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Chicken Predators - What to Lookout For and Keep Our Feathered Girls Safe

The days are growing shorter here in the Northeast now that summer has ended and winter will be approaching. The baby predators are learning how to hunt during the day and evening. Now is the perfect time to clean out the coop, check the security of the coop and the run, and take precautions to keep predators out and chickens safe.




Chickens are extremely vulnerable and make a tasty meal to mink, foxes, weasels, opossums, hawks, raccoons, owls, bobcats, dogs, cats, and even bears. OH MY! Most chicken losses occur in the evening when the nocturnal mammals are prowling. The best defense is a strong, sturdy, and secure coop that will keep the sleeping chickens safe on their roosts


HERE ARE A FEW WAYS TO KEEP PREDATORS OUT OF THE COOP

  • Check your coop and run for loose or torn hardware cloth. Have secure latches and use a carabiner clip or padlock or spring loaded locking eye hooks.

  • Check and repair coop floor and walls of cracks or hole. Cover unsecured windows and vents with hardware cloth.

  • Check the perimeter for signs or digging or small tunnels. Place welded wire apron at least 3 feet wide around the coop and run to help prevent a digging animal, like a skunk, from gaining access.

  • Clear out brush, wood, or other items that make great hiding places in view of the coop. The more visible the coop the less likely a predator will feel safe.

  • Plan to have your chickens in the coop prior to dusk. Take a good look at the inside of the coop to ensure a predator such as a mink or baby opossum isn't hiding.

  • Install a solar or sensor activated lighting that can scare a hungry predator from trying to enter the coop or run.

  • Ensure overhead cover protection to prevent an owl or hawk from snatching a chicken.

It only takes one coop invasion to lose an entire flock!

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