Whether you’re a first-time chicken-keeper or an experienced farmer, it doesn’t take long to fall for your flock. Unfortunately, your eyes aren’t the only ones that your chickens will catch. These valuable, entertaining birds are a massive draw for all sorts of predators. From hawks flying overhead to raccoons skittering around in the night, your chickens face many different threats. To help you keep your flock safe, here’s our guide to protecting chickens from predators.
Secure Your Coop
Your coop should always be a safe, secure place for your chickens. Keep predators out of the coop and run by installing motion lights to scare them off or to alert you to their presence. You can also raise your coop a couple feet off the ground. This will keep rodents, snakes, and other smaller predators from finding a way inside. It’s also a good idea to keep the area around your coop and run clear of bushes or other vegetation where predators can hide. Intruders are far less likely to mess with your chicken fencing if they have to sit out in the open to do it.
Fencing is a key point in this guide to protecting chickens from predators. A mesh overhead net prevents hawks, owls, or other birds of prey from swooping down on your flock. You can also install an electric chicken fence or other fencing options around your coop and run to deter predators. Be sure to plant your fence a foot into the ground so that creatures can’t burrow under it. Even if your chickens roam freely in your yard, you should still train them to return to their coop at night. If you don’t have an automatic door, be sure to shut the coop and check that everything is secure before you leave your flock alone for the night.
Eliminate Other Attractions
Your chickens aren’t the only things that will attract predators. Eggs tend to draw in snakes, rats, and other smaller predators, so make sure you collect them as quickly as possible. Try not to leave excess feed or spills out, either, as the free food will also attract hungry pests. Similarly, try not to keep your trash cans or compost piles near your chicken coop or run. With fewer food sources around your chickens, predators will be less likely to bother your birds.
For many people, backyard chickens become members of the family. We know you want to keep your beloved birds safe, which is why Stromberg’s has all the equipment and resources you need to create a secure home for them and peace of mind for yourself. What kind of protective measures do you have for your flock? Send us your suggestions and advice below!