Protecting Your Backyard Chickens from Predators
Keep your Chickens Safe!
When you’re raising your own chickens you know how crucial it is to protect them. Yet many do not realize how many predators there truly is against your chickens. From wild coyote, to large birds, and even to other household pets, owners are struggling to ensure the safety of their chickens. Predators will not only cause harm to family pets, but can also cause harm to those raising chickens for a living.
So what can an owner do to protect their chickens from harm? The safest method to ensure the protection of your chickens would be to keep them indoors, but realistically this is not always possible, especially for those who are raising backyard chickens. If keeping your chickens indoors is not an option, here are some other preventative measures you can take to ensure the wellbeing of your flock.
First, ensure your chickens have a place to go. All chickens should have some form of shelter, and many chicken coops are available at low cost. The cheapest alternative could be to build your own chicken coop. Chickens need a safe place to go, as many are easily scared. Without a safe place to retire, chickens may be too nervous and anxious, which could cause other health issues.
Second, put up some form of fencing or boundary. Many predators can be found in free areas, and without some form of fence they can easily access your chickens, or find their way into your chicken coop. If a predator can easily get into your chickens safe place, then that will eliminate the whole point of having that safe area for your chickens to retire. By putting up a fence, you will be drastically reducing the risk of predators stalking their way inside. Ideally all chicken coops should be covered by a mesh protector to help stop large predator birds from flying in and attacking your flock. These meshes can be inexpensive, and easy to install without the hassle of hiring someone.
Third, although this may be a bit pricey, it will ultimately be worth it. Install some form of motion detector. Many predators flee when lights turn on. By installing a motion detector, any movement within a certain space will flip on bright lights, which will startle predators away. Also install items that move, such as a large flag. When the wind blows, these items will make a sound loud enough to startle predators.
Lastly, keep all chickens within sight. Your flock should be easily viewed by yourself and others. When out of sight, predators can whisk their way in undetected. When easily in sight, the slightest unusual movement will catch your attention, and action can be taken to protect your chickens from unwanted predators.
By following these methods, you’ll not only ensure your chickens safety but also health. Comfortable chickens that are not stressed will ultimately be healthier. Without the constant fear of predators, your flock will be able to relax and enjoy their area.
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