Jul 4, 2013

11+ Tips for Predator-proofing Chickens

Protecting a flock against predators is one of the biggest challenges a backyard chicken keeper faces. The best offense is a good defense and knowing the basics of coop security is essential to keeping chickens safe from harm. The following are my best recommendations for predator-proofing chickens based on my experiences.
Protecting a flock against predators is one of the biggest challenges a backyard chicken keeper faces. The best offense is a good defense and knowing the basics of coop security is essential to keeping chickens safe from harm. The following are my best recommendations for predator-proofing chickens based on my experiences.
Chicken wire will not keep chickens safe from predators, this hawk reached right in through the wire and grabbed a chick.
1. Don't allow Chickens to Roost Outside 
Chickens are most vulnerable when they are asleep and many chicken predators are active at night, making the inside of a locked coop the safest place for them. Teaching chickens to return to the coop at night is best done from the time they first take up residence in the coop, but they can also be trained at a later date if necessary. Read about Coop Training, here
Teaching chickens to return to the coop at night is best done from the time they first take up residence in the coop, but they can also be trained at a later date if necessary. Read about Coop Training, here.
2. Never Rely on Chicken Wire for Safety
Chicken wire is meant to contain chickens, not to exclude predators. A hungry raccoon can defeat chicken wire as easily as opening an envelope. Hawks can reach in through chicken wire with their talons, pulling a bird to its death. Never rely on chicken wire as a safety fencing.
Hardware cloth should be installed liberally in and around the chicken coop.
3. Install ¼ inch Hardware Cloth Liberally
Snakes and members of the weasel family can get into the coop through very small openings, devastating a flock in very short order. Using hardware cloth, cover any opening in the coop and around the run that is greater than ¼ inch. All windows should be secured with hardware cloth. Window screens will not keep predators out. Screws and washers should secure the hardware cloth to the structure, not staples. 
Window screens will not keep predators out. Screws and washers should secure the hardware cloth to the structure, not staples.
My best guess was that a raccoon tried to get into the coop this night. You can see his dirty calling card on the door jamb.
My chickens free-range all day and the coop doors are left open. The eastern rat snake in this video slithered into the coop nest box for a three egg lunch. He was scared off into the woods from whence he came. The only way to keep snakes out of the chicken coop completely is to secure it day and night with 1/4" hardware cloth at every possible access point into the coop and run.
4. Bury it or put an Apron on It
 To deter digging predators, dig a 12" trench all the way around the perimeter of the coop, burying the hardware cloth. Dirt floors should have hardware cloth buried at least 12" beneath them. An alternative to a trench is to extend a 12" hardware cloth apron out from the perimeter of the run. An apron isn't as effective as a trench, but will provide a degree of security from less ambitious digging critters.
Burrowing predators can be deterred by buried hardware cloth.
Evidence of a digging beastie, whose efforts were foiled by buried hardware cloth.
5. Cover the Run
For maximum security, cover the run to protect against flying and climbing predators. A lesser degree of protection can be obtained by stringing netting on top of the run to deter hawks, owls, etc. Climbing predators will not be deterred by netting, however.
An enclosed, covered chicken run will keep aerial predators away from the flock.
6. Close Coop and Run Doors at Dusk
One never knows when a nocturnal predator might begin its hunt for food prematurely, therefore, the coop and run doors should be secured as soon as the flock has gone to roost for the night. An an electronic poultry door can manage this detail automatically. 
One never knows when a nocturnal predator might begin its hunt for food prematurely, therefore, the coop and run doors should be secured as soon as the flock has gone to roost for the night. An an electronic poultry door can manage this detail automatically.
I saw this opossum at dusk, scurrying underneath my chicken coop. He had been trapped underneath it by 2 feet of snow that surrounded the coop with no escape possible.
Bobcat via The Chicken Chick®
7.  USE 2 STEP LOCKS ON DOOR LATCHES
Raccoons are very adept at unlatching simple locks and turning basic door handles. Locks requiring multiple steps to unlatch are more secure plan than a hook-and-eye style lock. Spring locks and barrel-style locks are recommended.
Locks requiring multiple steps to open are the most secure chicken coop locks.
Raccoons are very adept at unlatching simple locks and turning basic door handles. Locks requiring multiple steps to unlatch are more secure plan than a hook-and-eye style lock. Spring locks and barrel-style locks are recommended.
Important personal safety note: Many chicken keepers have had the misfortune of locking themselves inside the coop or run. Formulate a human escape route.
Latch with rope attached permits opening the chicken run door from the inside.
8. ELIMINATE FEED
 Food attracts predators and pests such as mice and rats. While predators may succeed in gaining entry into the run, they can cause significant property damage and stress to the flock. If food must be left in the run, consider using a treadle feeder, such as Grandpa's Feeders, which conceals feed, reducing the temptation.
Treadle feeders such as Grandpa's Feeders prevents food from attracting predators to the chicken coop.
Roosters are good early warning alarms for predators in a chicken yard.
Blaze is my Black Copper Marans rooster and one of the most attentive, most vigilant roosters I've ever had.
9. FLOCK GUARDIAN ANIMALS
Many animals make excellent flock guardians, including geese, llamas, donkeys, guineas and certain breeds of dog, including Great Pyrenees, Shepherds and Akbash. Roosters are attentive, early warning systems, alerting flock-mates to take cover when danger is nearby; many a rooster has sacrificed his own life battling a predator in defense of his hens. 
Livestock guardian animals such as this Akbash dog help keep chickens safe in their yard.
Peanut, my neighbor's Akbash guard dog.
Hawk protection. A free-range flock is at higher risk of predation than confined birds. Providing natural and artificial cover in the form of bushes, boxes, branches will provide a degree of security and safe-haven when predators are detected.
10.  PROVIDE COVER FOR FREE-RANGE CHICKENS
 A free-range flock is at higher risk of predation than confined birds. Providing natural and artificial cover in the form of bushes, boxes, branches will provide a degree of security and safe-haven when predators are detected.
A free-range flock is at higher risk of predation than confined birds. Providing natural and artificial cover in the form of bushes, boxes, branches will provide a degree of security and safe-haven when predators are detected.
11. KNOW THE ENEMY
One of the basic tenets of The Art of War is to know the enemy. Knowing the type of predators and how they operate enables one to plan predator-specific defenses. A trail cam with night vision provides excellent reconnaissance as to predator types and patterns of behavior. 
Night vision trail cameras provide insight into the types of predators around the chicken coop.
Knowing the type of predators and how they operate enables one to plan predator-specific defenses. A trail cam with night vision provides excellent reconnaissance as to predator types and patterns of behavior.
Coyote caught on film at night.

