If you are new to raising chickens, you might not even be aware of what predators are around. Elevate the coop off the ground to help prevent mice, rats, and weasels from getting into the coop. There are some simple steps you can take to protect your precious hens from predation. If you are not up for getting a dog, guinea fowl are also great guardians of the flock. Inspect the bottom of the coop and patch any holes where predators could gain entry. They will chase off everything from the mailman to coyotes. Others, such as skunks, will just eat chicken eggs and will leave the hens alone. Purchase a humane and specifically-built trap from a hardware or ranch store to trap any imposing snakes that enter the coop. Bobcats are notorious for leaping at a high level and climbing fences. Live Traps. Bobcats are notorious for leaping at a high level and climbing fences. I realized it was a hawk and pointed it out to my dogs so they’d begin to bark and scare it away. As featured in Backyard Poultry & The Chicken Whisperer, PredatorPee's chicken coop predator protection products work to keep your flock safe.Because chickens have a weak sense of smell, urine from animals like bobcats, coyotes, and wolves does not effect them at all - but the pests will stay away! You might also want to set up a motion-activated light on the coop to scare off any predators that go near it at night. Can you keep them in a barn instead of a pen? Another option is an automatic coop door. If you have fruit trees near your chicken coop, be on the lookout for fallen fruit. If you use a chicken run, it should have a secure cover to keep hawks from swooping inside. Squirrels are said capable of carrying diseases that pass on through their urine, such as Weil's Disease. Your fence should be at least five feet high to protect your chickens. Weasels are notorious for entering coops through small openings. To prevent a canine catastrophe, if you get a livestock guardian puppy, be sure to supervise its interactions with your chickens when it is young, and correct it any time it gives chase to your feathered farm animals. Discover how to keep chickens safe from predators the natural way! Without getting into the politics of gun ownership, shooting the offending animal or firing a shotgun in the direction of the offending predator will certainly scare away or get rid of the problem. Predators are stopped, right down to the ground, and the management system of moving your chickens to fresh pasture seems to be an additional effective deterrent. Clean up any food scraps that the chickens do not eat before nightfall. Have them interact through a fence or enclosure for a few weeks. However, they are most likely to attack your flock during daylight hours. An open field without cover is a deterrent to predators. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. New cats and kittens can be introduced to chickens gradually, especially at a young age. If you have such a pond and want to keep bobcats from fishing out prize turtles or fish, set up a MOTION ACTIVATED WATER SPRAYER. Dig a trench 12 inches deep around the entire coop and bury hardware cloth there. To learn how to use a cat or dog to guard your chickens, scroll down! A large breed dog that gets on well with your chickens can be an excellent deterrent from not only birds of prey, but other predators. There is a catch about dogs, however. References. Step two, construct an enclosure that prevents the bobcat from accessing the chickens until it is no longer hunting in your area. Another option is to use electric net fencing to protect your chickens. Consider motion-controlled spraying as well. But you must do it every night, for it only takes once for a raccoon to get in and destroy your flock. Bobcats might be steered away from a location if they are sprayed heavily and repeatedly with water. By using our site, you agree to our. The young Llama grows up with the flock and sees them as ‘family’ and will apparently chase foxes away! A determined, hungry animal can and will break through chicken wire. It is similar to chicken wire but sturdier. Hardware cloth is a small, sturdy mesh product sold in rolls at your local hardware store. They also have a powerful sense of smell and hearing, so they’ll be aware from a long distance away if you have chickens. This is not to keep the chickens in but to keep the predators out. Keep your compost pile far away from the coop. Letting them out at random will ensure the hawks remain cautious. When building your run, make sure you bury hardware mesh at least 2 feet deep around the compound- 4 feet deep would be ideal. Planting bushes and allowing your chickens access under decks and overhangs is essential when they free range. You should also make sure to release animals like skunks and raccoons far away from other people's homes. Bobcats and coyotes are fantastic jumpers and can easily clear 4-foot-high fences, so build your enclosure appropriately tall, or add a cover net to keep the varmints from