Raising chickens is an excellent way to get fresh eggs and meat. One common problem is predators as we all know, there a many. My daughter lost a rooster and a hen this week to a neighbor's dog who got out of his collar. All too often, the stories are the same. A dog, raccoon, possum, owl, hawk, skunk or any carnivorous animal can do real damage to your flock of chickens without proper protection. These are the best ways to protect the feathered friends.
The chicken coop should be secure for nighttime nesting, so no uninvited predators can get in and devour the birds. The floor should be sturdy with no holes as well as the walls. If you have an outside run, it should have chicken fencing that runs 12 feet into the ground all the way around it. Many pre-made coops are on the market.
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Dig a trench 12-15 inches deep around the chicken coop and bury mesh hardware cloth in it. This added protection will deter digging predators. You can also place hawk netting over the chicken coop and run for added protection against owls and hawks.
Motion sensor lights in the yard and around the chicken coop make a good deterrent for night-time predators. Electric net fencing around the coop or the coop and run is effective against predators.
Elevate the chicken coop off the ground to ward of digging predators like weasels, minks, rats and mice. Never have your compost pile near the coop as it attracts night animals and do keep the grass and brush cut around the chicken coop.
A guard dog is an excellent protector for chickens and other animals if it is trained from a puppy to guard and protect the birds. Make sure to supervise a puppy or dog until it has learned to protect the chickens because once they get the taste of one, they will go back for more.
Owning a gun is not a bad thing if you need to use it in the event of a chicken house raid. Shooting a wild predator still works today as it did for the farmers years ago.
Very helpful information about chickens. H5
Thank you for the good info to save chickens from prey. I'd hate to come out some morning to see my chickens dead. I don't have chickens, but have thought about it a lot lately.
Boy, looks like you have them covered. Great ways to protect your chickens.
Good advice. I've lost many a chicken and many a duck to predators over the years. Hawks and owls like chicken and you absolutely MUST have a roof of some sort over your enclosure to keep them out. I've even had them fly through a small opening where I had a tarp covering to get an adult duck. Small mesh (like rabbit caging) around the bottom helps keep out weasels, which will simply drink their blood and leave them looking normal but dead, with a puncture wound in the neck. If you can't do the hardware cloth around the bottom, nailing in the longest tent stakes you can find every few inches around the bottom helps, too. I'm sorry for your daughter's loss! I so look forward to heaven when we don't need to eat each other to survive!
Thanks for the list on protecting chickens. H5
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