Sunday, March 17, 2013

10 Tips for Predator-Proofing Chickens

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by Kathy Shea MorminoThe Chicken Chick








Whether chickens free-range or are primarily confined to the coop and run, protecting them from predators can be one of the most challenging aspects of backyard chicken-keeping. An awareness of coop security basics goes a long way towards keeping backyard pets safe from unwelcome, hungry visitors.

1. Don't allow Chickens to Roost Outside 
Chickens are most vulnerable when they are asleep and many chicken predators are active at night, making inside a locked coop the safest place to sleep. Teaching them to return to the coop at night is best done from the time they first take up residence in the coop, but can be trained subsequently. More on Coop Training here

2. Never Rely on Chicken Wire for Safety
Chicken wire is meant to keep chickens in, not predators out. Any hungry raccoon worth its salt can tear open chicken wire as easily as if it were a bag of potato chips.

3. Install ¼ inch Hardware Cloth Liberally
Cover any opening in the coop and around the run that is greater than ¼ inch with hardware cloth, including windows. Window screens will not keep predators out. Use screws and washers to secure the hardware cloth, not staples.  Much more about hardware cloth here.

 To deter digging predators, dig a 12” trench all the way around the perimeter of the coop and bury the hardware cloth. If the coop floor is dirt, bury hardware cloth at least 12” underneath it. An alternative to a trench is to extend a 12” apron out from the perimeter. An apron isn't as effective as a trench, but will provide some measure of security from digging beasties.
Evidence of a digging predator, whose efforts were foiled by buried hardware cloth.
4. Cover the Run
Ideally, at least a portion of the run will be covered by a roof both for protection from the elements and from aerial predators. Chickens confined to the coop and run daily without a roof will benefit from some type of netting strung over the top to deter hawks and other aerial predators. The limitation of netting is that climbing predators such as raccoons can easily access the run by tearing through it.

5. Close Coop and Run Doors at Dusk
One never knows when a nocturnal predator might begin its hunt for food prematurely, therefore, the coop and run doors should be secured as soon as the flock has gone to roost for the night. An automatic pop door opener can manage this detail.
6.  Use two-step locks on doors
Raccoons are very adept at unlatching simple locks and turning basic door handles. Locks requiring multiple steps to open will be more likely to foil a raccoon’s dinner plan. Spring locks and barrel-style locks are recommended.

Important personal safety note: think of all the possible ways that you could become locked in the run and have an escape plan. Many of us have managed to lock ourselves in the chicken run accidentally. I, for one, am thankful that my husband let me out without groveling. ☺

7. Don’t leave food in the run
 Food attracts predators and pests such as mice and rats. While predators may not be successful getting to the feed, they can still cause property damage and stress the chickens trying. 

8. Guardian animals 
Various animals are widely considered excellent guardians of chickens. Two dog breeds that make excellent livestock guardians are Great Pyrenees and  Akbash. Llamas are also outstanding flock guardians. A rooster will serve as an attentive, early warning alarm for flock members to hide when danger is near. Many a rooster has sacrificed his own life battling a predator in defense of his hens.
9.  Provide hiding spots for free-range chickens around the property
 Free-range birds benefit by having natural and artificial cover from predators. Bushes, branches, pallets, etc. Anything nearby that they can dash underneath will work.
This trail cam was my birthday present this year. I don't worry about predators getting into my coops, I'm just curious about what else lives in the woods behind my coops.
10. Know The Enemy
One of the basic tenets of The Art of War is to know the enemy. Having an awareness of the type of predators that live in the area allows various deterrents to be employed. A trail cam with night vision can illustrate what type of predators lurk in the area as well as the time they are active. 
  • Decoy animals (owls, wolves)
  • Music
  • pinwheels, mirrors, streamers, hanging CDs (shiny things are purported to deter hawks, but none has worked for me)
  • Predator urine- deters predators based upon the scent of their natural predator
  • Electric poultry netting, hot wire, etc.
  • Predator Preventer deterrent devices. The more layers of protection, the better: blinking red lights, motion sensors, heat sensors, flood lights, alarms, etc. 
I invite you to follow my blog, The Chicken Chick, to get the latest posts delivered directly to your email inbox, Blogger dashboard, Facebook newsfeed via NetworkedBlogs or RSS feed!
Join me on Facebook!