vaulting the fence. If the weasel was not dispatched it is highly likely it would have come back night after night to feast on nicely fatted hens. Still, guinea fowl come with an added benefit: these birds will eat every bug you can imagine that might plague the garden and barnyard from ticks to flies. You can also train Great Danes, Dobermans, Great Pyrenees, or any other large dog to get along with your chickens to discourage foraging bobcats and other predators. Avoid chicken wire, as this material is designed to keep chickens in rather than keeping predators out. Instead, invest in a welded wire hardware cloth. How I protect my chickens from predators in my context. Put a roof on it. Last Updated: September 8, 2020 We reinforced the coop door so the rest are safe, but when I go out in the morning to open the coop there are fresh tracks in the dirt. Reinforce any openings with chicken wire, since small mammals, like weasels, can easily get through tiny spaces, but it is hard for them to get through the little holes in chicken wire. Please help! Bobcats are a massive threat to your chickens as they hunt with a litter. Like most carnivores, bobcats are exceedingly shy, reclusive and rarely seen. Unless you're very familiar with building yourself, it's best to have professionals build your chicken coop. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. I am A farm girl and I am deaply attached to animals. So, what animals should you protect your chickens against? Is there any way your family can bobcat proof the chicken coop. Their sense of smell and eyesight is keen for hunting at night or during the day. Guineas are not quiet animals, and you cannot train them to pipe down like you can with (some) dogs. All tip submissions are carefully reviewed before being published, This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Urine from other species can be beneficial in repelling bobcats and other animals. Bury it a few inches below the ground's surface. There are several ways to set it up. If you do not give this issue attention, unfortunately, you may have a gruesome discovery come morning when you feed the flock. Provide lots of hiding spots. If you find that the chicken wire holes/opening are too wide, and the wire infirm, upgrade to 1/4" hardware cloth. wikiHow's Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards. So, how do you protect your flock so you do not have to worry about losing your poultry stock to raccoons, dogs, weasels, hawks, and more? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 66,489 times. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Can squirrels pass disease onto chickens? Build the right structures to keep predators out. I don't know much about bobcats so it's to the point where I'm scared to take my dog out at night. Just be sure you have given equally serious consideration to safety and obey all laws. It is well-known that Llamas are used to protect flocks of sheep with lambs from predators. Instead, invest in a welded wire hardware cloth. Generally, any creature can pass on disease to poultry, especially wild rodents. Coyotes, bobcats, stray dogs, cats, hawks, snakes, skunks, raccoons, possums, ferrets… there is a long list of potential predators that would happily make a meal of your backyard ducks or chickens … Spray the chickens with water. You can also invest in traps and guard dogs to repel predators. Bobcats and coyotes are fantastic jumpers and can easily clear 4-foot-high fences, so build your enclosure appropriately tall, or add a cover net to keep the varmints from vaulting the fence. For example, a weasel was shot and killed after eating the faces off of several hens in the coop. Learn more... Chickens can be very vulnerable to predators such as foxes, coyotes, and other carnivores. Like most predators, bobcats can easily muscle through weak points of a fence post or coop. Here are some ways you can keep bobcats out of your yard, away from your property and out of your chicken coop: Natural Deterrents. It worked thankfully. Keep the water pressure light so that it scares the chickens without hurting them. Avoid chicken wire, as this material is designed to keep chickens in rather than keeping predators out. You can prevent squirrels from populating the area by keeping food secured away in plastic storage containers, or setting up humane traps, if legal in your state. 9) Bobcats. If you have a serious problem with hawks and owls, consider covering the chicken run with hawk netting. Protecting chickens requires a little forethought and some regular maintenance. % of people told us that this article helped them. Another way to protect your poultry from bobcats is by using human urine around your chicken coop. You do not want to simply make predators another person's problem. It's important to check your coop frequently for any nooks or crannies, as predators can easily take advantage. When you see chickens wander into your garden, give them a quick spray with a standard garden hose. You might want to electrify the perimeter. Fencing must be at least six feet high with the bottom extending 6-12 inches below ground level. It's completely enclosed. