chase running, squawking chickens if … Disclosure: Boots & Hooves Homestead may earn a commission for purchases made after clicking links on this page. Let’s look at the effective methods of preventing predators from attacking your flock of chickens. Your email address will not be published. Doing all these things should keep most predators away, but sometimes it’s just not enough and you may get a persistent predator continuously trying to get your chickens. You can only deter it. 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.
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