Foxes. Far and away, the most common predator we deal with on the homestead are opossums. There, you’ll find all sorts of information to help you figure out which chicken predators around your coop. LISTEN TO THE REST HERE), Getting to know chicken predators by their tracks from One Acre Homestead, American Veterinary Medical Association policies on euthanasia of wildlife, Aereal chicken predators protected by the Migratory Birds Treaty Act, How to Protect Your Chickens From Predators. This chicken coop is elevated off the ground to provide proper air circulation and as an added barrier to small predators. And they might not be your dogs, but perhaps a neighbor’s, or family member’s. These large cats are not common chicken predators because they prefer much larger prey. No part of his body was eaten, but feathers were scattered in the immediate area around his body, and he appeared to have a bloody wound in the center of his back. It’s about larger pests (think the size of a rat and up), that want to hunt your chickens, their chicks, and their eggs. I also advise covering your run if you think dog might jump into it. And if these chicken predators have attacked your flock once, they will do it again. Chickens come inside at dusk and are almost comatose when sleeping. Raccoon are nocturnal, and the tell-tale signs of a raccoon killing a chicken is similar to opossums, but there are a couple key differences. In this episode of What The Cluck?! Another thing I love about Thrive Market is that for every membership they sell to someone like you or me, they give a membership to a family in need. One of the first signs of an attack from a bird of prey is a scouting bird. In fact, in the Mid-Atlantic, I know of cases where owners have shot domestic animals and did indeed face criminal gun charges. Still, having a pet protector around can help minimize the damage, even if they’re only on duty part of the time! (LIKE THIS PODCAST? It’s almost ready to launch (and a lot of the materials are up there already, just a few more videos I need to complete.). Migrations and expanding or decreasing populations can change these boundaries on a regular basis. How to Protect your Flock from Common Chicken Predators Raccoons. What you can do about it: If you have a cat, try to acclimate it to your chickens in the hopes that they can co-exist together, much like a guard dog. As we grow increasingly sophisticated in understanding where our food comes from and the repercussions of eating poor quality food, it’s important to understand how your hens diet effects the quality of her eggs. If you know a snake is poaching your eggs and/or chicks, though, make sure the base of your coop is fortified with very fine mesh, hardware cloth, etc. I’ve walked into coops after a possum attack and there’s just pieces of chickens everywhere, it’s pretty disgusting. Also, avoid free ranging chickens when hawks are a regular threat. Many of the following questions were touched on in the article, but for anyone skimming or looking for some more detailed, specific answers, here they are! And like most domesticated animals, chickens prefer to be kept in groups. Finally, I live in southern New Jersey, so suspected predators that have killed my chickens in the past include: (1) Cooper’s Hawks; (2) Owls; (3) raccoon; and (4) opossum. Building your coop with a raised foundation can easily deter many smaller predators, especially those who might be tempted to chew through wood or dig under a floor. These chicken predators particularly like to go after chickens because they’re easy prey. Predators are and always be our arch enemy. What you can do about it: If a mountain lion is a threat (which is unlikely, but possible, in a suburban or urban setting), make sure your coop is strong and that all of your wiring is both durable and firmly attached. And one more time, say it with us, don’t hunt the owls! Horned owls and Barred owls hunt at night while the Northern Hawk owls hunt early morning and late afternoon. Is it true that chickens will kill their fellow flock members if they are sick? Now, the reason I’m telling you about them is because it’s where I source raw, organic items I use on my homestead. I would love it if you dropped me a line at [email protected] to let me know how you handle chicken predators or if you have any questions about it. Coyotes are third on our list of chicken predators, and if you don’t know what that is, a coyote is a species of canine that hunts in packs. Predators other than domestic dogs usually eat at least part of the chickens in my experience. Now, let’s get on to why we’re here. Raccoons will attempt to drag the chicken through the fence surrounding your coop. Sure, they might grab a quick snack along the way, but a weasel, mink, opossum, raccoon, dog, or even a coyote can do far more damage than just a single kill. The problem here is twofold. So, in the name of saving our chickens, here’s our comprehensive article on the most common and dangerous chicken predators, and how to tell which one killed your chickens.