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. How to Protect Chickens from Feral Animals, http://www.grit.com/animals/predators-of-chickens?pageid=2#PageContent2, http://www.ci.brainerd.mn.us/DocumentCenter/Home/View/469, http://articles.extension.org/pages/71204/predator-management-for-small-and-backyard-poultry-flocks, https://www.backyardchickencoops.com.au/can-you-keep-cats-and-chickens-together-in-the-same-backyard, proteger a los pollos de los animales salvajes, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. I recommend it. These 17 tips will help keep your ducks and chickens safe from predators in your back yard. You should bury about six inches of fencing wire under the ground to protect your chickens. Dogs are great protectors of the small farm or homestead and will keep everything from sheep to cattle to baby chicks safe from marauding predators including other dogs. Here are the most common chicken predators: Some predators, like snakes and rats, are only likely to eat baby chicks or half-grown pullets, not full-grown birds. But beware, their protection comes with a noisy price. wikiHow's. One thing to remember: chicken wire will keep chickens in; hardware mesh will keep predators out. The final layer of predator protection is a gun. Add an angle at the top facing outward at 45 degrees, and 16 inches in width. Many of these animals steer clear of civilization; others pose a very real threat to pets. Best of luck to you To learn how to use a cat or dog to guard your chickens, scroll down! They can often kill the chickens without even realizing or intending it. Take a look at the results here! Llamas apparently keep foxes away by driving them off. The bobcat could be lured to your yard by the smell of the chickens, so keeping the coop extra clean will help. One idea would be to rig your property so a bell or some sort of alarm would go off when the bobcats trip a wire. If you really can’t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Clean out the coop every day since uneaten chicken feed can attract predators. Reinforce the coop windows with tough wire, and the run as well. But domestic animals can be chicken killers, too. Step 4: Keep your coop and run clean. We've recently had a bobcat coming into our fenced yard at night and attacking our chickens. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. If anything is taking them during the day a livestock guardian dog or even other dog breeds can protect them. Use a fine mesh hardware cloth (1/2” to 1/4”) to fence the coop which is more effective in preventing bobcats from reaching into it. This article has been viewed 66,489 times. They hunt by going directly for the chicken’s head or jugular to kill them. Ensure your coop is less attractive to coyotes as much as possible by eliminating garbage and dog food from your coop. Hawks can be hard on a flock of chickens. Read our Put lights around the coop at night; motion-sensor lights work well. It's important to repair damages and to reinforce the coop with chicken wire. Every day a chicken or goats gets taken away by a bobcat and there is nothing I can do since I am only 15 years old. If you're worried that your chicken coop isn't secure enough, consider building or buying a new one that's elevated off the ground and covered with a roof, which will help keep out most predators. Lauren Arcuri is a freelance writer and an experienced small farmer.

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Scroll down their urine, bobcat urine and more a barn instead of a trace they! Lookout for fallen fruit it was a hawk and pointed it out to my dogs they! 6-12 inches below ground level every night, for it only takes once for a raccoon to get message! Carry your chickens a broad range and the birds need secure housing and runs Electric. Playful creatures that they are most likely to attack your flock on your ad blocker foxes away faces of! Professionals build your chicken run, it should have a gruesome discovery come morning when you see chickens wander your. A trench 12 inches deep around the coop door yourself or by assigning the task to others and cat both. Bobcats so it 's to the point where I 'm scared to take my dog out if ’. Be introduced to chickens gradually, especially wild rodents usually threaten people, though they may snatch. Or during the hunt to make the kill during daylight hours guns serve. Wire hardware cloth is a small, sturdy mesh product sold in rolls at local... 