Top 3 Predators For Backyard Chickens and How To Prevent Them

One of the biggest challenges to raising chickens is dealing with predators; however, it doesn’t have to be that way!

It’s hard to keep chickens safe from predators. Predators are smart, persistent, and they’re everywhere.

So, let’s identify the THREE most common PREDATORS of backyard chickens and give you some tips on how to protect your flock from them.

The Top Three Chicken Predators

#1 Racoons

Do you know that raccoons are one of the most common predators of backyard chickens?


They are attracted to the chickens by the noise and commotion that they make. Raccoons are also attracted to the food that chickens eat.

So what are you gonna do? 

To protect your flock from raccoons, it is important to keep your chicken coop and run well-lit and clean. You should also remove any food sources that might attract raccoons, such as spilled chicken feed.

#2 Foxes

Foxes are another common predator of backyard chickens.They are attracted to the smell of chicken blood and will often kill more chickens than they can eat in one meal.

A trail cam or video baby monitor can help you figure out how the fox is getting into the coop. Once you know, then you can strengthen that part of the coop!

#3 Birds of Prey

Birds of prey, including hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls eye your chickens from the sky.These predators of backyard chickens that often go unnoticed until it is too late.

They are attracted to the small size of chickens and will kill them in order to eat them.

To protect your flock from these predators, it is important to build a chicken coop and run that is enclosed on all sides. 

The roof should be covered with chicken wire, and the sides should be made of solid materials such as wood or metal.

So, What Can You Do To Protect From Becoming Prey?

Build a Strong Fence

A good fence is the first line of defense against predators. 

Make sure your fence is tall enough and buried deep enough into the ground so that predators can't dig underneath it. 

You should also keep an eye out for any gaps or holes in the fence that need to be repaired.

Get a Guard Dog

A dog that is trained to protect chickens can be a great asset in keeping predators at bay. 

Just make sure that the dog you choose is friendly with chickens and won't mistake them for prey!

Don't Let your Chickens Free Range at Night

Don't let your chickens free range at night. If you give your chickens the run of the coop during the day, that's fine, but make sure they're safely tucked away in their coop at night. 

Predators are more likely to strike when it's dark, so it's best to err on the side of caution and keep your chickens cooped up after dusk.

Use Chicken Wire Around the Perimeter of the Coop

Chicken wire will discourage predators from trying to get into the coop because they won't be able to see the chickens inside. 

Plus, it will give you an extra layer of protection in case your fence fails or a predator manages to get inside the coop itself.

Move the Coop Regularly

They will often stake out a chicken coop if they know there's an easy meal to be had inside. 

Keeping the coop in a different location each time will make it harder for predators to find and will ultimately help keep your chickens safe.

Predators can pose a serious threat to your chicken flock, but there are things you can do to protect them.

By following these tips, you can help keep your chickens safe from harm and ensure that they continue to provide you with eggs for years to come!

If you have other tips on how to best protect chickens from threats, please share below!

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