I started raising chickens a year ago, and in the last year have definitely learned a LOT, but more than anything I think I've run into a lot of "disease" type problems. I'm always trying to make my coop and run more healthy for my flock but my chickens just keep getting sick! DH is sure it has to do with the INSANE amounts of nasty "wild" birds in our yard and neighborhood. Can anyone help me with some ideas to keep away the neighborhood birds? The largest population is definitely pigeons (which everyone says are the biggest disease carriers) but we also have a ton of sparrows who fit right through the chainlink run and are constantly eating my chicken food! I tried using a treadle feeder to deter neighborhood birds from flocking to my yard but my chickens continuously broke the various working parts and would dust bathe RIGHT next to the feeder piling up dirt under the lever foot so the top wouldn't open so that doesn't work. I tried timed feedings so I could be there and keep chase the wild birds away, but then my chickens always seemed like they were starving and if I fed them more they wouldn't eat it in one sitting so it would attract other birds. I'm adding chicken wire to my chainlink this weekend and this should help with the sparrows hanging out INSIDE my run, but I still have gobs of sparrows and pigeons all over my yard. How close to my flock is too close? How can I get rid of these dang diseased birds or at least keep my flock safe? (I live in Tucson AZ and we rarely get a hard frost so disease can last FOREVER in the environment) P.S. My family has taken to shooting the pigeons (pellet guns) as often as we can to try to takedown the population, but this barely even scares them away, and it seems like for every birds we kill 5 more show up next time.