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Do I need to worry about this owl?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by annep, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. annep

    annep Songster

    Mar 4, 2011
    I know, off the bat, most of you said YES as you read the title! But, here goes. We have a coop, and the run has bird netting on top. It's not totally secure, there are holes in it, but for the most part, it's solid. The run itself is built out of hardware cloth. There is a door for the chckens to get in and out of the coop thats about a foot high. I think it was left open last night. so, to my question.. Last night, I heard an owl. Do I need to worry about it? Will it find the weakness in the netting, walk into my coop and kill the chickens?
    I have a Great Pyr that helps too.
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hi Anne,

    Your setup sounds pretty secure, but I would never say you don't need to worry. I have a setup similar to yours, and I will say that I've never had anything get inside and prey on my flock. I have occasionally forgotten to lock up, and I've been very lucky, considering my property is surrounded by a small woods. I've had chickens for five years now.

    Not sure if I've been lucky, but I hope this makes you feel better.

  3. Chookpensbuild

    Chookpensbuild In the Brooder

    Mar 28, 2012
    search for weak points in your coop, and fix them, then you will be able to sleep peacefully
  4. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Hi Anne! With all respect, and having a working knowledge of owls... I think you have far more to worry from other night time predators such as raccoons, than you do from an owl. An owl is extremely unlikely to go into your coop and and then kill a hen even if it somehow accidentally gets in through your netting.
    I won't say it's impossible, because I've learned that with wild animals, almost nothing is impossible. But it is wildly unlikely.

    A raccoon or opossum, on the other hand, wouldn't think twice about intentionally breaking in!
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    I agree with Nambroth that you should have greater concerns with other predators, but do not discount the possibility of a GHO entering your coop and killing fowl. On two occasions I have had GHO enter a loft through unsecured bobs and kill pigeons. The owl was then unable to exit the loft and was found there the next morning. I no longer 'forget' to secure the bobs. Owls are very brazen and once a food source has been identified they will return until it is depleted.
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Most owls, no.

    There are a couple of species of large owls that are capable of killing chickens and they can get into places that a hawk will not attempt.

    The Great Horned Owl can kill jack rabbits and skunks, so a chicken is right in it's preferred size range.

    I suggest that you go and fix all the weak spots in your coop and then you won't have to stress over it.
  7. Black Cochin Bantams

    Black Cochin Bantams Songster

    Feb 24, 2010
    I lost 5 lb ducks last year to a Great Horned Owl. I had deer netting on the top and it went through it. I agree with the previous poster to fix all gaps and feel secure. They are strong determined predators. I ended up with a metal roof over the run so I never have to worry.

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