Owning a flock of chickens comes with the more duty of maintaining them secure. But figuring out what threatens them might be difficult. Let’s appear at the a variety of chicken predators, their habits, and establish a approach to maintain your chickens secure.
Just about each and every carnivore and omnivore in the woods that surround your house is a possible predator to your chickens. Numerous canine and feline species, as nicely as raccoons, skunks, opossums, and unique varieties of the weasel household, all pose really serious difficulties to your feathered close friends. But they can be thwarted in their efforts.
Nighttime predators can contain dogs, cats, skunks, opossums, raccoons, weasels or minks, owls, foxes, coyotes, wolves, snakes, and other folks. A lot of places do not have a bear trouble, so I didn’t list them. But they would kill chickens for specific if permitted into the pen at evening.
But, some of the easiest predators to quit are nighttime predators. The chickens are all snuggled up on their roost and they are all in one particular location. That tends to make predator prevention a lot much easier, but only if you have produced the appropriate precautions.
Obtaining the chickens (the prey) in one particular location suggests that you only have to stop entry to that one particular location. This can be achieved by many approaches, and some of these approaches can be implemented in daytime protection as well.
1st, there is the coop. How safe is it? Are there holes in the wire surround? Are there gaps in the fencing or structure? A important inspection desires to be completed ahead of you add chickens, or for certain at the 1st sign of predation on your house.
Appear for the smallest location of entry. I had an opossum acquire
entry from a gap that was significantly less than a couple of inches wide. He did a lot of harm
in just a handful of days, killing 13 chickens ahead of I saw the smaller opening. So be pretty
important when hunting for an access point. Feel like a smaller animal, and inspect
closely. A coyote may possibly not be in a position to get into a smaller opening, but a mink
I’ve discovered that nighttime predators can be swiftly stopped
by an electric fence. In truth, I do not even lock my chickens up at evening
any longer. Their door is generally wide open.
I location the hot wire just above the ground about the perimeter of the chicken home. It is on a timer and is set to come on following they have gone to bed. The actual set time will differ based on the length of days (season) and the bi-yearly adjustments in daylight savings time.
I’ve by no means lost a chicken to a ground predator considering that I
installed my “perimeter electric fence”. It just performs that nicely. It is not
mainly because I do not have any predators either. I know for certain I have raccoons,
skunks, foxes, opossums… all the smaller predators on or close to my house.
Considering that the electric wire is close to the ground, all the smaller predators would touch the wire as they attempt to acquire access. A great fence charger that produces a tough jolt of electrical energy will in all probability imply that they will not come back, at least not for a lengthy time.
It has to be a Very good Electric Fence. One particular that just provides them a tiny tingle will not deter them from dinner. Here’s one particular that I discovered to be pretty productive in delivering the jolt they have to have. Appear for one particular that is at least 1-Joule and preferably two-Joules or above. “Joules” is the measure of “shock value” that the charger produces. Greater Joules is superior. There are lots of that are pretty great, and Patriot is my brand of decision.
Just to clarify, I’ve by no means had one particular from Tractor Provide, and so forth. that was highly effective adequate to quit a determined animal.
I have many videos on my YouTube Channel displaying my chicken home electric fence setup, and lots of have implemented it on their house.
Nighttime predators also contain owls. An owl is nocturnal and will decide on the cover of darkness to come for your chickens. Certainly, a hot wire close to the bottom of your coop will not be a deterrent to an owl, so you will have to make certain your pen is buttoned-up as discussed above. No gaps.
Snakes can be a trouble mainly because they will consume your eggs. But they also can kill smaller chickens a month old or significantly less. Snakes can get into just about any hole and are pretty tough to maintain out.
My subsequent-door neighbor has an electrified fence (or hot wire) about his chicken pen at my guidance. He told me that a fox had a litter of babies just a handful of yards from his coop, below some metal scrap. But he’s by no means lost a chicken to a fox considering that he installed the hot wire. It performs that nicely.
Even for midsized and massive predators, an electric fence is,
in my opinion, the most effective deterrent. I do not have a bear population, but a great
electric fence will totally deter a bear. They are made use of all more than Alaska, and
other places exactly where bears are prevalent.