This trail cam was my birthday present this year. I don't worry about predators getting into my coops, I'm just curious about what else lives in the woods behind my coops.
Knowing the type of predators and how they operate enables one to plan predator-specific defenses. A trail cam with night vision provides excellent reconnaissance as to predator types and patterns of behavior.
Knowing the type of predators and how they operate enables one to plan predator-specific defenses. A trail cam with night vision provides excellent reconnaissance as to predator types and patterns of behavior.
Decoy owls may or may not be deterrents for hawks and other raptors.
11. DECEPTION, DEFENSE, DETERRENTS
Any of the following can be used as a part of an overall strategy to deceive, deter and defend against chicken predators. None should be relied upon as a magic bullet, however.
Hawk Stopper Visual Deflection Netting over Chicken Run
 Premier 1 Electric Poultry Netting
  • Predator deterrent systems, such as The Yard Sentinel.(shown above) The best ones will have multiple layers of protection, including motion sensors, lights (red, blinking & motion-activated) and alarms. 
Any of the following can be used as a part of an overall strategy to deceive, deter and defend against chicken predators. None should be relied upon as a magic bullet, however.
Red fox via The Chicken Chick®
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

524 comments :

  1. Karen Bain Land7/4/13, 2:14 PM

    I lost 3 hens last night to a predator and it devastated me. I know how it got in the pen and will be reinforcing it today. Have been searching online for ways to deter animals and saw your blog on Facebook. Thank you for sharing your tips!!

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  2. Kim Harden7/4/13, 2:14 PM

    Know the predator....Unfortunately I was out smarted by a fox. It attacked durring the day. I just got electric poultry fencing to put up, hopefully that works. My dog has chased the fox off several times but he isn't outside all the time.

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  3. Cheryl Lindsay7/4/13, 2:18 PM

    It has been so wet here this year! Over 8" last month, so the pee would not last long here. My biggest concern are wood rats and hawks! I would love to win and as always appreciate your dedication to helping others enjoy and keel our flocks safe, no matter how small!
    Cheryl

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  4. Holly Pacheco7/4/13, 2:22 PM

    thanks, great tips!

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  5. I am VERY new to backyard chickens. My first "flock" is 4 weeks old and just about ready to move to their coop. Thank you for all the information. I have learned lots

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  6. Thanks so much for these tips. I'm a new chicken owner and have been super paranoid about coyotes since day 1. Our property has a 5-6ft concrete block wall all the way around and I did my best with the hardware cloth when building the run leaving a skirt around for digging predators etc. Hopefully I did good and I won't have any issues. I'm also home all day and out with them when they free range and they're locked in the coop at night.

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  7. Karen Parsons7/4/13, 2:27 PM

    We have used a lot of your ideas for our chickens safety. Thank you.
    I had never thought about locking myself in but I will now. I will have to see what I can do to be sure that doesn't happen because I certainly wouldn't fit thru the pop door. LOL.

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  8. Jason Katie Gurnsey7/4/13, 2:45 PM

    would love this!!!

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  9. Hmmm......predator pee.....I think I need the glowing eyeballs!!

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  10. One thing people often struggle with is what to do with animals if they catch them (raccoons, opossums, etc). You can call your local department of wildlife and they'll come take care of them. In some places, it is illegal to relocate them so you must either set them free or put them down. We have found an alternative for our raccoons: we found a gentleman who has world champion coon hunting dogs. He takes all our trapped raccoons and uses them to train his dogs.

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  11. Jenn Werner-Williams7/4/13, 2:54 PM

    We had coyotes in our yard last night again. Predator prevention is a constant concern at our place!