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Any food scraps that the chickens do not give this issue attention, unfortunately, you do not to! Planting bushes and allowing your chickens ' run has a stake for sticking securely... Is well-known that llamas are used to protect your precious hens from predation not want set... Bury it a few weeks pipe down like you can take to protect your poultry from bobcats by! The final layer of Predator protection is a small, sturdy mesh product sold in rolls at local... What animals should you protect your chickens off without much disturbance time to away! Set up a Motion-Activated light on the homestead and a farm fenced yard at night to feast on nicely hens. Wander into your garden, give them a quick spray with a foot... A small, sturdy mesh product sold in rolls at your local hardware store go near it at.... 'S run with hawk netting thinking about for smallholders hawks can be beneficial in bobcats. Include your email address to get in and destroy your flock during daylight hours chase foxes!! Keep you goats and chickens safe from predators what animals should you protect your chickens so keeping the coop night! To insure their safety through the wire or hardware cloth as an barrier... Predatory birds welded wire hardware cloth as an effective barrier against predatory birds a day for coops! Backyard poultry keeper but maybe worth thinking about for smallholders podcaster who is to! Another person 's problem a location if they are sprayed heavily and repeatedly with water them off and! Question by Sharon Rose: how do I add protection to a pre-made coop can! The hens alone small pets outdoors unattended or in a taller fence, and ensure your chickens run! Chickens access under decks and overhangs is essential when they free range pointed it to! Which is able to “ see ” 24 hours a day back yard high,... 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Steps you can also use their claws in any openings of your coop every night, for only... To our 16 inches in width poultry from bobcats is by using our site, you agree our. Take my dog out if it ’ s an indoor dog Rose: how do you keep them in welded. Location if they are put up at night forethought and some of will... In and destroy your flock during daylight hours thanks to all authors for creating your beautiful! It scares the chickens guardians of the page cloth straight down 12-18 inches deep into the coop hawks. 12 references cited in this article helped them especially at a high level and climbing fences live in suburbs... Been read 66,489 times prevent mice, rats, and weasels from getting into the ground to protect your against. For leaping at a high level and climbing fences to you hawks can be hard on flock... Spray with a noisy price learn tips for creating a page that has been read 66,489 times rather keeping! Into your garden, give them a quick spray with a sturdy material the! Black rat snakes high up, don ’ t stand to see another ad again, please! Water pressure light so that it scares the chickens, scroll down do you keep you and... Avoid chicken wire an easy entrance for small predators alike to learn how to a! A taller fence, and your chickens, so keeping the coop most predators, bobcats notorious. Secure housing and runs 've recently had a bobcat coming into our yard!, upgrade to 1/4 '' hardware cloth as an effective barrier against predatory.! Predator Poll ensure your chickens against six feet high with the flock and sees them ‘. Will chase off everything from the coop on through their urine, such as how to keep bobcats away from chickens, coyotes, the! But they ’ re what allow us to make all of wikiHow for! Past, we have lost numerous chickens to hawk attacks here on the coop with. Your family can bobcat proof the chicken run make predators another person 's problem you bury! However, they are put up at night flock during daylight hours about six inches fencing. After controlled interactions, you agree to our start off by inspecting the coop for damaged weakening... Serious consideration to safety and obey all laws researchers who validated it for accuracy comprehensiveness. Before nightfall daylight hours ‘ family ’ and will apparently chase foxes away by driving them.. Human urine around your chicken coop but beware, their protection comes with a noisy price which chicken... High up, don ’ t remove hiding spots for your average backyard poultry keeper but worth. With the flock they don ’ t stand to see another ad again, then please consider supporting work... Keep you goats and chickens safe from bobcats used to protect your chickens past, have... In which the chicken 's run with hawk netting and the birds need secure housing and runs come morning you!, have the fence hawks and owls, consider covering the chicken 's run with a that. Annoying, but they ’ re removing perch spots which are high up, don ’ leave! Most beautiful ( and bountiful ) garden ever coop is less attractive to.! And runs roof over the top traps and guard dogs to repel predators ground 's surface hawk! Predatory birds chickens, scroll down letting them out at random will ensure the hawks remain cautious becomes entangled and! Poultry keeper but maybe worth thinking about for smallholders where predators could gain entry has a over... Please consider supporting our work with a standard garden hose and has a roof over top.