The winners of the giveaways on 3/24/13 are: 1) Alyssa Blankenship, The Predator Preventerand 2) Tammy McKnight, a PredatorPee Prize Package!
The winner of the Solar Nite Eyes giveaway, courtesy of Fleming Outdoors on 4/9/13 is: Benny Pulley!

739 comments:

  1. I would love to predator proof my backyard!!!
    Barb Fraelich, yeah it's me again!!! LOL

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  2. Hi Kathy!
    Love your giveaways :)
    Pam
    violetacres@frontiernet.net

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  3. In addition to hawks & eagles, we battle neighbor's dogs!! Aaaarrgghh!

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  4. We had a dozen chickens last year, and half a dozen ducks. We put them in the coop at night, dug a trench like you said, so that the fencing went down into the ground, and tried a host of other things. By the end of the summer, we only had two chickens left. I'd love to win something like this to try out!

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    1. put an electic fence around close to the bottom and half way up i use fishing wire every four or so in across the top and it stoped the hawks

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  5. We have most of your tips in practice! Need to fix a couple of them! Thanks for all your tips!
    lillian serenson palumbo
    bank010898@yahoo.com

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  6. Thank you for the tips... I have so much trouble with predators around my area...these ideas were helpful.

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  7. I love reading the tips on this page. I would love to add these predator controls to my flocks protection.

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  8. Just got chicks for the first time. Learning as I go. Love your blog!

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  9. New to raising chickens and I am so glad to have found this blog, Chicken Chick!! So much helpful information. Our ladies could use some protection from the coyotes in our area.
    Thanks!
    Beth Keehne
    sonshyn6@aol.com

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  10. your site is very important to me. i get just about all the chicken info i need from it. Thank you longbraid2 at aol dot com

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  11. Such a helpful article!!!

    D. White
    debrahwhite@gmail.com

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  12. My RIR girls would really benefit from the Predator Preventer. It would be wonderful to win it. Thanks.

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  13. Great article !! Upgrading everything to hardware cloth this year. Cyn Cook

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  14. Yippee! I just moved to a place where I can have poultry and am going to get babies soon! Thanks for the opportunity to enter to win!

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  15. What great items! I hate mink!!. Holly Olejnik

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  16. great information as always
    ladybug1975@windstream.net

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  17. Awesome ideas, we have hardware cloth, but I think a fox or coyote has been stalking out fence line perimeter. I need something more to keep my girls safe!

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  18. Will save this blog post for future reference. Thanks

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  19. Where I live ( in the woods) I really need a Predator Preventer ( and a Trail Cam as well)

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  20. I have 2 great Pyrs and they do an amazing job protecting my birds. But my friend has hens and no dogs. If I won this I would bless her with it.

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  21. Your tips have been invaluable helping me to build a safe coop. Rather than netting over my coop - I chose the plastic type roofing - but we stapled it to the beams. Nothing gets in there - but is allows good ventilation here in Florida. During the winter it acts like a greenhouse to warm the coop, and the summer it keeps the rains out and allows great ventilation! We also surrounded the coop with cinder block as an additional deterrent.

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  22. You have the greatest tips for predator proofing. We have plenty of predators here. Thanks.

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  23. The biggest predator problems we have are raccoons and free-roamimg dogs.

    tessvasicek (at) gmail.com

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  24. Excellent article! I lost my last white rock hen on Friday, to what I assume was a fox. There was a trail of white feathers, and my dog led me to an amputated wing. I never found the body and was unable to follow the trail into the woods.

    My birds free range during the day, so predators are a major problem for me. Especially foxes and hawks! Any tips for deterring predators are of tremendous value!

    I'll definitely be looking into the hardware cloth. Is there a listing anywhere of which decoys to use for which predators? I've tried to research but have had conflicting reports.

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  25. Thank You for the great tips. I sure will be using them :)
    Kennedy Kaeser
    chicago_chica_four_ever@hotmail.com

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  26. we have 7 chickens,we live on 1/4 acre and the girls roam the back yard everyday.they put themselves up every evening we just have to shut the door... we've not won anything ever and would love to win both the predator preventer give away's.