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  12. Friedasflock7/4/13, 2:55 PM

    Have a new coop! Need all the predator proofing we can get!

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  13. Amanda Caldwell7/4/13, 2:57 PM

    Love this article :)

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  14. Renee Bonneau Sturgis7/4/13, 3:20 PM

    I already subscribe. I love your blog and predator prevention is so important. Thanks!

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  15. Valerie Cottingham7/4/13, 3:22 PM

    My 5 teenage hens free range in my backyard. There are hawks and owls around us. Thanks for the great advice. Hope I win.

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  16. Tracey Thomas McDowell7/4/13, 3:27 PM

    Thanks for the information. I just lost several Hens to a coop I thought was secure. I am thankful to learn these tips.

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  17. Funny, my husband works outside a lot and has a radio going. And 9 times out of 10 he forgets to turn it off. I guess subconsciously he is helping to protect the flock!

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  18. Lettie Easton7/4/13, 3:36 PM

    hank you for all of the information, you have given me tons of ideas to help us protect our girls :)

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  19. I've been following your blog for some time now and I learn something new every time, thanks!

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  20. Would love to win The Predator Preventer

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  21. TheChickenChick7/4/13, 4:41 PM

    I'm sorry to hear it, Tracey. I hope these help.

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  22. TheChickenChick7/4/13, 4:46 PM

    I'm sorry for your losses, Karen. :(

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  23. Would love some help keeping my flock safe!

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  24. Matthew Little7/4/13, 5:40 PM

    I would love to get either of the prizes. With all of the chickens that I have lost over the years to predators, these would be GREAT!

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  25. Haven't had a problem lately, but in one night a raccoon broke into my pen and killed 4 of my chickens :-(. He got both of my cuckoo marans that night.

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  26. This is one of my biggest fears! New to chickens and so this blog is like the bible for me!! Thank you so much for all the information!

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  27. Diva Talk Radio7/4/13, 7:37 PM

    Already a subscriber and love your website. I gain so much knowledge from your posts and experiences. Our Rat Terrier has been a great guard dog. I think she hates opossums just as much as we do. She will also run off hawks. Our black lab is too lazy. :)

    Kelli Claypool

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  28. Lori Edmison7/4/13, 7:44 PM

    Teresa, I have also been following for quite some time & I learn something new everytime.
    Sonya, I would also love to win the Predator Preventer - good luck to you (and all those who enter).

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  29. Lori Edmison7/4/13, 7:46 PM

    How can you tell the difference between coyote & canine tracks?

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  30. Paula Hannay7/4/13, 8:30 PM

    I would love to win either one of these. Chickens are spending their first night in the coop and we have a fox in the neighborhood.

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  31. Joyce Zaleski7/4/13, 8:38 PM

    I would love to win either one of these wonderful prizes. Thanks so much for the great info too. queenb@epix.net

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  32. Marie McMahel7/4/13, 10:33 PM

    I am new to backyard hens and look forward to your blogs! So much to learn.

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  33. Would love to win. Racoons are the biggest problem we have here.

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  34. Excellent tips... thanks!

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  35. Tara Hublou7/5/13, 2:10 AM

    Great information! Thank you. Happy 4th!

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  36. Mary Gilbert7/5/13, 7:31 AM

    Thank you for all that you do to keep us informed and educated about chickies :) So much info, so much to love!

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  37. Would love one of these, spent countless nights a wake watching over my flock. Have lost of few from a raccoon before and I don't want to see that again. Hawks here are bad here too and they seem so brave, a couple of times tried to get one of my ducks and chickens right in front of me, had to tear one off my duck once too and the duck survived.

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  38. Locking my hens up in the evening has really helped me prevent loss in my free range chickens. I lost a LOT of chickens one year to what I assume were owl attacks. I never saw what got them every morning! I also don't recommend plastic chicken wire. My husband put it around the bottom of the coop and something actually chewed through it and got one of my laying hens!

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  39. Gwen Stiegelmeyer7/5/13, 9:09 AM

    Your posts are always very helpful. I need to know how to protect my girls from predators, they are just like members of my family!

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  40. Esther widgren7/5/13, 9:59 AM

    Predators abound here! Thanks for the info. Would love to win :-)

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  41. Amanda Wilson7/5/13, 10:51 AM

    Thanks, would like to win this!

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  42. Would love to be predator proof!
    graceinapril@gmail.com

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  43. Another excellent LGD is the Italian Maremma. We got one last year to guard our chickens. We have a very high coyote population as well as cougar, fox, hawks, racoon and opossum. Since we got "Banjo" we have not lost a chicken to a predator. I cannot say enough good things about them! Their intelligence is absolutely incredible. He is worth his weight in gold.

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  44. Mary Lynn Durfee7/5/13, 11:17 AM

    I put corn out for the squirrels to keep them out of the chickens' pens and for the crows who keep the hawks away. The deer love the corn, too! I would still appreciate your two options to win today and give them a try! Thank you!

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  45. Good post with information that has me hoping I win!! I saw raccoon tracks in the sand inside the run today - so I know we get visitors. thanks!

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  46. I subscribe to your blog via email! Either of these would be great for my coop!

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  47. Raccoons is my biggest problem!They seem to always find a way to get in my coop.

