Predators can use every small hole to access your birds. A weasel, for example, can easily pass through a 1/2 inch hole. You'll be amazed at how easy it is for small predators, such as snakes and weasels, to get into the chicken coop and eat eggs and, in some cases, even chicks. Secure the floor of chicken coops and coops Freestanding chicken coops should have solid wood floors to prevent predators from accessing from below, and be raised to prevent wood rotting.
Old pallets work well for this, as do railway moorings, cinder blocks, or cobblestones. Wherever you use chicken wire, such as window areas for ventilation, around the bottom, or for running, use a hardware cloth instead. Some raccoons will simply open the chicken wire and enter at will. Wire cloth (the finer the mesh, the better) is more expensive, but much more deterrent.
Good predator management starts with a fence. Fences not only keep predators out, but also prevent chickens from becoming a nuisance on neighbor's property. If you use wire mesh to build an enclosure, make sure the openings are smaller than an inch to prevent predators from passing through it. Electric poultry fences are an even better option for protecting against terrestrial predators.
When avian predators are a problem, it can be effective to cover the chicken corridor with wire or mesh. Burying a mesh at least a foot deep around the sides of the enclosure will prevent predators from digging. Sometimes I was called too obsessive, but so far, my efforts have paid off since my daughters are healthy and happy, and we haven't had any problems with predators in 5 years. If you're lucky enough to have a large garden, make sure to mow any tall grass, shrubs, or overgrown areas within 50 to 75 feet of your chicken coop.
The less coverage a predator has, the more vulnerable they are when it comes to being seen before attacking. This frustrates less trusting predators, since they don't risk exposing themselves to attacks. Sometimes, with birds of prey, they can become very desperate and attack no matter what. Make a couple of safety shelters for your birds to touch.
You can use a 55-gallon plastic drum cut to length or a wooden pallet perched in blocks. We do everything you suggest, but we have a problem with bobcat attacks during the day. We electrify the top wire of our 7′ fence (where they are free all day) but it doesn't matter. You can't get the chicken out, we assume it's too heavy, so leave the poor girl dead inside the fence.
Do you think a seated scarecrow would work? We've lost 7 girls in three years, mostly to lynx, two to a mountain. We have 2 dogs, but they are never out when this happens. Can you give any advice please? I tried the rooster. Now I have no chickens and a rooster that ran for cover and never protected any of my 10 chickens.
It was a mixed-breed rescue rooster, with half-barred rock. I would recommend looking for a more aggressive breed. The same thing happened to me. I had just moved my first group of babies outside when feathers started to fall.
He then discovered that the chicks go through a “juvenile molt” at 12-16 weeks. It's not as intense as what adults experience. I currently have 5 doing that right now. How about raising guineas with your chickens? I have read that they will attack and raise an uproar when what they consider theirs is threatened.
I am thinking of raising chickens from 4 to 6 in addition to 2 guineanas to protect my chickens. Neighbors have had trouble trying to raise chickens because of predators. Live in the countryside, lots of wild pigs, raccoons, squirrels, hawks, etc. Before I start with any building, I'm doing a lot of research.
Thanks for the good information. I spent a couple of years owning chickens before losing one to a predator, now I seem to have a serial killer raccoon, I lost 3 chickens in 3 weeks. I thought our chicken coop was predator-proof (buried chicken wire, totally enclosed), but raccoons are cunning and persistent. I could see where he tried to enter the entire enclosure until he found a vulnerability.
In that first year without incident, we had a rooster. He was bad with us, but I guess he was also bad with predators. Your comment on “chicken wire keeps chickens in, but hard wire mesh keeps predators out” hit me at home. We're going to reinforce with hard wire this weekend.
You may also be looking for a rooster. Join over 15,000 chicken enthusiasts who have already subscribed. I have been raising chickens for seven years and I have learned a lot in that time, the most important lesson being the safety of chicken coops. Close chicken coop doors and run at dusk You never know when a night predator might start hunting for food prematurely, so chicken coop and corridor doors need to be secured as soon as the flock has gone to sleep at night.
We also have stainless steel bird picks that surround the outside of the chicken coop at ground level with an electric cattle fence that runs just above it. Weatherproof locks will offer the best long-term performance, but any padlock that is left around dusty chickens and out of the elements will start to get sticky (meaning you're more likely to be lazy to close them every day). This should give you an idea of the various weaknesses you need to consider in your chicken coop and in the overall configuration. Instead, Kathy recommends a 12-inch wire mesh (also sold as welded wire), which has much smaller holes than chicken wire.
Inspect your chicken coop and run regularlyAlways check your chicken coop and run for signs of damage, wear, or attempted entry by predators. What can I use at the bottom of a chicken coop and run so that chickens don't dig holes or cables, as they scratch and hurt their feet?. Larger falcons will attack chickens from above during daylight hours and eat them instead, as evidenced by the feathers scattered in the area. Teaching chickens to return to the chicken coop at night is best done from the time they first settle in the chicken coop, but they can also be trained at a later date if needed.
Gather your chickens before the sun goes down and make sure they are safely confined to their chicken coop while there is still some light left. Closing all access holes and allowing proper ventilation can be a challenge for chicken owners. One of the best ways to protect chickens from falcons, owls and eagles is to make sure your chickens have plenty of places to hide when a predator is flying over their heads. .