Want to know a little bit about the chicken predators that are out there? Want to know the best possible way to ensure that your chickens are protected against these predators? Well, read on!
What are the Most Common Chicken Predators?
More often than not, chicken predators are going to be foxes and raccoons. Yes, raccoons can eat chickens, and they will be more than happy to chow down on your chickens.
In some areas, weasels, owls and even possums can kill chicks . But also skunks can kill chicks and they are going to be aiming for your chickens too.
But, honestly, a lot of it is going to be completely dependent on where you live.
Generally speaking, if there are predators living in your area, then they are going to enjoy munching on a few chickens.
If you have a dog (and some cats), then you will also need to be aware that there is a chance they will love a good chicken too.
You should never let your omnivore pets anywhere near your chickens because they will almost certainly try to catch them.
They may not eat them, but they won’t be able to shake the instinct of chasing the chicken down and enjoying a good meal.
There is not a whole lot you can do about chicken predators. They are going to be attracted to your chickens. The only thing that you can really do is ensure that your chickens are protected in the best possible way.
That is what the next section of this article is going to be all about.
Chickens Can’t Really Defend Themselves from Predators
It is worth noting that your chickens will probably put up a fight against chicken predators. However, they would almost certainly not win. The predator will carry them off.
Not only this, but the vast majority of chicken predators are going to come out at night.
This isn’t good for your chickens. When they are asleep, they won’t be able to hear a thing. We don’t know if you have ever tried to wake up a chicken before, but it is not an easy thing to do in the slightest.
A predator knows this, and it will be able to snatch your chickens without a care in the world. Thankfully, there are a few tips in the next section which will help to protect you against this somewhat.
Protecting Chickens from Predators
Perhaps the best possible thing you can do to protect your chickens from predators is to ensure that they are in a secure chicken coop. There are tens of great predator-safe chicken coops in the market.
This is where they should always be at night.
Remember; the vast majority of predators are going to come out at night, and if they can’t get access to your chickens, then they will move on. You should never ensure that the chickens make their way to the coop on their own of an evening.
This is something that you should be ensuring happens. Make them go into that coop. Make sure you lock it behind them. Your flock will be much-better protected like this.
In addition to this, you are going to want to fix any holes in a chicken run as soon as they appear. Predators can slip through the smallest of holes, and if you don’t seal them up, then your flock isn’t going to last long.
Yes. There will be opportunistic predators that pop up on occasion, so even if you are locking your chickens up at night, there is still a good chance they will hop through the hole during daylight hours.
For your run, you will want to use the heaviest duty wire that you can find. Do not use cheap and flimsy chicken wire. This is because some predators can tear through it. This is going to be putting your birds at risk.
In addition to this, you will want to bury a small amount of fence under the soil. This way if a chicken predator like possum, tries to dig under the fence of the chicken coop, they won’t be successful. They are just going to encounter more fence.
You will also want to ensure that digging into the area is kept to the absolute minimum. If you see a hole, fill it. You may also want to use a concrete floor of the run and coop. This will prevent chicken predators from digging in and upwards.
Finally; you will want to ensure that your chickens have overhead protection during the day. This will help to prevent birds of prey swooping in and lifting your chickens up for a tasty snack!
Related article, that you might want to check:
– Will cats attack and kill chickens?