Protecting your flock from predation. suggestions welcome, no comments

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Grim, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Grim

    Grim Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2011
    might want to sticky this. Please no comments added suggestions and other helpful material is welcome. make a kind of guide to help prevent loses.

    first some of these methods i don't use personally, but do work. please anyone else feel free to add your ideas.

    now to the meat of the thing. hod do i defend my flock from predators.

    a good rooster is the best first line of defense. for me i have to use more docile breeds which limit their effectiveness. i have free range chickens with about 5 roosters. For the small flock, that has multiple predator problems, i suggest getting the biggest, meanest, nastiest game cock you can find. you can only have one at a time. he will kill and other roosters around him. he'll also deal with anything smaller that a medium dog, bobcat or coyote. when i was a boy i saw one kill a hawk. a good rooster will watch his wives and take care of them. warning. game birds are aggressive to almost everything. buy a "chicken" broom and give him a thump if he gets rowdy with you.

    a good watch dog works well. they tend to be very protective of the animals in their care. and the larger breeds can deal with any predator short of man. i have several dogs of varying breeds. just remember. once a chicken killer always a chicken killer. so raise them to leave the chickens alone.

    a surprise entrence. the cat. as long as it leaves the chickens alone especially the biddies, they make great preventative guardians. a good mouser is worth his weight in gold. he will help keep the mice and rats out of the feed, and will help keep the rats and snakes out of your eggs.

    a donkey. for those with larger farms. they are not specifically a guardian of chickens but rather just something loud and nasty to larger predators. dogs, coyotes, bobcat, ect. will set a donkey off like a fire alarm. and depending on the animal depends on if they attack the predator or not.

    related to the first entrance. a large tom turkey will act much like a rooster.

    I don't know but i have heard. this section is added because of what i have heard but have never had actual experience with them.

    peafowl make good alarms and spook predators.

    geanue(sp) fowl are aggressive to predators.

    geese make good alarms and may attack a predator.

    swans same as geese.

    The guard pig, (i have my doubts but i've seen some strange pigs) since they are about as smart as a dog they can be trained to guard. (i think i was being had, but it guy was a reliable source for other information.)

    thats it for guardians. next edition coops.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  2. Grim

    Grim Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2011
    simple to advanced coop protection measures.

    first is the "bottom splay". this is where you "splay" the wire onto (or buried shallowly under) the ground around the coop. 6" to 18". this prevents the predator from burrowing under the fence. it hits the wire and can't dig through it.

    the "top splay". the top splay is where the wire is "splayed" out towards the outside of the coop. this creates an over hang that is more difficult for a predator to climb. add a couple strands of barbed wire for added effect.

    the wire topped coop. well it is what it says it is. it's a wire roof over your coop and chicken run. this prevents predators from climbing or flying into your coop or run.

    the tin toe board. this is a band of sheet tin about 2' to 3' around the bottom of your coop and run. most predators are going to tear a hole in the fence at ground height. and 2 to 3 foot is too high for them to reach and tear a hold. the tin is too tough for them to tear through.

    the coop foundation. it is what it suggests. it's a foundation you build your coop on. usually concrete and probably a slab you had something else on before. animals are not going to tear through a slab. rats can but won't there are easier ways in.

    hardware cloth (or rabbit wire as it's sometimes called here). as most know this is a wire that has holes about 1/2" the wire is much more substantial than chicken wire. it can be used as a building material, or as a reinforcer such as the tin toe board. if you have a coop off the ground it makes a good flooring (for the chickens not you. you will probably fall though.)

    the close able coop. yep you guessed it it's a coop with a door. except for the coon and maybe the possum. predators lack opposable thumbs. a door and a latch can go a long way to preventing night loses. most coons and possums can't operate latches either but i've seen it happen.

    and added guardian: you with a 12 gauge. deals with everything.

    i may think of some more ideas. any other submissions are welcome.
  3. Grim

    Grim Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2011
    un-conventional guardians.

    this covers bells to traps.

    bells or wind chimes on the wire of the coop and run. they make a noise and sometimes run off a predator. (not very effective.)

