Owning chicken is a blast! As a proud chicken keeper, you want to protect chickens from predators. But this is not always an easy job. Many predators see your chickens as a delicious meal. This list will help you understand who are the most common chicken predators in the USA and how to keep your chickens safe.
Just a quick reminder before we jump to the list: Not all species are equally tenacious in all areas. Get a sturdy automatic coop door to help you sleep better, knowing that your chickens are safe in the coop.
Keep reading to learn how to identify the threats to your chickens and what you can do to prevent the attacks.
It might be strange, and you might ask yourself: Do raccoons eat chicken? Let us explain. Raccoons are very common in the United States. Their most preferred entry methods are climbing, squeezing, and reaching through gaps, but they are also masters of opening latches. Coming to the chicken in such a way is only a matter of time before a raccoon will eat it.
Foxes and chickens will never be friends. A fox is an intelligent predator, a widespread species common in most of the USA, and is pretty infamous for its love of chicken. A good indicator of foxes being around is an odor similar to skunk but not as strong. Other signs of fox attack are lots of chicken feathers and buried birds.
3. Birds of Prey
Birds of prey are of different shapes, sizes, and colors, and they cover almost the entire USA. Smaller birds like chicks may be carried away thoroughly, leaving no sign of attack. Mostly there is no sign of the kidnap.
Coyotes and wolves are usually afraid of human beings, but if they are overpopulated, hungry, and inexperienced young, they may come closer to your home to hunt chickens. After they are gone, there is no track behind them, for instance, of domestic dogs in most cases. Tooth marks on dismembered remains will be the most likely indicator of wolves or coyotes.
5. Weasels and minks
Weasels and minks encompass a sizeable family of species, but some species are more prone to be chicken predators than others. It’s essential to be watchful for weasels and minks species in your area and which of them are a significant threat to your flock. One weasel can kill a small flock in just one night. They love to drink a chicken’s blood.
Opossums are pretty special chicken predators. They don’t like to put too much effort into the killing; therefore, they mostly go for injured, sick young, and old chickens. Another vital thing about opossums as chicken predators: they spread the deadly EPM disease like crazy through bites or feces.
7. Mice and rats
It may seem odd to include mice and rats on this list, but there are several reasons for that. Not only that they are unrepentant egg eaters, but they also carry deadly diseases in their droppings, and there are many cases of rats and mice chewing chickens and causing them life-threatening injuries.
One of the most common chicken predators is our best animal friend – our domestic dog. Most dogs can coexist with chickens just fine, but when we talk about neglected, hungry dogs, the story about coexistence between dogs and chickens may be different.
It is hard to imagine that this cute cat has a wild streak in it and could kill your flock, but is possible.
A human being is primarily responsible for stealing, even for stealing chickens. Key signs: several chickens are missing, most valuable chickens are missing, no signs of feathers or blood in the coop. As mentioned in previous cases, it is recommended even in that case to fit sturdy locks to the coop. Besides that, you can set up security cameras, electric fencing, audible alarms, or have at least one dog in your backyard.
Now that we have listed the Top ten chicken predators in the USA, it’s time to give you some tips on preventing the damage they can cause to your coop.
- Check your coop regularly for any holes or cracks, and always make sure you properly fasten the latches.
- Check perimeters for any signs of tunneling or digging.
- Make sure your electric fencing is working properly.
- Take care of your dog and cat. Although they are adorable and we adore them, they can become dangerous chicken predators.
- Do not leave pet food or trash unsecured where it may attract wildlife to your coop.
- Don’t use too simple hooks and eye latches. Remember, animals like raccoons can open it if it’s too easy. Instead of that kind of latches, we recommend you use Run-Chicken automatic coop door.
- Besides that, we recommend always covering your coop and running with—at a minimum—sturdy bird netting to prevent entry from flying or climbing predators.
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