Protecting chickens from predators is such an important topic it deserves its own section. This series of articles helps you determine the type of predators you have and find what works well for protecting backyard chickens.
In the theme of the natural food chain, unlike most animals, chickens have no predator defense other than some distrust. Whether predators are wild or domestic, chickens are the perfect prey because of their slowness and the amount of meat on their body.
Living in the suburbs or city limits does not mean you’re predator free. Domestic animals, like prowling dogs and cats, are a threat to the backyard flock as much as wild predators are to the farm flock.
How to Protect Chickens from Predators
How you protect chickens depends on what predators are in your area. Different predators need different methods of protection. By understanding the types of predators posing a threat, you can give your chickens better security while reducing losses.
If you are unsure of the predator types in your area, talk to your neighbors or contact local authorities or animal control.
There are several defenses for predators.
- Chemical Deterrents
- Natural and Organic Deterrents
- Electric Fencing
- Sturdy Coops and Pens
- Small Hole Mesh Wire
- Hardware Cloth or Metal Screening for Windows and Beneath Floors
- Buried Hardware Cloth and Planks for Digging Predators
- Clear All Possible Predator Hiding Places
- Herd Or Cattle Dogs (Must Be Trained to Avoid Attacking Chickens)
- A Gun if You Live in Rural Areas
Protecting your flock from predators is an ongoing job. Whatever options you choose, predator protection must be inspected and maintained often. In most cases more than one or even all these predator protections are necessary for protecting your flock. Whether you live in the city or in rural areas, predators are an ongoing threat to all chicken flocks and their eggs.