In one sense, chickens are easy to care for. They don't require much daily maintenance. However, chickens prove prey to a surprising array of predators. If you're going to keep your chickens safe, you'll want to know the main predators in your area and do what you can to prevent them from harming your flock.
5 Chicken Predators and How to Prevent Them
Though it's unlikely you'll face all these predators at the same time, chances are high you'll deal with at least one at some point.
Whether local domesticated dogs or wild dogs, these predators are most active at night. Though they are unlikely to eat a chicken whole, they will kill it and ravage its body, leaving the carcass nearby.
In order to keep your chickens safe from dogs, be sure to close and secure your coop every night. Keep it well-mended and well-maintained.
Snakes like to sneak and slither into chicken coops, killing chicks and swallowing eggs.
Keeping snakes out of your coop is more challenging. Be sure to check your coop for holes and cracks in the walls and around doors, filling them with caulking or foam. Watch to be sure no small animals have burrowed or tunneled into the ground around the coop as well, leaving easy access for snakes.
3. Birds of Prey
Birds of prey are a special threat to free-range chickens. They will swoop down and snag one bird at a time, slowly diminishing your flock one by one. The best way to deal with birds of prey is to invest in bird netting.
Raccoons are amazingly crafty and have dexterous hands. They are a threat to coops everywhere. Installing motion-activated lights can often be a deterrent since they are active at night. If you're having an ongoing raccoon problem, be sure to invest in heavy mesh wire instead of regular chicken wire, which they can rip with their claws.
Foxes love chicken and are extremely smart. Fencing and mesh can both help guard against foxes, as can keeping your coop in excellent repair.
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