electric fencing for predator control/control ideas

dorklandresident

Chirping
Nov 30, 2021
82
172
96
Massachusetts, USA
Backround: I have 3 lavender orpington hens. They have an eglu go/run which is inside a 17x17 area the is fenced in with 4'(ish) chicken fencing. I really love this system overall. The eglu works out great and I think that when shut it is pretty predator proof. I can't even get into it that easily because the back door to it gets stuck. I only let them into the 17x17 area during the day when I am home.

My concern, is that the wire on the small run is 2'' x 1'' and I am worried that weasels will get in or raccoons will reach through. Obviously, the chicken fencing in the 17x17 area is not predator proof and that is why I only let them out there during the day when I am home and can keep an eye on them. They are in the front yard near the house (idk if this makes a difference or not).

I have not actually seen any predators except a fox down the street and a dead opossum on the road. I know that in my area there are: cayote, raccoon, fisher cats, foxes, maybe bobcats, birds of prey and I am sure other things.

Would putting a 2 or 3 wire electric fence system outside the 17x 17 area be enough to deter most of these predators. Obviously the birds won't be stopped by it.

I also have a motion activated light and I ordered some red predator lights. I know most people say the predator lights don't work, but they were cheap and it can't hurt. I can have my husband pee on the trees.

any other advice?
 

cavemanrich

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7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
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Melrose Park Illinois
Your worst predator to control would be the fishers, and weasels. Those can get thru small openings,,,,,,, and are nasty killers.:mad:
I suggest you get some 1/2 inch hardware cloth and secure the Eglu run better.
Electrified perimeter on the 17 x 17, is good,,, but I don't think it would totally deter weasels, and fishers. They burrow underneath. It would keep raccoons, opossums, and coyotes out. as well as cats, and dogs. Electrified fencing does get somewhat complex to install properly, as well as the cost of the components.
For aerial raptors,,, you can get some bird netting, or a swimming pool netting cover. The swimming pool covers are strong, so can be stretched, and hold up to mild temporary snow loads.
Having DH pee on the trees works mostly in theory. He would have to renew his territory daily. It is likely getting cold,,,,, so I will say no more.. :gig

WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
30,090
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Florida
My Coop
My Coop
:welcome :frowI know there are weasels in my state but not in my area, yet. I do have electric wires around my coops and pens and it does keep the predators at bay. Most of the predators are aware of the hot wires and some may have been zapped. I think once they do get zapped they don't try again. Good luck...
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
30,090
32,340
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Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Here are my wires. They may not be too pretty but work. I also have some good heavy duty netting covering all of the pens and concrete under the gates. Again, good luck...
20210115_095548.jpg
 

dorklandresident

Chirping
Nov 30, 2021
82
172
96
Massachusetts, USA
Your worst predator to control would be the fishers, and weasels. Those can get thru small openings,,,,,,, and are nasty killers.:mad:
I suggest you get some 1/2 inch hardware cloth and secure the Eglu run better.
Electrified perimeter on the 17 x 17, is good,,, but I don't think it would totally deter weasels, and fishers. They burrow underneath. It would keep raccoons, opossums, and coyotes out. as well as cats, and dogs. Electrified fencing does get somewhat complex to install properly, as well as the cost of the components.
For aerial raptors,,, you can get some bird netting, or a swimming pool netting cover. The swimming pool covers are strong, so can be stretched, and hold up to mild temporary snow loads.
Having DH pee on the trees works mostly in theory. He would have to renew his territory daily. It is likely getting cold,,,,, so I will say no more.. :gig

WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome

Yes, the weasels and fisher freak me out the most. I have heard fishers at night in the distance, but not seen them yet. The fox i see on my road pretty regularly but that is the only predator I have actually seen near my house. I am worried that once winter sets in these predators are going to get more desperate. Honestly, I am not certain why they haven't done anything yet.

Cayotes recently killed somebody's emu in my town. not a good sign at all for my chickens.
 

dorklandresident

Chirping
Nov 30, 2021
82
172
96
Massachusetts, USA
Your worst predator to control would be the fishers, and weasels. Those can get thru small openings,,,,,,, and are nasty killers.:mad:
I suggest you get some 1/2 inch hardware cloth and secure the Eglu run better.
Electrified perimeter on the 17 x 17, is good,,, but I don't think it would totally deter weasels, and fishers. They burrow underneath. It would keep raccoons, opossums, and coyotes out. as well as cats, and dogs. Electrified fencing does get somewhat complex to install properly, as well as the cost of the components.
For aerial raptors,,, you can get some bird netting, or a swimming pool netting cover. The swimming pool covers are strong, so can be stretched, and hold up to mild temporary snow loads.
Having DH pee on the trees works mostly in theory. He would have to renew his territory daily. It is likely getting cold,,,,, so I will say no more.. :gig

WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and :welcome

Do you know if large birds of prey are ever a problem for big chickens? My orpingtons are pretty chonky and I think they would be difficult to pick up and fly with. There are red tail hawks around, osprey, vultures, no eagles.

I have observed that when the wild birds make alert calls, my chickens go running into their covered run or house. It is kind of interesting that they recognize the alert calls of other species. Perhaps they somehow figured out to associate these calls with nearby hawks. I got them as 20wk pullets so I suppose they could have learned it from their previous flock before I got them. I never knew chickens to do that kind of thing before
 
Last edited:

cavemanrich

Addict
7 Years
Apr 6, 2014
18,628
67,992
1,317
Melrose Park Illinois
Do you know if large birds of prey are ever a problem for big chickens? My orpingtons are pretty chonky and I think they would be difficult to pick up and fly with. There are red tail hawks around, osprey, vultures, no eagles.

I have observed that when the wild birds make alert calls, my chickens go running into their covered run or house. It is kind of interesting that they recognize the alert calls of other species. Perhaps they somehow figured out to associate these calls with nearby hawks. I got them as 20wk pullets so I suppose they could have learned it from their previous flock before I got them. I never knew chickens to do that kind of thing before
You have to take into consideration what the food supply is at the time, a hawk is hungry. It is natural that a hawk will take the easiest meal at the time. When meals get scarce,,,, the next option may be a chicken,,,, and the hawk does not need to carry it away. It can just start its meal right where it killed it. :(
 

dorklandresident

Chirping
Nov 30, 2021
82
172
96
Massachusetts, USA
Does keeping an ultra clean coop help with predators? My coop is plastic and I clean/disinfect 1x per week. It doesn't smell as much like chickens as other coops. Obviously the still poop outside on the ground and there are feathers. My husband says no to the electric fence. :-( but he does pee on the tree near their coop for me. I also have motion sensors lights and those predator eye lights. In the spring or summer I could probably get one of those motion sensors sprinklers. Anything else I can do that doesn't involve spending a lot more money or requiring alot more work?

Is there some way to train you chickens to go to bed earlier?

I have a trail cam, so hopefully if I ever catch one on camera he will be more inclined to let me get an electric fence
 

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