Protecting your chickens
by Isabelle Esch
Welcome to protecting your chickens, an article in my series raising chickens for beginners.
In this article we will be covering a few of the best ways to protect your chickens.
Building Your Coop
One of the biggest mistakes most people make when protecting their chickens is that they build their chicken coop with chicken wire.
Yes, it will keep your chickens in, but it won’t keep anything from getting in.
If you have a coop made with chicken wire go ahead, give it a tug. It’ll pop right off, you can break the wires with your bare hands.
So, what should you use use instead? Welded wire fencing would be my suggestion.
The Benefits Of A Roof
Another mistake some people make is not putting a roof on their run or yard for their chickens.
It may keep out some animals, but any predatory birds will just swoop in and carry your chickens off.
Not only that but raccoons and other predators can climb over the fence.
Locking your chickens up at night will help, but many predators will come during the day when you aren’t looking.
So you can build a top for your run out of welded wire and wood, just like your coop.
See some chicken coop designs here! Pick the one that would make your chickens safe and happy. Or check out the free chicken coop plans.
Free Range Protection
What if you want to have your chickens loose in your yard during the day?
Fencing your yard will help, but getting a good guardian dog for protecting your chickens is one of the best ways to keep your chickens safe.
Our predator defense is our Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs.
They are a bit stubborn to train at first, but if you make sure they know who they are supposed to protect (your family and your animals), who is the enemy (anyone not invited in by you), and who are friends (anyone you invite in) they will be loyal and sweet dogs.
Make sure you have done all the researching you need before getting a puppy, guardian dogs can be a lot of work, but with proper training will be your best defense against predators and intruders.
Getting a Rooster
Another thing you can do is get a rooster, some areas have rules against them because they can be noisy, but if you live further out of the city or a town, then I suggest getting one.
The benefit of them is they will try to protect their hens , and make a lot of noise, if they can wake you up, then most predator will leave when they hear you coming.
Roosters are a great alarm system.
Some people have used things like LED animal repellents, personally I have no experience with it, but I do know that predators hate light being near your coop, we had a light out by our coop when we were having a raccoon problem and it worked great.
Putting better clips on your pen will help with protecting your chickens, I would suggest something like a d ring.
You should also move your chicken feed into metal cans, trash cans usually work fine as long as the lid snaps on tight.
Predators may come for your feed and decide to snack on your chickens and their eggs while they are there.
Thanks for reading! Check out the articles in my series Raising Chickens for Beginners and I wish you good luck on your chicken raising journey.