When you have chickens on your farm, protecting them from wildlife is an ongoing process. Unfortunately, these animals are highly vulnerable to many predators. However, by investing in the right farm supplies and taking precautionary measures, it’s possible to keep your flock safe. Here are a few ways to minimize the risk of losing your poultry stock.
How to Protect Chickens From Predators
1. Build a Secure Coop
Even if you have free-range chickens, it’s a good idea to secure them inside a coop at night. These structures should be built slightly off the ground or on a concrete slab so predators can't dig underneath. Elevated roosts will also allow your hens to rest out of the reach of other animals.
Use strong snap hooks, carabiner clips, and bolts on all the doors to make the coop more difficult to open. Adding motion-activated lights is another deterrent against predatory wildlife, as they prefer to stay hidden in the dark. The entire coop should be wrapped in hardware cloth and open areas covered by a solid roof to keep out predators that fly or climb.
2. Install Fencing
Many bigger animals can be kept off your farm by installing a fence around the perimeter. Construct the fencing out of sturdy materials that won’t be easy to break through, and bury it several inches into the ground to prevent wildlife from digging under it.
Inspect the fence regularly to ensure there aren’t any openings or damage that will allow predators to slip in or your chickens to escape. You may also consider electric fencing as an affordable and effective option to protect your flock.
3. Don’t Make Your Property Inviting
It’s also vital to ensure you aren’t inadvertently welcoming predators. Only give your chickens the amount of feed they need and clean up any leftovers promptly. Store animal feed and garbage in tightly secured containers away from the coop, and collect eggs daily. Keep the area surrounding the coop free of tall grass, brush, and debris, and eliminate potential nesting sites from your property.
If you need high-quality farm supplies to create a safe environment for your chickens, visit Carhart Feed & Seed Co. in Dove Creek, CO. They carry products that can help keep predators at bay and will assist you in finding everything you want. Since opening its doors in 1979, this locally owned retailer has provided farmers throughout the region with items that are essential for agricultural success. Call (970) 677-2233 for more information about their inventory of farm supplies.