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  27. Carri Wieser I would love the Predator Preventer, my biggest predator problem is bears

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  28. Great giveaway! Love to keep our girls safe!
    sadiebeery at hotmail dot com

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  29. Thanks for the helpful info.......the extra protection would be nice!!

    -Tina Lane

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  30. I would love to try the predator preventions. Thanks for hosting this, Kathy!

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  31. Our chickens will be in our 4000 sq ft yard with a 6' chain link fence. Hawks are the only predator that I worry about. Any other tips to ward off hawks? Thanks, Bill Burnett bgburnett1@yahoo.com

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  32. Preditors? Let's see, I've seen raccoons, a lovely red fox, bears and hawks flying overhead. Thank you for some helpful suggestings for keeping chickens safe that don't include barricading the entire yard with 8' electrified fences.

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  33. We lost 3 hens this week. Thank you so much for this. It came at the perfect time!

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  34. Love the tips! Would love to be able to protect the girls more.

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  35. Just moved to Colorado and have 6 chicks in the brooder, first time ever. Never could have had chicks in our NJ home, too many homes ontop of each other and a town ordinance forbid it. I can not wait till they are old enough, they tun 3 weeks on Thursday!

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  36. I don't call my set up Fort Pox for nothing:) Unfortunately I can't free range my chickies because of all the varmints around..I hope to build some type of mobile thing to let them be able to forage and move around the yard more..LOVE your blogs!

    Diane Stevens

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  37. As a new Chick mom, I find all of your info really helpful.

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  38. Thanks, Kathy, for all the information to help us all keep our girls and boys safe!

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  39. Thanks for sharing, I lost a buff laced Polish roo a few months ago, he sacrificed himself to save the girls from the neighbors dog!

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  40. Id love either prize!!! Thanks you for all of your great info!!!

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  41. Can I add another rule??? Use double fencing. I have the yard fenced in, and then their run is fenced in. If I wouldn't have done this the neighbor dog would have got the chickens a few weeks ago.

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  42. We could really use the predator preventer.

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  43. I am starting to work on my run now. This is great information that I can use while building it! Thanks
    jo_bouss (at) yahoo (dot)com

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  44. need these badly

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  45. I would love to predator proof my yard with something that works as I have not found anything yet :(. Sounds like this would do the trick. Thanks so much for the opportunity. queenb@epix.net

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  46. Love the giveaways. This would be great.

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  47. Awesome tips. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  48. Love your blog, read it everyday! I get my first baby chicks in a few weeks

    Amanda Verkaik
    Aeverkaik@yahoo.com

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  49. We had a really awful predator attack this year with 3 coons tearing away the chicken wire UP UNDER WHERE THE NESTING BOXES STICK OUT AND JOIN THE COOP WALL.... they killed 7 in one night ....we checked to see where they got in and missed that spot(it was WAY UNDER THE BOX AND YOU WOULD HAVE HAD TO GET DOWN ON YOUR KNEES AND LOOK STRAIGHT UP) and they came back the second night... this time they got my favorite rooster who died trying to save his girls and 4 more hens.... we resecured the area with hardware cloth and caught the coons... no we didnt rehome them.... grrrrrrr

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  50. Always worried about something getting my girlies. Maria Reaser. mareaser@yahoo.com

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  51. I love your tips!!!! Will be doing hardware cloth in a trench....

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  52. Great ideas. I will put my owl decoy on my coop. Thank you. Georgiana Conrad Truluck. geotruluck@bellsouth.net

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  53. We definitely need help with predators. Would love to win some pee!

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  54. Our hen house backs to a creek and wooded area. It's not where I would have placed it, but we repurposed an existing structure that really did make a great coop. It would definitely be nice to have a little more peace of mind though. We are aware of a few critters that have come up from that creek area and know that we have many predators in our area.

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  55. Your blog is always a source of great information.