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  48. I would love to win the predator preventer. I have learned so much from your blog and I have loved the Blaze updates on Facebook.

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  49. Fabulous Chicks7/5/13, 12:05 PM

    Love your blog and all the helpful "tips" for us New Chicken Peeps!

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  50. Molly Plunkett7/5/13, 12:12 PM

    Great tips, I'm definitely getting some hardware cloth!
    My coops were standing when I moved to this property, and have begun to show their age. Any tips on keeping them secure as i repair the rotted wood is of immense value.
    The trail camera is also a great idea. My brother gave me one a while back, and I have yet to use it. I think I'll try setting it up in the run soon.

    I had a raccoon get into the coop on two occasions. I lost seven pullets and a hen before my brother managed to corner the animal and put it down.

    It went right through the wire door, so I learned the hard way that chicken wire is not enough!

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  51. Thanks for all the great ideas and for the chance to win.
    I follow with GFC as Sue D

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  52. Linda Lane Parker7/5/13, 12:24 PM

    I have cats not chickens, (wish I had both) your info on here is good for them also sometimes,We have coyotes, so the give away would work for the kitties also ;-) thank you so much! I have chickens vicariously thru you.So glad Blaze is better!

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  53. Heather Bruce7/5/13, 12:29 PM

    Would love to win the Predator Preventer. We are building a larger coop a little farther from the house and could use some extra security for our flock.

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  54. Cricket Harvey Longaker7/5/13, 12:29 PM

    Thank you for the help! Great information.

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  55. Carolyn McKinnon7/5/13, 12:32 PM

    Your predator prevention tips prompted me to add spring lock latches to our nesting box door and coop door. Then I added keyed padlocks to our run doors. We live in a suburban area on a ravine frequented by racoons, opossum, wharf rats and who knows, probably stray dogs, cats and people. Thanks for your great blog!

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  56. Laura Windham7/5/13, 12:37 PM

    Thanks for the opportunity and products from your giveaways. It all helps!

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  57. These are great tips. More is always better for protection.

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  58. Karrie Sedlmeyer7/5/13, 1:05 PM

    once again, your info is so VERY helpful.....as i get ready to put my first flock in their coop!! many thanks!!

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  59. Elizabeth Lea Barnes7/5/13, 1:27 PM

    would love either but if I have wolves in the back yard already should I use the predator pee I think that would just make the real ones come in?? your thoughts please

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  60. Keeping my fingers crossed for the predator preventer!

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  61. Would love to win one of these great prizes... my chicks are in their first week (still in the house) but they'll be out in the coop before too long. Thanks for another wonderful giveaway!

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  62. Jonnie-Michelle Riggs7/5/13, 2:31 PM

    Please enter me for the the contest and thank you so much for all you do for the chicken community and their owners!

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  63. BeeBlueHeron7/5/13, 2:58 PM

    Yeah, I've locked myself in my own chicken coop before. Pretty embarrassing when the chicken feed starts looking tasty! I'm hoping to protect my new flock because I seriously never want to find horrible headless chickens -- who have suffered at the tiny hands of furry bandits -- ever again. Boy, if I could invent a guard dog that wasn't bigger than a coffee table and didn't shed, I could make millions, do you hear me? MILLIONS! :-)

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  64. Rayna Estness7/5/13, 3:03 PM

    Done! :D

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  65. Lori Garcia7/5/13, 3:34 PM

    I would love to win either to help out with my chickens.

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  66. Karen Bain Land7/5/13, 4:08 PM

    Thank you! Your tips are a big help! :)

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  67. hannahking007/5/13, 4:49 PM

    Want both of them! Opossums are bad in our are... one time we caught 5 opossums in 3 days:(

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  68. Valerie Jensen7/5/13, 5:04 PM

    We had the unfortunate experience of a mink getting into our chicken coop last year. I sure would appreciate this prize package! Love this site.

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  69. Fingers crossed! Thanks for the great info!

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  70. I had to chuckle when I read #7. Same thing has happened here in our ferret rooms. I would feel kind a silly waiting for hubby to come home to let me out of the run! Great tips and timely!

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  71. Wow that would be great! We're just now building our coop and the run is soon to follow. Hubby and I were just talking about ways to keep the girls safe.

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  72. oh yes! I love your night vision thing though. I think it would be interesting to see what's around. You know, those things that see you but you don't see them.

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  73. I've followed alot of your advice, from my medical kit supplies to hardware cloth, watching out and being prepared for lice, mites, heat stress, ACV and the list goes on! Still saving for more security like predator lites and video camera, definately going for a watering system before summer is over if possible!

    love your pictures, stories and trials and tribulations in the crazy world of chicken keeping! keep up the good work! I'd love to win!

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  74. Fallon Duncan7/5/13, 10:29 PM

    Would love to win one of these ! I haven't had anything get in yet but we've heard the foxes getting closer to my coop .

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  75. Kenna Rogers7/6/13, 1:18 AM

    Great tips!! Thanks for all your info!

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  76. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 2:04 AM

    Thanks Roberta!

