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    How to protect chickens from wild/feral animals.

    ArticlePoultry AdviceTuesday 04 June 2013
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    Chickens are, unfortunately, are very attractive animals for many predators out there and by keeping chickens you are going to attract a lot of unwanted attention looking for an easy meal. Animals that regularly prey on chickens are foxes, owls, falcons, cats, rats and many more. If you look after chickens then we have produced a guide on how best to protect them from predators trying to catch a free meal.
     
    • Obviously if you have pets such as dogs or cats then you should train these to avoid and stay away from the chickens. Although they are your pets, your dog and your cats are predators and love to eat meat. Chickens will not stand a chance against them. You can even train a dog to help protect the chicken coop, guard it and not attack the chickens themself.
    • Make sure you have a chicken coop or run that is highly secured. There should be no holes of gaps in the coops and everything should be secure. Remember that predators come in all shapes and sizes. Think of the possibility of raising the hen house above ground level to stop rodents such as rats causing problems and stealing eggs.
    • Predators don’t just come from above or from ground level. Many will find their way through the undergrowth and therefore you will need to protect against this too. If you chickens roam outside then the wiring too should be underground at least 1.6 metres to stop animals from coming up through the soil.
    • Make sure you lock the hutch at night. Predators such as foxes usually only come out at night therefore you want to make sure you remember to lock the chickens away without fail at night. One lapse could mean disaster as the fox will happily tear his way through the chickens. Foxes are well known to check hen houses every single night through their night time wanderings and the moment they sense a chance they will totally go for it.
    • Learn about the predators that are coming for your chickens. To protect your chickens against a fox will require a different method than protecting your chickens against a domestic cat. For example, birds could be kept away by scarecrows however this would not work for a cat. Cats however will be deterred by the use of a guard dog.
    • You can try providing a nightlight activated by motion sensors outside the coop. This will help scare away nocturnal animals from going on your property.
    Source: Wikihow
     
    Photo: Wikimedia
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