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  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  57. Wish there was a way to predator proof my property in the middle of the day. Coyotes took half of my chickens and ducks this winter,and only 2 were at night. Never had a problem before this winter. But I still am looking for ways to make everything safer this summer, including a larger run so I do not feel I need to let everyone out to free range during the day (even though it is fenced in for the most part, coyotes come right up the driveway). This would be a wonderful start toward a safer environment for everyone.
    Terri

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  58. Predator Proof would be so great! Thanks for the cool opportunity!

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  59. Pretty scary when you think of all the predators that COULD take out your flock...lots of horror stories too! I haven't lost one yet...but, I'm new to this chicken keeping. I think it will break my HEART!

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  60. Moving to the mountains and so afraid something will get my beloved girls. I am working on a chicken fortress with DH but would love the Predator Preventer! Thanks for the giveaways!

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  61. I love getting your articles! I get so much real and usable info from you! Thank you for sharing!

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  62. I HAVE A COYOTE PROBLEM RITE NOW.. COULD SURE USE EITHER PRIZE.
    HEIDI YORK

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  63. i would love to win this.


    damndago1@yahoo.com

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  64. We've lost hens to raccoons before. I've followed your advice and I think we have a secure coop and run now. But I'm always ready to double up on the protection. Thanks for the chance at the giveaway.

    Lynette

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  65. Thanks for the information, we're building a coop now and will be using all your suggestions!

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  66. Always enjoy your Facebook posts and blogs. =)

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  67. Love the safety information you share with us newbies - always my first stop for getting new info.... :-)

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  68. Great info! Where we live we definitely need all the predator prevention techniques we can get!

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  69. Have already "liked" you on Facebook and you are one my favorites and one of my "go-to" pages for help in my getting started with chickens. Love your giveaways and would LOVE to win some "predator proofing" help as we are starting to build our coop and that is one of my BIGGEST concerns. (p.s. I told my husband, "When you get done building that coop...on the first night...you put a Big Mac hamburger in there....and in the morning...if it's still there and the only thing you see is ants...THEN you can put my "babies" in there! LOL)

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  70. Can never keep our chooks too safe! ;)

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  71. I would like to predator proof our new coop and run.

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  72. great ideas and giveaways too! Vicki
    v_wmail@yahoo.com

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  73. Love the giveaways! -- Tina Roeseler

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  74. would love to try these...something got 2 of our hens last summer..still don't know what :(

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  75. I live on a small farm, have six beautiful chickens and have been very lucky so far with no predator problems. We live in an area with many foxes so I always worry. I think our luck has been good because I bought a well designed and built coop.But I would love to have more predator protection. I have seen muddy animal tracks on the hardware cloth, so I know they are out there, trying to get my girls. I have seen hawks around,too.I will try hanging the shiny things around and see if that works.Winning either of these items would help me relax a bit!

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  76. Thanks for all the info! Just lost 6 chicks and 2 ducks.....back to the drawing board.

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  77. ANYTHING to help keep the predators away!!!!

    Beth McIntosh Burnham

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  78. Elisha HutchinsonMarch 18, 2013 at 1:43 PM

    All excellent ideas. Thank you for all the information! Now to get my husband to follow along!

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  79. I definitely LIKE you on Facebook. Thanks a ton for all the helpful information!

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  80. Thanks, good info. I will be getting my first hens soon and this will be helpful.
    albertaw@winsorhome.com

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  81. Already liked you on Facebook, and have used the tips you posted, but living in a wooded area, we have raccoons, coyotes, bobcat,red fox and other predators, so any extra protection would be helpful. marysark_03@yahoo.com

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  82. I need these so bad!I'm afraid to let my chickens out of house because of the varmints.I have a big problem with coons,but there a lot of coyotes around too.

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  83. I hope I win. My chicken garden will be like Fort Clucks.

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  84. We have welded wire and assorted closures on coop openings and pop doors. Still would love to try other means of keeping predators away, as well as deterring deer. PLEASE NOTE: opossum are now reported NOT to prey on poultry, but will eat insects and garbage and fallen fruit.

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  85. My Aussie passed away. He was the BEST predator preventor. Never lost a chick or chicken. Now I am lost. Need this badly!

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  86. I live in the woods on a mountain in WV with lots of wildlife. Neighbors have reported seeing wolves and bear so I definitely don't want anything to happen to my children.