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  77. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 2:07 AM

    I'm totally with ya on the shedding thang. :/

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  78. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 2:11 AM

    That's a great question for the people at PredatorPee- I'm not sure. I always thought wolves were territorial, so they would stay away from a marked area. Check out their website, there's a ton of info on it about which product to use with which predator, Elizabeth.

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  79. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 2:12 AM

    That's great, Carolyn, well done!

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  80. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 2:13 AM

    Thanks Cricket! (love the profile pic!)

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  81. Elizabeth Lea Barnes7/6/13, 6:48 AM

    will do thanks

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  82. LaDonna Martin7/6/13, 7:52 AM

    1/4 inch Hardware Cloth covering 1 inch Chicken Wire. Check
    Spring Locks on Exterior Run and Egg Entry Door. Check
    Radio with Classic Rock Playin. Check
    Decoy Owl...sort of... Check (Owl Party Lights)
    Lock Inside Coop Door. Check
    Cinder Blocks Around the Bottom of Entire Coop and Run. Check
    Tin Roof on Coop Roof and Run. Check

    Predator Preventor... Nope
    Wolf Pee... Nope




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  83. Wonderful tips, thanks! We follow you and use your advice, thanks.
    Hope to use one for these for predator prevention! Thanks for putting these drawings together.

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  84. Great tips. We have a small raccoon problem, but thankfully I used the apron technique (as I want to be able to move the coop easily in the future) and they were not able to get into the run. I also added hot pepper sauce to the mulch over the apron, and I haven't seen any digging since.

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  85. Surprisingly we've been lucky enough to have only had one predator before. We have 40 acres of land here and 1/4 of its woods. Would love to have this just for extra safety though!

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  86. Sarah Eller7/6/13, 11:15 AM

    I would be honored to be entered. Any help to keep the ferral cats and dogs away is welcome here. People just dump them off. Not to mention the hawk that lives in the tree above the egg girls coop and all the mink, weasels, coons, and opossums.



    We have made many improvements here bast on your info. TY so always taking so much of your time to give every such useful fact based help! God bless you girl!

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  87. Sarah Eller7/6/13, 11:17 AM

    Oh, I wish I could find more info on hens that simply will not lay. My girls are so finicky to weather and just their mood! No eaters, no hidden nests, just don't lay!

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  88. Thanks! All good reminders...

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  89. Teresa Stickels7/6/13, 3:43 PM

    I am always tinkering with my coop to make it more and more predator-proof.

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  90. Judy Jacobs7/6/13, 6:33 PM

    Over the years I have had to remove an opossum, a large poisonous snake, and lots of mice from coops. The major animal threat to my birds, unfortunately, has been my own dogs. I would love to win these prizes.

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  91. Oh thank you for all these tips! We have raccoons, coyotes, and lots of fox! Starting to build our coop this weekend, and would love to win. :-)

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  92. So will raccoons dig under the coop? I'm getting nervous for my chickens and I haven't even gotten them yet! My husband wants to bury chicken wire in case of digging, but I'm afraid they'll just rip right through it :-/

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  93. I subscribe via email! Thanks for the post and all of the helpful hints at keeping a flock safe. There were a few that I'd considered before but many were things I had never thought of.

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  94. Nancy Fitzgerald Hoggard7/6/13, 8:29 PM

    I'm used many of your articles in raising my first chickens and constructing my chicken habitat. I would love to win a Predator Preventer to include in that effort.

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  95. Thank you for all the helpful tips! I would love to win either for my chickens.

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  96. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 10:44 PM

    Raccoons can rip right through chicken wire, tell your husband not to waste the time or effort. If you want to do it right and keep your chickens safe, use hardware cloth. http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/11/coop-security-hardware-cloth-vs-chicken.html

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  97. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 10:52 PM

    See if any of this helps, Sarah: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/decrease-in-egg-production-causes.html

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  98. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 10:53 PM

    Wow, you've got quite a challenge there, Sarah. Yikes!

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  99. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 10:55 PM

    Thank you, Julia!

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  100. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 10:57 PM

    Good to know, Angela, thanks for sharing!

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  101. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 11:01 PM

    Thank you, Mary. :)

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  102. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 11:02 PM

    Thanks Marie. Welcome to chicken-keeping!

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  103. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 11:03 PM

    Thanks Kelli!

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  104. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 11:04 PM

    Sorry to hear it, Sue. Hopefully you'll be able to incorporate many of these tips to prevent that from happening ever again.

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  105. Oh thank you!

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  106. Good timing we have some evidence of a predator starting to come around and would love to prevent any encounters.

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  107. Christine Marie Cain7/8/13, 11:38 AM

    Predators aren't too much of an issue in my yard...My girls killed a squirrel the other day. My first aid kit is getting stocked though!

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  108. I would love to be a winner

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  109. I would love to wine the Happy Hen Treats Prize Package for my 4-week old peeps

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  110. Denise Allison Magil7/8/13, 4:39 PM

    i wonder if we are starting in that direction hope not golly i dont want to loose anyone

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  111. Brittany Y7/8/13, 5:49 PM

    My baby chicks wont eat the worms I dig up so maybe they would learn to love me with some yummy hen treats!

