Learn how to predator-proof your chicken coop.
With the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet and Nutrena Poultry Specialist Twain Lockhart, you can learn how to predator-proof your chicken coop. From coyotes to raccoons, there are plenty of wild animals that want to feast on your flock. There are a few simple precautions and safety measures you can take to protect your birds.
Common chicken coop predators are coyotes, raccoons, minks, and weasels. These wild animals are nocturnal, and prey on chickens at night. Even neighborhood dogs may be curious and go after your chickens. Research which animals are prevalent in your area. Ask your neighbors, especially if they’re fellow chicken farmers.
How to Protect your Chicken Coop
Lock your windows – Lock the windows of your coop to keep predators out. If you leave them unlocked, you’re giving predators easy access into the coop. You can also cover the coop windows with hardware cloth to keep predators out. Secure it with hardware, not just staples.
Install a motion sensor light – A motion sensor light can scare off animals. As nocturnal creatures, a bright flood light should help deter them away from the coop.
Bury fences underground – Your chicken run should have the proper strength fence to keep predators out. Bury the fencing at least 12″ underground to deter digging rodents and other predators.
Shelter the run – Along with fencing around the run and coop, you also need to cover the top of the run. Aerial attacks from owls, hawks and other birds of prey can happen. Climbing predators, such as weasels and raccoons, can squeeze and tear through chicken wire. Use heavy-duty hardware cloth to keep these critters out of the run.
Keep feed locked up tight – Keep chicken feed locked up in metal barrels with a tight lid to keep out rodents. Also keep the barrels out of reach of other predators, like raccoons and bears. Don’t keep feeders outside while your chickens free range. The feed will attract wild birds and animals that can carry diseases, or worse, will go after your chickens and eggs. When it’s feeding time, keep the feed in the coop.
At Blain’s Farm & Fleet, we know farm animals, big and small. That’s why you can trust the animal experts to carry all the feed and supplies you need to take care of your livestock. For more tips on the keeping and caring of your farm animals, visit our Hobby Farming blog.