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  87. Thanks for sharing these tips - I'm sure they'll help save lives and prevent heartaches for new poultry keepers.

    In doing research on various chicken forums before getting our girls almost four years ago, the predator tragedies made a big impression on me. I used what I learned to build a fortified coop/run, and it's never been breached by anything larger than an insect. We completely enclosed the run in 1/2" hardware cloth, buried in a trench as deep as possible in our rocky yard then elled out another few inches at the bottom. The door has a padlock, because not all potential predators have fangs or talons.

    At first, we only let the girls out under supervision, but I got complacent and started letting them free-range while I was working inside. One day this winter, my favorite hen Pearl slipped through a gap in our picket fence and was taken by a coyote. My husband and I are wildlife biologists and conservationists, so killing the 'yote never crossed our minds, but after catching glimpses of it peering down our driveway twice shortly after it took Pearl we realized we needed to do something to discourage it.

    Since humans are coyotes' main predators almost everywhere, we started scent-marking our property with our own urine (discretely, of course - wouldn't want to freak out the neighbors). The coyote hasn't made another appearance, but we're not taking any more chances. The remaining three girls are back to supervised outings plus behavioral enrichment inside the run. They're not happy with the new arrangement, and I feel like a "helicopter mom," but I'd rather have them a little stir crazy than dead.

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  88. I would love to win this! This is something I need!

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  89. having problem with cats coming into the yard with my free range girls. not sure what to do. would love to win

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  90. I have found that the crows and the bluejays do a wonderful job of tattling on hawks and other winged predators. Our dogs cover ground patrol :)

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  91. Would love to win one of these ! We've got something prowling around I was able to send the akbash pups after it one night when I heard it by the coop . But I might not always hear it and my pups are to young to trust out all the time.
    Fallon

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  92. We have been lucky so far, only one bird came up missing last year and it was taken by a hawk. Hoping for a more successful year with the new chicks that will be here in May!! Love your page and the information you provide, thank you!!

    Heather McMasters

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  93. We lost all our chickens to a racoon many years ago and never had the heart to get more. We are trying again and picking up chicks next week. I wish I had know more about predator prevention then. Thank you for all the good info you post.

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  94. Would love to win this for my new and first flock. Love chicken chick! Thanks for all the great info. Tammymcknight13@aol.com

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  95. Thanks for helpful hints!
    Rhoda

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  96. Thanks for such a useful giveaway.... we have a weasel problem
    baynton4us at yahoo dot com

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  97. love your post would like to to win the giveway

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  98. Thanks for all the tips! It's scary out there!

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  99. you always have a lot of great info thanks

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  100. Very informative article. Thanks! p.s.--I like the giveaway as well. =)
    Kelli A.

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  101. Boy, those pesky coyotes, owls, and racoons won't know what hit 'em if I get the Predator Preventer!

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  102. I need to keep my chickens safe from my own English Bulldog.

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  103. We lost our duck Lucy yesterday. The predator was our neighbor's dog and, of course, they are sure that their dog would never do such a thing! It is interesting how the tracks lead right to their house!

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  104. I just love reading all the helpful tips on your blog. Since we are a rescue, It is my obligation to keep them as safe as possible. Plus, I just love all my babies. :) Thank you for this chance to win a great give away!

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  105. I have followed the majority of these suggestions. The netting in the run area doesn't do so well when we get the heavy snow! I'll be working on that as soon as the snow melts. It does deter the red tail hawks who nest nearby.

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  106. I appreciate all ideas for keeping my chicken safe. My have lost alot of chickens to foxes. Shawnna

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  107. I have lost a couple hens to hawks. Anything that can help me in protecting my flock would be wonderful!
    jlo58@live.com

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  108. Great article on predators and ways to deter them. Thanks for offering the giveaway!

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  109. Thank you for the great tips. Your blog is filled with excellent ideas and resources.