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  112. Kristin Freeman7/8/13, 8:26 PM

    The Predator Preventer looks like a wonderful product. Just found your blog today...now I am an e-mail subscriber...great information

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  113. TheChickenChick7/8/13, 10:28 PM

    Thanks for joining me, Kristin!

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  114. Julie Klaassenvanoorschot-Doug7/8/13, 10:37 PM

    so much great stuff in one place. I am looking forward to catching up on my reading here.

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  115. Mets Suárez Salazar7/9/13, 4:47 PM

    With all the rain we've been getting in Georgia, my hens would really enjoy the Happy Hens Treats!--- they're tired of huddling up under the covered part of the run, unable to free-range and catch some yummy bugs! Thanks for hosting the give-away!

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  116. Denise Allison Magil7/9/13, 6:56 PM

    the urine would be so awesome to win

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  117. Denise Allison Magil7/10/13, 8:49 PM

    urine would be good i ha ve the other item but as stated below need sun to actvate

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  118. Denise Allison Magil7/11/13, 12:52 PM

    urine is cool

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  119. Marie Anne Depault7/12/13, 11:38 AM

    Would love to win the grandpa feeder for my hens

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  120. Marie Anne Depault7/12/13, 11:38 AM

    Would love to win grandpa feeder for our hens

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  121. Victor Galbraith7/12/13, 1:50 PM

    I can use a win this time!

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  122. My chickens would love the Happy Hens Treats. They have tried them before and just love them.

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  123. angela lashley7/12/13, 5:41 PM

    Another great giveaway, would love to be chosen as the winner!

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  124. Erika Scarbrough7/13/13, 11:39 AM

    Wonderful points. I'll be forwarding this to my husband- we're currently building our first coop.

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  125. Ginger Shannon7/20/13, 8:06 PM

    Such great information! Thanks!

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  126. Tonya Kelley-Parks8/12/13, 9:37 PM

    Hi Kathy, I've been searching, but can't find any info on your site about a chicken cam set up. I see it in your pics, but no advice on how to set one up. Can you help me out? Do you run a wireless cam? Running on WIFI with internet access to it? Please any tips you can give would be great. Thanks!

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  127. Debra E Moffit VanDorp9/2/13, 2:43 PM

    I have heard that alpacas are good for protecting chickens, is this true?

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  128. Snakes.....this year they have been bad. I do lock all my coops at night. However, on my chain link runs I have put chicken wire, snow fencing and as an added measure bird netting. This year four of the five snakes have been stuck in the wire and bird netting and snow fencing. One was even wound up in all three. Coop is quite secure from most things. Runs secure only from the bigger things.

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  129. TheChickenChick9/2/13, 4:13 PM

    The fencing you're using is too large, you need 1/4" hardware cloth.

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  130. TheChickenChick9/2/13, 4:14 PM

    It's true!

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  131. MY chickens loved hiding (and digging) underneath a big Forsythia bush. It was an excellent hiding place for them from the Hawks.

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  132. I have had no problems with predators since I started using Wolf Urine about 6 months ago. I tried everything before and it did not work. We have Bobcat, Fox, Coyote, Racoons and all the rest. Highly recommend it, passed it on to a neighbor with the same problem. It works!

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  133. chichen dog9/9/13, 5:38 PM

    thanks for the info on chickens my husband made me a portable coop out of our dog's kennel. chickens love it i have a pitbull that thinks they are his so he protects them. sometimes he even sleeps with them.just got to love them.

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  134. TheChickenChick9/11/13, 12:16 AM

    Awesome! I'm sure they'd love to hear your feedback on the PredatorPee Facebook page too, Robin!

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  135. Happy Halloween!

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  136. good post

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  137. Michele Robles9/25/13, 9:39 AM

    Thanks for the info. Many of the ideas we already do. We live in a woods so we have the potential for many predators including a great horned owl pair, raccoons, hawks, and possums. The girls are in an enclosed run or coop 24/7 with a tractor coop when we are in the yard. Putting hardware cloth into the ground 12" is impossible because of tree roots. Any other suggestions?

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  138. Kristina Nicole Richardson10/7/13, 5:01 PM

    Do red heat lamp lights help keep away predators at night?

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  139. I live in Florida and we have recieved tons of rain and I can not keep a spot in my yard dry except were I can not place my ladies, they freer range during the day so they find dry land but do you have any ideas for the run floor.

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  140. Wendy Montreuil10/7/13, 8:22 PM

    Always such great articles - would love a chance to win! Thank you.

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  141. TheChickenChick10/7/13, 11:01 PM

    Yes, SAND! http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/09/chicken-coop-bedding-sand-litter.html

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  142. Real Australian Cattle Herding dogs are also excellent, tireless guardians of the flock. My original ACD wouldn't let a neighborhood dog or predator onto the property, or even a bird light on the lawn from robins to hawks - and I saw her once leap into the air to grab a foraging hen from the claws of a red-tailed hawk that had grabbed her up, before he flew too high to reach. She was a rescue and worth her weight in gold.

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  143. The other thing that seems to work are the red blinking solar powered NiteGuard lights. Cheapest through Amazon.com

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  144. This was such a helpful post when we were building our coop. Thankfully, we used hardware cloth top, sides and bottom. We didn't just use staples, we also used screws. So far, we haven't had a problem at all. We are working on our second coop soon, and will repeat what we did before!

