You invest a lot of time and love into your chickens, and it is heartbreaking and upsetting when a predator comes along and snatches one (or a whole flock) away from you. The above photograph illustrates just how damaging this can also be to your house. This photograph was taken on the property of a neighbor after their entire coop was ransacked by a bear.
Here are few tips for making your chicken coop be predator-proof and run:
Be sure that with a twist or slip lock, all of the doors on your coop lock. With their little hands, many predators, including raccoons, will unlock easy doors.
Bury the wire in the dirt (at least 2 feet deep) when you have a chicken enclosure, so that rodents have a hard time digging in.
Although chicken wire was made to keep chickens in to keep predators out, it was not created. In high-predator environments, instead of chicken wire, I usually suggest using hardware cloth for the bottom portion of your chicken run, walls, and other areas where predators could get in.
Place the netting of birds around your coop so that sky predators can’t dive down into your run, like hawks.
To discourage flying predators, hang reflective objects from trees or mount them on the floor of your chicken run.
Should a predator walk past, mount a motion-detecting light that will turn on. You can buy lights for predator detection or make one of your own.
Using guardian dogs for cattle.
Four of the most important predators around your homestead that you can find are:
Raccoons, Possums, Foxes, Coyotes, Weasels, Mice, Bears, Sky Birds (hawks, eagles, owls, and crows),
Although assaulting your chickens is less commonplace for a bear, it does happen. Bears can pry off your chicken coop more times than not, like a can of tuna, while trying to get at your chicken feed. They will probably grab a chicken in the process!
Ses basic tips will allow your co-op to be predator-proof and save you from failure in the long run. Predators, especially once they know where the “food” is are fast and plentiful. Livestock guardian dogs are your best bet during the day and night to defend the chickens, but these other precautions will also help tremendously.
Coop Must-Knows Coop-Knows
It doesn’t need to be hard to manage chicken coops. Make sure your coop is robustly built and has plenty of ventilation, predator protection, and fresh bedding and clean nesting boxes. Give your chickens these stuff, and you’ll have the happiest flock ever!
When selecting or constructing your coop, here are a few more things to remember:
Ventilation is important. Make sure there’s enough of it so that in the summer your coop is cool and in the winter it doesn’t retain moisture. There should still be vents at the top of the coop.
Holding out the drafts. The worst are Wintertime drafts. In the bitter cold months, make sure you board your co-op, or put plastic over open spaces while also allowing decent ventilation. You can’t keep your chickens warm with the wind blowing around them!
To the board, apply vinyl or linoleum. This will assist with the washing process. You should be able to vacuum out the bedding with little effort if you use the deep litter process!
In the coop, don’t put waterers. This facilitates mold growth and soaking wet surfaces, which is not a positive thing either!
The intention is to have fun with it all, no matter what kind of coop you pick, or how many chickens you fill it with! Be sure that all these important aspects are in your co-op blueprint, and then construct a room that mimics your lifestyle, character, and personalized touch. If you want to paint the walls, it doesn’t matter. That is the best part of getting your own coop, as long as you enjoy it!