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  110. I live on a very remote area, in the middle of the woods on the side of a mountain. I've had many predators, including a mountain lion. I completely enclosed the chicken run and ran electricity to my henhouse. I also put an electric fence around the henhouse and chicken run. Predators continued to try to get my girls, which upset both them and myself. I finally heard about a gentleman who had installed a radio in his coop, keeping it on 24/7, tuned to a station with a good mix of talk and lively music. So I tried that set up in my henhouse and haven't had a problem with predators since!

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  111. Thanks for the great tips.

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  112. Hi!
    I love this place so much! It so helpful. Anyways, I would like to get the Predator Preventer.
    We are breeders of chickens and not a huge hatchery, but we do breed large amounts of chickens with different breeds and varieties. We had about 300 chicks recently and we lost 50! This was because of the raccoons...the sneaky little rats! Our coops are sturdy and protective, so i dont know how they do it. I always happens at night, so I believe the Predator Preventer would really help.

    Thanks!
    Arianna halfchance@live.com

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  113. Our biggest problem we've been having are the coons. We need something to keep them away. If I actually won this drawing I would be very happy and put the stuff to use straight away!

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  114. Wish I would have known about these extra measures before we started 5 years ago, would have saved us so much grief! What a great giveaway!
    Tracey
    tlsbedford@aol.com

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  115. WOW...I'm so glad to have found your blog! What a bunch of great stuff...plus it's nice to read about someone as in love with chickens as me. =)

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  116. I would love to know my chickens are safer. I have lost chickens twice and had to run 2 dogs off my property yesterday.
    Dee Jiles Essex

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  117. Love the ideas. Either prize would be great to own.
    Donna
    weltonfamily@gmail.com

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  118. Good info. Just getting started with our chickens. Already had a bottle of Coyote urine to keep away deer from the garden. Where do you buy the scent tags? Thanks for the info.

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  119. Love your blog. Lots of great info!

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  120. Thank you for the great post! We use chain link dog runs for our chicken runs and they work great! I so want to win one of those prizes! I follow you on facebook and get your newsletter.

    sunnybrookdc1@yahoo.com

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  121. We have only lost one hen so far in our chicken keeping experience, and it was to a coon I think....or maybe a skunk?!? Do they eat chickens? Would love to win!

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  122. I already like you on facebook! :) I'd probably go for the predator pee. I suggested it in the brooder cam contest.

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  123. Thanks for the great tips.
    justindh@iwon.com

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  124. Great info. We've done a lot of it but I will be checking for digging and dropped feed. Thanks for the chance to win.
    chris Seaver hopedaleavonlady@Yahoo.com

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  125. currently working on predator-proofing the coop and property, so this is timely. hope I win! : )

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  126. Predators are just awful where we live...Hawks especially. Our run is too big to put a net over, but perhaps the hubs and I can fashion some kind of "cover" for at least "part" of the run. Hawks got all but ONE of our chicks from last year and we have a serious issue with fox, coyote, raccoons, and opossum. I will try some of your ideas (hanging "flashy" things around the run and yard if I can make them "look" pretty for the neighbors - that's a whole other story), and providing additional hiding places for the flock. Currently, we have a few bigger bushes, a brush pile, and their shed for cover. Still, it couldn't hurt to add more!

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  127. we lost 21 birds in one day - neighbor thought a four foot fence would hold his 1/2 wolf/ 1/2 german shepherd and the male (same mix) that he had brought in for breeding. Every one of those birds I had hand raised and all were named.I was heartbroken. Would love any and all tips on predator proofing. We are getting ready to build a new coop and larger run now.

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  128. I would love to win the predator-prrof give away. Just moved and now have the space to let our chickens free roam.

    Angie Childers
    childers_4@yahoo.com

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  129. Great products. This would be so helpful.

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  130. Can use all the help we can get. Have a great day and may God bless you and all you love.

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  131. Thanks for the chance at this giveaway as it may prove invaluable to my upcoming flock. :)

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  132. Thanks for the tips. We're moving soon to a more rural area and I want to set up our chicken runs safer. We haven't had many issue where we live now(or so we thought) till a large bobcat got hit by a car leaving our property.

    Pamela Summers
    summerschyna@aol.com

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  133. The two best protections for my chickens are good quality netting over pens and my Great Pyrenees.

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  134. The two best protections for my chickens are good quality netting over pens and my Great Pyrenees.

