It was about 6:00 pm. I went outside to close up my chickens, and geese. I counted all the birds on the perches only to find 9 out of my ten hens. Panicked, I checked all the nesting boxes, and looked around outside the area we had set up with electric fencing before looking inside their yard. There she was. Laying on the ground. Dead. She didn’t even have a head. I, as a pescatarian who had no interest in eating my girls, keeping them as pets was heartbroken.


My dear hen Martha

Whether you plan to eat your chickens or not, finding one dead can be sad, scary, and traumatizing. I know there is a fox and bob cat that live in our woods. The problem was that our electric fence wasn’t completely connected, so the fence wasn’t on.

Keeping you birds safe from all of the many things in life that want to hurt them may feel impossible, but there are several tricks to help lower the chance that something will take your birds.


One thing to keep in mind is that the same things may not protect your flock all year round. We have an electric fence. But we live somewhere it snows quite a bit. Electric fences are great in the summer but too much snow will take the charge away.

Things that can keep your birds safe in the summer are and electric fence, a rooster, and a run. An electric fence helps keep things like raccoons, foxes, and any other ground animals out of your coop and away from your chickens. Roosters are great at keeping hens safe. They are almost always on lookout duty, which is helpful against birds of prey, and can take on some of the smaller threats. They are willing to die for their ladies, and can be pretty intimidating. Geese are also a look out bird to consider. Runs are amazing all year if built right. A run should have sturdy walls, at least part of a roof, and something that keeps dogs and foxes from just digging under. The great thing about a run is protects you birds from almost ANYTHING if built well.


I will keep this short since they are both pretty similar to summer. The thing about Spring is that this is a popular time to get chicks, which are a tasty treat for many smaller things that may be able to sneak through something’s that bigger animals can’t. So just keep an eye out for things like that. Once again roosters are amazing when it comes to this. Fall has the small worry of having too many leaves pile up and take the charge from your fence.


Winter is when runs are amazing! If you live somewhere where it snows you should have at least a small run to keep your chickens in. Electric fences will not work in snow that is too deep. Runs and roosters don’t require electric output to be good ways to keep your flock safe. I know many people have metal fences that go around their chickens but this will not save them from something that climbs or jumps. Roofs are a great way to keep almost everything out.

I hope you have learned some new ways protect your birds.