Tips for Protecting Your Chickens

Never assume that living in the city means there are no chicken predators. No matter where you are living, you should still know how to protect your chickens to keep your backyard flock safe.

 

Chicken Predators 

Your poor chickens are easy prey for a long list of possible predators. You need to protect chickens from

   
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 raccoons, squirrels, foxes, mice, rats, hawks and the ever-present domestic cats and dogs.

 

Squirrels and mice are more pests than predators, but will be very interested in your chicken's food. And once they start chewing holes in your hen house, larger predators can follow. So you do need to be careful of these small rodent pests.

 

Raccoons, rats, and even foxes would have their eyes on the eggs more than your birds themselves. Though a fox would happily eat both your precious eggs as well as a chicken, if it had the chance. Cats, dogs and hawks are pretty much only interested in your chickens.

 

You're better able to see how to protect chickens when you understand the various predators that might be lurking in your yard.

 

 

 

 Your Chicken Coop 

 

Download Your Chicken Coop Plans hereYour backyard flock is most vulnerable during the night, when they are sleeping in their coop. So the coop is where you should focus your attention. Your chicken house should be closed up tightly, with any doors or windows securely locked. Any open areas (ventilation holes, etc) should be covered with wire mesh. Window screening works well, as long as it is the metal kind. A mouse can chew through the flimsy plastic variety in no time.

 

The house itself should be sturdy. A raccoon or a dog will put some real effort into breaking in, and can pull off loosely attached boards, shingles or trim.

 

Learn more about building your own chicken coop and get all the details right here.

 

 

 

Your Chicken Pen 

 

During the day, your chickens are likely to be out and about enjoying some fresh air in their pen. Good quality chicken wire, or close-knit woven-wire type of fencing is ideal for a pen. To really keep out the predators, close the pen in across the top as well as the sides. Raccoons can usually climb over a wire fence with no problem, and a hawk could swoop in without hesitation. Fully enclosed is best.

 

Another problem can be animals that might dig under the wire of the pen. If your chicken coop is permanent, you can bury the bottom edge of your chicken wire fencing down about a foot. Most animals won't try to dig any deeper than that. If digging does become a problem, you could give your pen a chicken wire "floor", but you'll have to keep a layer of bedding on it so your birds don't get their feet or toes caught in the wire.

 

Overall, just remember that your chicken housing and pen need to do much more than just keep your chickens in. It needs to be secure enough to keep a variety of other animals out. 

 

 Grab Your Chicken Coop Plans Here

 

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