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  135. The two best protections for my chickens are good quality netting over pens and my Great Pyrenees.

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  136. I am so glad I found your site! We have had predator problems in the past which made us give up on chickens. I really miss them! We had a family of red-tail hawks that kept coming back to our property to raise their young however, hurricane Sandy knocked down 50+ of our huge old trees, including the one the hawks kept nesting in. We are hoping they don't come back this year and if not, we are thinking of possibly giving chickens a try again. All your info will help us greatly. If I am lucky enough to win, I would choose giveaway #1.
    Thank you!
    Sharon
    abouttimefarmmercantile@yahoo.com

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  137. I don't have any chickens yet, as we just moved to our new home in MO. We have been busy with horse and dog fencing and next comes garden fencing. I plan to put my chicken yard/coop inside the garden perimeter fence for two reasons...double security and so I can allow my hens to run around the orchard, berry beds and garden beds. We have major dog problems with a neighbor, ah, I think he has 15 or so. We also have every other kind of predator you can think of roaming the woods around us. I have really enjoyed reading your articles! I can't wait to get my chickens. I've been wanting some for 30 years!

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  138. Thanks for the opportunity to win!:)

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  139. Great packages. I have used the blinking predator lights for a few years. They seem to work. I also have a large dog, who intercepts everything that comes around at night. Always look forward to your newsletter.

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  140. i would love to win either of these!

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  141. A hawk has learned that hens live in my backyard and he's trying hard to get them! I'm trying hard to have him NOT get them.

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  142. wow we have lots of predators here......on 45 acres....we see many many hawks, owls, raccoon, possum, fox, coyote, and even those darn cats......geez can't seem to keep everything away...we have lost some chickens and I also have ducks....would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win this to help with these critters...!

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  143. Thanks for all your great ideas and advice they really help out. Our biggest predators are racoon, hawks, opossums, and the neighbors dogs. We have wire all over the top of our pen, but we do let our hens and rooster out every day to forage. We live in the woods so they have plenty of bushes to hide under. More protection would be appreciated.
    postaldawg34@windstream.net

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  144. I don't know if they have anything to do with it, but I haven't had predator issues since I got 2 donkeys (these are purely pets, like the chickens). Most of your other tips are in use as well, including electrified hardware cloth.

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  145. So grateful for finding your pages. I already 'liked' your FB page too. I sigh as I would LOVE to have chickens.. I would have to build a fortress to keep them alive (hawks, owls, dogs, cats, raccoons, snakes, oh my...). I am getting my plans ready.. this WILL be the year of our chickens!! :D

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  146. great tips. we thought we did everything we needed to bu all 4 of our chickens were taken a month ago by a racoon. will do this before we get any more

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  147. I too have woods behind my coop where predators can hide. Would love these.

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  148. We were inundated with coons and possoms last season, more predator deterrents are never a bad thing!

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  149. We have coyotes and hawks around. I'm always glad our dogs are around to help look after the girls during their free range time.

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  150. We love our chickens :) We just came back from vacation and found one of our hens sitting on 20 eggs.......can't wait to see them hatch. Feed The Need Garden, Rachelle
    feedtheneedgarden@hotmail.com

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  151. A predator preventer would be a cool addition to our coop area.

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  152. This is a great article! I am always having problems with predators trying to get to my girls, but I will be predator proofing the coop soon. Thank you for all the great tips!

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  153. I'm way out in rural Northern New Mexico and have a yearly problem with a bear, especially after a hard winters with no spring forage. Slowly converting my coop into a fortress. Love your site! -Dawn Ti

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  154. We have chicks that just hatched from the incubator at my husband's middle school. The kids are learning about the whole process. The chicks will be coming home to us in a couple of weeks and all these tips are a great help.

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  155. Great tips.
    eastwood

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  156. I love your articles as they don't allow me to get complacent with my chicken tending. We had a mink kill most of our flock last year-little buggers are horrible-anywhere there's a mouse hole, they can go! So yes, we are learning different ways to predator proof our coop! Thank you!
    Karin Constable

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  157. I'm probably doing 7 out of the 10. Probably need more cover for when they free range during the day.