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  145. I had a ACD who passed a few years back from old age. She never got to see a chicken, but she certainly took good care of our kitties whether they wanted it or not! If I do get a flock-dog, I would certainly consider another ACD. A word of warning though, they are absolutely BRILLIANT dogs and if bored they will come up with the darnedest ways to get into trouble. I think mine would have been thrilled to have chickens to herd all day, poor girl.

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  146. TheChickenChick10/19/13, 8:43 PM

    Hmmm, sounds like you have become a chicken math expert! ;)

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  147. Great advice about trail cam too!!

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  148. Day Brighteners Farm10/21/13, 7:57 PM

    Hi Kathy, should be interesting to see what the council does with the zoning/special use permit, etc. Our new coop is almost done now, the hasps on the nesting boxes provide a small opening due to the "key" type closure, only when lifted which perhaps a weasel type creature could push up and get in. Can you recommend another kind of closure for the outside/top of the boxes? I'm thinking maybe a different kind that I didn't see at the hardware store. Thanks. oh, what was your surprise for the meeting?

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  149. Perhaps surrounding the area with razor wire will keep the bears at bay?

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  150. At present I have a Mongoose problem; they are stealing eggs and scaring the chickens. I guess I will have to shoot or trap them.

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  151. Gabe Wellington12/7/13, 11:05 AM

    I have a pit bull mix and we guess she was a bait dog and i read they use chickens to get them excited and she is a great herder at night. Im saying that if you train your dog at a young age they will be a good guardian too.

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  152. Hello from Maine!

    We have lost almost half our 15 free-range chickens we started the year with..mostly to foxes, which have moved into the area now that there seems to be less coyotes (foxes won't breed where there are coyotes).

    The attack would come in the middle of the day (since they are cooped at night) And they would obviously be watching the place..we lost our favorite hen that followed us around like a dog less than 15 minutes after we'd been out there rototilling etc, when the hens love to pick there afterwards. ..it was a painful lesson in just how crafty foxes really are.
    Everybody kept telling us we need a dog, but I haven't the time in my life right now to properly train one, and our road is much too close (That's how we lost our last dog years ago and a couple of cats too)...so I decided to make a BARKING DOG CD off the internet that sounds like a whole kennel-full. (googled barking dog sound effects, etc)
    I play it a couple of times a day..random times, so the predators will be kept off-base. And, along the lines of the wolf urine, I add a little extra "reality" to the barking by 'borrowing" some of my neighbor's Great Dane poops and flinging them around the perimeter of the range , especially where I see tracks, every couple of weeks.
    If I have to go out for a few hours I often leave a radio on..PBS is good because the talking probably scares them more than the music. I've been doing this for over a month now and haven't lost anymore chickens after that awful week when I lost 2! The chickens, and even our cat, has gotten used to the barking dogs...they know it's "Our" dogs,( and I made explanations and apologies to our nearest neighbors) and they live in that little box...long as the fox doesn't figure it out, we're golden!

    see more

    0 0

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  153. Thank you for all the info ! I've been researching how to protect my quails as I have quails on an insulated balcony in the city. They are like pets to me, I love eating their eggs. We will be moving into a rural setting and as such, I'm trying to find out as much as I can about predators etc... and how to protect my quails from them. I'll be using the the hardware cloth like you'd suggested (like R.R Starr). TY

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  154. I learned a lot!!!!
    I need to do more work!!!
    Thanks so much!!!!

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  155. Thank you for this... I am new to the "chicken scene" and have a beautiful flock I dearly LOVE! Just saw an Eagle fly over head a couple of days ago and while I was thrilled to see such an awesome bird, I was worried for my babes. I am also new to your page, and I am enjoying it daily! :)

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  156. My darling Old English Sheep dog is such a good protector! She herds them all day! Love her to pcs!! Now if I could just get her to stop robbing the eggs! LOL We are working on it :)

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  157. TheChickenChick1/10/14, 8:49 PM

    Welcome to chicken-keeping Tammy! Happy to have you here!

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  158. Wendy Campbell1/29/14, 9:26 PM

    My Doberman and a Deployed Soldiers Coonhound were able to save all but 1 hen from Bobcats.

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  159. Kim Roe-Kester1/29/14, 11:55 PM

    Great Info! Thanks a million for sharing!

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  160. Brenda Hollmann2/15/14, 11:45 AM

    Good info....got the predator lights already!

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  161. I was thinking to bury 36", 1/2" hardware cloth 1' down and have 2' exposed. Then put 1"×2" welded wire from there up... I guess I should switch the 1/2" cloth to 1/4" cloth? Glad I haven't bought any yet!

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  162. Viki Brushwood2/15/14, 12:20 PM

    Great info

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  163. thanks for sharing the info a great help.

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  164. Any advice on what to do about bald eagles? We have a large population with no natural predators... they take peoples small dogs, cats, and of course chickens!

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  165. TheChickenChick2/28/14, 10:10 PM

    The only way to ensure that you do not lose chickens due to bald eagles is to keep the flock enclosed completely.

