Chicken Predator Questions

One chicken predator in the coop at night may kill all your chickens. Raccoons are notorious for having a free-for-all, killing every chicken they can grab, and eating little.

So a very important aspect of keeping chickens is to make sure their environment is safe. Depending on where you live, conditions will vary and predators will vary, but your responsibility to protect them is the same. 

Ironicall , it’s nearly impossible to build a mouse proof chicken coop, but protection from everything larger is important. Predators come in all sizes and shapes. They can come from the air, the ground, and even from underground. They can be wild animals that you have little control over, or they can be your friendly pet dog or cat or the neighbor’s.

One or more chicken predator has been the number one killer of my chickens through the years. I’ve had the most problems with raccoons, opossums and skunks. 

Skunks have a tendency to dig under the wall of a chicken pen if possible and can squeeze through narrow openings in coop structure. Opossums are good climbers, but seem to prefer defenseless chicks on the ground too young to roost.

Raccoons are masters of the hunt, often hunting in family groups. Their front feet are very accurate little hands. They can open gates, and if possible, grab panicked chickens through wire. They are often tall enough to grab a chicken off its roost, if able to gain access at night.

If you don’t make it impossible for a chicken predator to reach your chickens, they are at risk. Chickens are healthy food for predators large and small. 

We have people all around the world enjoying this web site, so depending on carnivorous wild life around you, that’s what you need to protect your chickens from. The type of fencing that would contain any of these predators, will be the kind that you should use to keep them out of your chicken yard and coop. 

Heavy duty chain link kennels will keep larger predators out, but but not smaller predators. If the coop locks up tight at night and prevents anything larger than a mouse from getting in, your chickens are safe at the most risky time. 

Small low doors into the chicken house can offer a good escape from hawks and eagles eying your flock during the day.

The following is a basic list of animals that are a Chicken Predator:

  • Snakes
  • Some lizards
  • Rats
  • Ferrets
  • Minks
  • Weasels
  • Raccoons
  • Opossums
  • Skunks
  • Foxes
  • Coyotes
  • Wolves
  • Domestic dogs and cats
  • All wild dogs and cats
  • Bears
  • Birds of prey
  • And any larger carnivores
  • Not only are the chickens at risk, but any eggs left in the coop over-night. Most predators avoid humans and are mainly active at night, when you and your chickens are peacefully sleeping.

    There is no tragedy in the coop worse than finding a chicken massacred by an unknown predator. The good news, if there is any in that situation, is that the chicken predator will most likely return the next night, hoping to find left-overs from the previous night’s kill.

    I’ve successfully used the bodies from a predator kill to bait a live trap, catching the culprit and his accomplices a few nights in a row.

    Laws vary around the world as to the fate of such a trapped chicken predator. As much as we want to get even and prevent further attacks, it’s important to check with local wildlife officials and know what your rights are and if the predator has any.

    There are programs that offer to reimburse losses in some areas, depending on where you are and what animals you might catch.

    The last chicken predator I should mention is other poultry. Large poultry, like turkeys and peacocks, may live peacefully with your flock, especially if raised together from young chicks and with plenty of room for all.

    It’s a good idea to provide separate housing for different sizes of poultry, as Bantam breeds of chickens may be harmed by standard sized or giant chicken breeds.

    Some birds just don’t play nice with others. Breeding pairs of geese or other large fowl or poultry may become territorial when breeding and nesting time comes, so just be on the lookout for signs of bullying. .,koi

    If you have questions that you would like to ask a vet, use the service below. Ask a Vet has qualified doctors that can answer questions about chicken health.

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