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  158. Local dogs are as big a problem for me as real predators :(

    Steve Garriga

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  159. Either one would sure help resolve some problems.

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  160. We live in the Arizona desert and a few days ago had a red tailed Hawk circling overhead, only about fifteen feet from me. We decided even though they aren't beautiful, we are now setting up chain link dog runs for the chickens and add small wire around the pen and cover the top with wire also. We also had a coyote visiting everyday, but with the use of urine and a BB gun and motion sensor lights, he hasn't been back. We also took our my Boxer's small house kennel, covered it in hardware cloth and during the day take the baby chicks outside. We don't want to lose them and then have to fix everything. It's worth spending the money in the beginning. Craigslist is a good place to get free supplies too.

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  161. I would love one of these.Please enter me in this contest. There are so many hawks flying around and try to attack.

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  162. We've put out the trail cam on several occasions and have yet to see anything lurking around, which is surprising given the rural area we live in. Still need to be on the look out, especially when my girls are free ranging as we did lose one hen to a hawk. Thanks for your blogs, always informative!

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  163. Getting ready to build my coop and could sure use the free "give aways".

    George Gobble

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  164. Eagles are my problem. Can't do anything to them however. I find them in the trees overlooking the run just outside the grocery. WE have a wonderful Australop Rooster. As my hens free range I find him intervening for them constantly. Thanks for all your tips Kathy.

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  165. I too would love to predator proof my backyard. Thank you for all the info you provide and your awesome website!

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  166. We just moved and I had to leave my three chickens behind. Getting new chicks soon and this is great timing as we have pretty aggressive hawks here. Thank you so much for all the good tips!

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  167. Thank you for your great ideas and helpful hints!

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  168. Great information!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you!!!

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  169. Looks like good products to have!
    ----outtagas7

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  170. HELP! We are battling rats, and the traps aren't working. :(

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  171. I'm getting chicks in a couple weeks and I've already fixed up a crate in the garage :) I'm so excited! And then I remember all the hawks, possums, strange dogs, owls and snakes that live right here. This article couldn't have come at a better time - I need all the help I can get!

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  172. tried chickens a few times. would love to win this deterrent and try again. I love the atmosphere of chickens in the yard.
    Betti Fletcher

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  173. I've got to get me a camera to mount outside to see what else is moving around my yard at night!
    Would love to win the giveaway!

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  174. We love our chickens! We can use all the help we can get to keep them safe. Thanks for the giveaways.--D Martinez dmartinez259@yahoo.com

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  175. We are building our coop now in preparation for getting some older hens being re-homed by a friend. I think it would be great to start out with a predator-proof coop for these older gals who have paid their dues plus any new chicks that come along in the future! Thanks for the giveaway - hope I'm picked.

    Jennie Staub

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  176. Great article! Thankfully we haven't had any problems with predators yet! But they have discovered a neighbor's flock and I expect they will find us soon. The ideas here will be put to use when building a second coop this summer. Thanks for the give-away! Anything that will help keep the girls safe is a blessing. :)

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  177. Great information! Predators can be frustrating and devastating so protecting your flocks is a must. I would love to be entered in the giveaway for predator protection!

    Amber Bix

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  178. Great advice! I live in town but I've had foxes and raccoons in my yard and I saw and eagle flying above my yard yesterday. Great giveaway, would love to win!

    Diana Bickford

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  179. I agree, great information. Thank you!

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  180. For free range chickens, I've finally learned that I just shouldn't have any pure white birds. I've lost every one I've had to hawks and a raccoon. They are just too easy to spot, so the first ones picked off.

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  181. I live in bear country. I definitely need to get electric fencing to keep the bears out of the yard, as I'm also going to start keeping bees as well. Barbara Rowland

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  182. I wish that all of these precautions would always work. Three weeks ago something got in and killed every single one of my girls. 24 & 2 roosters. The coop is totally secure, the run is on a poured concrete floor with a hard gable roof, 1" wire up high and 1/4" hardware cloth below. I have no idea how something got in. We have traps set now to see if 'something' comes back. I'm sick about this. I've had chickens in this coop/run for 5 years and have never before had a loss. Any thoughts?

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