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  166. Great information! We already do most of the things you have here but I want to add a few more just to be on the safe side. Thank you for sharing this information!

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  167. Patti Jo Hamilton3/6/14, 4:48 PM

    I have a cat stalking my coop. It got in once and killed one of our sweetest hens. When we have nice weather our flock is free range. I worry about cats getting my girls now :-(

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  168. Linda Donner Eisenhauer3/8/14, 10:12 AM

    On one of your coop run photos you have some type of sheeting on the outside covering the wire, light appears to filter through yet it keeps the snow out, what are you using? Please email me back response, I'm doing major changes to my coop this spring . You have been so informative and an inspiration to better care of my peeps.

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  169. TheChickenChick3/8/14, 5:24 PM

    I only use that in the winter, Linda. You can read about it and find a link to it here: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/11/surviving-winter-with-chickens.html

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  170. Suzi Stephenson3/13/14, 9:21 PM

    Thank you Kathy for your great info

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  171. Patricia Lessard3/13/14, 11:37 PM

    We have trapped several raccoons and possums recently and have seen a fox on our trail cam. Our neighbor believes they may have spotted a Florida Panther so we are being very careful that our birds are locked up securely at night. They do free range during the day but have good coverage from our trees. Our rooster was spotted chasing off a raccoon 2 weeks ago and he does keep his girls under a watchful eye.

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  172. We leave a low -wattage light bulb burning in the coop and a brighter one in the grain room.

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  173. Melissa Grover3/15/14, 9:44 PM

    Thank you so much Kathy, I'm working on the replacement coop/run details so I'm going thru this blog to see what I might not be thinking of right off hand. Great stuff! ^^

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  174. Jamie Baker3/25/14, 9:22 AM

    Thank you for sharing this! I was able to find extra wire in the neighbor's barn, and I plan on attaching it as an apron around his run. I also have to fill in the holes the fox (I think) left. Thanks again!

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  175. I solved the feral/house cat problem by getting me own. She is a 20 lb maine coon cross that doesn't tolerate intruders. I set her up in the coop with food and a sleeping spot. She is a mouser but has no interest birds. I doubt it would work every time( gotta pick the right gaurd cat) but 6 months with no signs of other cats.

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  176. TheChickenChick3/25/14, 10:02 PM

    Great to know, Jamie!

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  177. had a flock of barred rock at one time 12 hens and a rooster, one afternoon! I heard the rooster raising a ruckus and when I went to check with rifle in hand a hawk had landed in the run and the rooster was kicking his ass all over the run the hawk finally gave up and flew off and never came back.

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  178. Jenn Werner-Williams3/26/14, 9:06 PM

    We have had a bald eagle hanging around. Beautiful but deadly!

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  179. Erica Drapal Sickles3/26/14, 9:09 PM

    Always have the best ideas! :)

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  180. Teri Robinson3/26/14, 9:09 PM

    We recently made a run to keep two roosters from fighting until we can rehome one. This is great information!

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  181. Sandra Fardos3/26/14, 9:14 PM

    I love your blogs and information, any time I have a question I just look on your site and find my answer thank you

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  182. Kris Nelson3/26/14, 9:14 PM

    Very helpful! Thank you!

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  183. Karl Heilemann3/26/14, 9:16 PM

    Thank you for this information!

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  184. Casey Huffstickler3/26/14, 9:18 PM

    I am new to caring for chickens. You help me so much with all the tips. Thanks for what you do!!

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  185. Chris Price Kluge3/26/14, 9:21 PM

    I'm always looking up at the sky searching for hawks. When I hear crows, I feel more at ease! I've seen them run off hawks over and over.. They must have nests in the trees in my backyard..
    Thanks Kathy for all the info! I love your fb page, and this website! You do good work :)

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  186. Great information!! Thanks

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  187. Deven Campbell Kriegl3/26/14, 9:22 PM

    great info! Here's hoping I win the Vetericyn pack

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  188. Linda Kirby3/26/14, 9:24 PM

    Looks like I have a lot of revamping to do! Here I thought I was safe.

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  189. Emily Usina Bowers3/26/14, 9:26 PM

    Great information! Thanks!

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  190. Great info as we begin to transition everyone outside with free ranging in their future.

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  191. All great things to know as we prepare to build our coop!

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  192. Vivian Hogue3/26/14, 9:28 PM

    very interesting information!

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  193. Valerie Jaye Lemp3/26/14, 9:30 PM

    Guess I better get busy on that 1/4" wire. We used chicken wire. Thanks for the wonderful tips gal. Really enjoy the blogs! Good luck everyone.

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  194. Great info!

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  195. I love vetericyn. I even use on myself

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  196. I love these tips for keeping predators away. Thank you. We have a fox pair in our woods who I expect will have kits this spring. Luckily it's still so snowy, the girls don't want to go outside. Once the snow is gone, we'll have to keep the hens under foot.

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  197. Jo Tetherow3/26/14, 9:37 PM

    thanks for the chance again to win this. :)

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  198. Alan Shinaver3/26/14, 9:47 PM

    Still waiting for spring weather in Michigan so the girls can free range again, but hawks and eagles abound.

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  199. glenda begnoche3/26/14, 9:50 PM

    Love this site

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