Land Predators and Chickens: Out of Sight, Out of Mind?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChickenPowers, Sep 7, 2014.

  1. ChickenPowers

    ChickenPowers Hatching

    Sep 7, 2014
    New Mexico
    We are relocating next month and my six hens - who have always had a 10' solid wood fence around their enclosure - will be living inside of a see-through wire fence in a yard shared with a dog.

    Questions: Will lining the fence with something solid (like shade cloth) help to keep the chickens from being stressed and the dog from being interested? And does this kind of visual barrier help to deter other predators? (Cats and raccoons are biggest in my urban area.)

    If anyone has tried this, I'd love to know your experience. Thanks in advance!

  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Songster

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    Welcome to BYC. A poet once said good fences make good neighbors. What kind of wire fence with the chickens have? It needs to be something strong, to keep out the dog if he gets too interested, or to ward off other predators. Chicken wire will do little to keep your chickens safe. Dogs and other predators can rip through it fairly easily. I have my chickens behind a double barrier. My run is build with 4x4 posts, and on the outside of the posts, I have 2"x4" field fencing to keep out the big animals. Attached to the inside of the posts is 1/2" hardware wire fence. This keeps out the small animals, and prevents anyone from reaching a paw in to grab a drive through meal!

    Rather than keeping the hens and dog visually separated from each other, I would let them see each other, but keep the chickens properly protected. Most dogs will eventually get over their interest in the chickens, and they can co-exist, hopefully to the point of not needing a fence between them. Visually blocking the chickens won't do a lot for raccoons and other predators. They can smell and hear them. Many attacks have happened inside a locked coop, where the predator can't see the chickens, but they know they are in there, and they know they taste good.

    Good luck!
  3. Foghornnmsprisy

    Foghornnmsprisy In the Brooder

    Sep 6, 2014
    Austin/Bastrop Texas
    Put the cloth on the inside of the chicken fence so the dog can't pull it off. It may help calm the chickens from the dog but it won't do a thing to keep the cats, dogs, foxes, coyotes or any other hunger critter away. If the dog can't get to them normally they will just get bored of the idea and just go about their business. It's the animals that don't have a bowl filled for them each night that you HAVE to worry about. Moving to a new home can be moving into a new meat lovers territory.
  4. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    A visual barrier won't stop anything, period.

    Animals use all their senses to source food.

    You know and listed your predators.

    You will have to secure your run accordingly, or accept inevitable losses.

    I built my coop and run to withstand an attack of a 200 pound dog.

    I sleep well knowing I don't have a 200 pound dog.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Work on controlling dog's interest. Also make so hens can retreat to area outside of dog's site. Once everyone settles down dog will be an asset.

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