Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief of GRIT Magazine, discusses the best ways to protect your flock and prevent chicken predators with Purina animal nutritionist Dr. Patrick Biggs.
The best thing to do when setting up a chicken coop or shelter is to make sure it’s well fortified against the kinds of predators that can be found in your area. In general, make sure walls, floors and doors don’t have gaps or cracks that can allow predators to slip through. Use a narrow-gage galvanized wire to keep animals from reaching in. This wire should be buried six-inches deep and should run six inches perpendicular from the coop to deter predators from digging in to the coop.
Remember, it’s not always wildlife that can prey on your flock. Dogs and cats can also be likely culprits. Remember, snakes and rats may not kill the birds, but they can steal the eggs. Talking to other chicken owners in your area can help narrow down what predators have likely been causing problems for your flock. Odds are, if you are experiencing a problem with predators, a neighbor may be experiencing it as well.
Making sure your chickens have some sort of shelter to get under aside from their sheltered coop when they spot an aerial predator.
Here at GRIT Magazine, we are passionate about rural American know-how and helping people learn more about the crops and animals they care for. Check out Videos from GRIT to see more from our editors.