For bigger predators, the hot wire would of course have to be placed greater than the other wire, and considering that you would be walking in and out the door, there would have to be a latch you could use to let oneself in and out. That is not a trouble considering that there are lots of unique sorts of “latches” for hot wires.
My “coop” is inside a massive “chicken run”. I do not have an electric fence about the “run’ but I do have it about the coop. If there was ever a breach of the “run” by a bigger animal, I would have to set up one particular about the perimeter of the run as well, and in all probability a greater wire about the coop, but so far, I haven’t had to.
So, that requires care of nighttime predators. Just a “critter-tight” coop and a strategically placed hot wire low to the ground. So far so great and that will stop most of the predation on chickens. Most kills are at evening. But not all.
The daytime predators will contain lots of of the above. There are threats from canines (dog, coyote, foxes, and so forth.) as nicely as other folks from the feline household (bobcats, cougars, and so forth.) and even other folks that will attack from the air. Let’s appear at the daytime ground predators 1st.
For ground predation, the most effective defense is a pretty great fence.
A fence that will not permit these animals on your house. Chain-hyperlink fence,
woven fence, electric fencing are all great techniques to maintain predators out.
Earlier I described dogs. For lots of, if not most of these that raise chickens, the neighborhood stray dog will be your worse predator trouble. In particular if you are in an urban atmosphere. A lot of are maintaining chickens in the city now, and it is becoming pretty well-known to have backyard poultry.
If you do not have a fenced-in yard, you are opening oneself up to predation (daytime and nighttime) from domesticated animals. Most of the difficulties will come from dogs (possibly even your personal), but cats will kill chickens as well. I do not assume cats are as undesirable of a threat, but it undoubtedly is achievable.
If your chickens are in a coop and run, or a “chicken
tractor” in the course of the day, you shouldn’t have to be concerned about that, but if they “free-range”
on your acreage, or even in your backyard, you will have to take precautions to
stop predation from the neighborhood prowlers.
If you decide on to “free-range” you will want to study this post about the positive aspects and pitfalls of implementing a No cost-Variety technique.
A lot of decide on a Livestock Guard Dog (LGD) to remain outdoors on
their house with the animals. Their only job in life is to guard what ever
livestock you place them in charge of. A great LGD is relentless in their
protection and will give their life for the “family” they safeguard.
The Excellent Pyrenees is one particular of the preferred possibilities for these that use LGDs.
But, in the course of the daytime hours, and whether or not you are in the nation or a city acquiring, an assault from the air is pretty achievable. Hawks and eagles can snatch a chicken up ahead of they ever knew they left the ground.
A lot of hawks are not massive adequate to fly off with a complete-grown chicken, so lots of occasions they will pounce on the chicken, kill and consume it (partially) it on the ground. An eagle is ordinarily massive adequate to fly off with a chicken, and you will not locate any proof of what occurred. Possibly a handful of feathers, but not a lot.
For an aerial assault, the only point that is for certain is bird netting. It has to be placed in service strategically, with no gaps for the aerial predators to locate their way in.
If your chickens are “free-range” it will be pretty challenging to cover the whole location they roam with bird netting. So, you might want to attempt one particular of these significantly less productive approaches.
Streamers, fake snakes, fake owls are just a handful of factors that are made use of to attempt to thwart an air attack from a hawk or eagle. They are moderately prosperous but undoubtedly worth a attempt.
I’m told that a Livestock Guard Dog is pretty productive against aerial attacks. They will sense or see the danger and chase the predator bird off.
Also, attempt to give your chickens cover to run to when they sense danger. A lot of occasions, my chickens will hear a hawk and will run inside their coop. Occasionally I will make a whistling sound that mimics a hawk’s cry and my chicken’s heads go up, hunting for danger… and cover.
So, possessing a secure location for them to run can be pretty effective, and may possibly just save the life of your dearest feathered close friends.
I hope this aids you in your efforts to make your chickens’ lives as secure as achievable.
I have an whole Playlist on My YouTube Channel dealing with predators on the Homestead, and how to maintain them away.
I also have about 800 other videos dealing with Raising Livestock, Gardening, Farming, and Emergency Preparedness on My Channel. You can locate it Right here
I know your time is worthwhile. Thanks for spending some of it