One of the disadvantages to being a chicken is that certain types of animals what to eat you for dinner. Here are some chicken coop predators to be on the lookout for.
Coyotes are adapting to the presence of humans, so they tend to be more active at anytime during the day. Coyotes will usually grab a chicken at the neck which is their signature method of attack. It won’t do any good to shoot them; you should trap them or better yet make sure you coyote proof your coop.
Foxes are very quick and sly. They are very skilled hunters who love to kill mice, rabbits and chickens. They will also do their best to get any eggs they can find. Foxes will hunt two hours after sundown and two hours before sunup and will carry their prey off.
Dogs of any breed are common predators of a chicken coop. These can include stray and homeless dogs out looking for their next meal. So if you see any stray dogs during the day call animal control and let them know there are stray dogs in your neighborhood and you can eliminate them before they get your chickens.
Snakes will not normally kill your chickens but will get to your eggs. The best way to keep them out is to seal up all your openings that are at least one inch and bigger. You may consider building your chicken coop off the ground.
Hawks will swope down very fast and grab their prey. The can see their prey from a very long distance. They have very sharp claws and will tear their prey up and eat them. The best method to protect your chickens from hawks is to have a wire mesh over the top of your coop and run. Also when you have your chickens loose out in the yard, watch closely for hawks flying overhead.
Raccoons are a common predator of chickens. They live close to humans and are very adaptable and intelligent. Raccoons carry lots of diseases including coccidiosis, which is deadly for chickens. Raccoons have been known to unlatch doors to chicken coops, so put a lock on your doors. The best way to keep raccoons away is to set traps with bait of marshmallows, chicken parts, corn, sardines and bacon.
Skunks usually pose little threat to adult chickens. They go after baby chicks and love eggs as a tasty treat. Skunks will come out at night and hunt, but if you have a dog or cat around they will most likely stay away. They have poor vision but a keen sense of smell which allows them to locate their food.
Opossum – AKA “possum” love to hunt baby chicks and eat eggs just like skunks. They go through small holes and steal eggs and eat the baby chickens. Occasionally they will kill adult chickens and eat out their stomachs.
To ensure that your chickens are kept safe, you need to build a predator-safe chicken coop. Be sure to check your coop every day for holes or loose boards in which predators can get through. Taking these measures will help keep your chickens safe for years to come.
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