If I put my hens away at night, do I have to worry about predators?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sierrarod, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. sierrarod

    sierrarod Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 19, 2011
    I plan to use a large dog kennel for the hens during the day and a shed for them at night. The kennl is 6' high chain link. We do have owls and hawks as well as loose dogs. But would they attack during the day? I plan on buying only larger fowl. No bantams.

  2. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    are you planning on closing them up, closed doors. your bids can be attacked at anytime day or night, if you close the door/lock them up you'll be OK
  3. sierrarod

    sierrarod Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 19, 2011
    Yes, they would be in a fully closed shed at night.
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    If it can get in, they are never safe. That said, different predators attack at different times of the day/night. For example, hawks are daytime predators, owls night time. Raccoons, fox, coyotes and other mammals usually hunt at night, but they are not strictly noctural. If a predator cannot get into the coop/run, the chickens are safe; if it can, they are not. IMO, in most places, you need it to be at least bobcat & raccoon safe.
  5. silkieroo

    silkieroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2010
    Durham NH
    The hawks will fly right down into your pen if you dont have anything on the top... but that problem can be solved by just putting some chicken wire or bird netting over the top of the pen. And you always have to worry about predators. however your odds of them not getting eaten are A LOT better if you lock them up at night and if you put them away before it gets dark...just remember its better to put them in early than late! Good Luck! [​IMG] oh i forgot to add that i would suggest burying chicken wire 2 feet deep in the pen because foxes and dogs will dig right into your pen.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  6. guineahen14

    guineahen14 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 17, 2010
    Shelbyville Tn
    My chickens are locked up behind two sets of doors each night, I also have nite guard lights around the outside, we have raccoons, skunks, opossum , coyotes, owls etc, you can't be too careful, don't use chicken wire on your coop predators can just tear thru it, use a stronger wire and you had better cover your daytime pen with secure netting or you will loose them to hawks.
  7. ddroland

    ddroland Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2010
    Eastern PA
    If the coop is air tight (no way for predators to get in) they should be fine. That is the method I use and since moving to our new farm about a year and a half ago I am yet to lose one chicken to predation. This protects them from nightime predators which is most of them, coyotes, foxes, mink, owls, racoons, possums. When I do let them out during the day to free range I usually wait till mid-morning as foxes and other predators will usually attack right at daybreak or dusk. I also have lots of cover in the form of large Box Elders and 10 year old pines to protect them from hawks. So IMO that is the best way to do it, lock them up at night, lots of cover during the day.

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