    hanging CD or Pie pans. clack and clang, and are shinny may scare off predators. (again i haven't had much luck)

    standard scare crow. predators are afraid of humans. seeing something that looks like us sometimes works especially if simple anamatronics are used. this could be a arm held up by a string and tied to a branch so it waves when the wind blows. (see above for effectiveness)

    motion sensor scarecrow. this is a motion sensor with a light and maybe a sound, (exactly like the motion sensor on your porch light.) when it senses motion it flips the lights on and plays a track of barking dogs or something. the track can be changed sometimes so it's not always the same. the sudden lights and sound startle most animals away. (this seems to work fairly well.)

    live traps. set as needed or keep one set near the coop in an area you don't go much but can check daily. this allows you to relocate or kill the pest. (i usually keep 1 or 2 set at all times around my coop, on the back side. i usually catch the critter before it gets a chicken. however i have caught my dogs and cats before too.)

    steel or snap traps. WARNING THESE TRAPS BREAK THE LEG OF THE ANIMAL. WARNING these traps catch the animal by the leg usually breaking it. they are used as needed. you may catch your own pets. (personally i have little use for them as traps outside my barn. i do use them on 2" rafters for rat control. this limits the chance of catching my cats in them. but to each his own. don't blame me if you use them and something bad happens.)

    snares. for those of you that are a bit crafty. you may use snares. this is any hand built trap that catches or kills vermin. including deadfall and noose traps. used in the same way as other traps. (never tried to make them but some are quite dangerous.)

    perfume. many animals are repelled by different smells deodorant, perfume, cologne, ect. these may have scents that animals associate with people and avoid them. (doesn't work too well.)

    taste aversion. there are some products made that taste really nasty. these are usually used to keep puppies from chewing furniture. applied where an animal is likely to chew it's way in can help. (never tried it.)

    unpleasant plants. sword grass, some types of cacti, roses, ect. plant these around your coop. the chicken "fertilizer" will do the plant good and the thorns will help keep out vermin.(never tried this but the principle seems sound to me.)

    electric fence. these can be bought from most hardware stores o at least ordered from there. most run on a 12 volt flashlight or car battery. run on the outside of the coop and run it can be a good deterrent. (just don't pee on it in the dark!!!) it gives a nasty non-letal jolt to the animal. it's painful but it won't cause any permeant harm. (i have been hit many times by the ones i have. they hurt but thats about it.)

    thats all i can think of for now. suggestions are welcome if you have anything to add.

    EDIT: point removed by staff. tided up post.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  4. Grim

    Grim Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 26, 2011
    2 simple build it your self live trap designs.

    build cage to your size needs. build with a sliding fall door.

    need a pin (about the size of heavy gauge wire will do)
    trigger plate
    large rat trap (snap trap style mouse trap supersized.)

    place trigger plate in trap.
    use wire to go from trigger plate to top of trap in the center. make sure that the trigger plate is relatively light.
    drill hole in rat trap and attach the wire from the trigger plate to the trigger plate on the rat trap.
    attach the string to the snap bar of the rat trap.
    measure the string and cut close to the door.
    attach pin to string.
    drill hold in dor for pin to hold open

    when the animal steps on the trigger plate in the trap it trips the rat trap which pulls the pin and gravity takes over dropping the door.

    out of time. for now. will post the other trigger later.
  5. noitulover

    noitulover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    Central Virginia
    um... what?! broken glass around the coop?!

    I know this said "no comments", so here is a suggestion:

    1/4" hardware cloth EVERYWHERE. nothing bigger than a 1" gap. cover even 1" gaps with hardware cloth. bury it underground. have hardware cloth covering the top of the run too. put rocks or bricks on the outside and inside of the run walls. Make sure the coop's ventilation windows and things are also covered in hardware cloth.

    YES, hardware cloth-ing everything is expensive, but so is buying all new chickens.

    If chickens are free-ranging unsupervised, they are at risk. If chickens are not secured at night in the coop, they are at risk.

    Hardware cloth everywhere should eliminate the need for most of the above dangerous suggestions...
  6. ekemily

    ekemily Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2010
    Fairhope, AL
    I spread our buck goat's hair, feces and overall stink around the coop and run. I have not had a predator try to get in our coop as of yet, after several years. I get sticks and rub them on his stinky body and throw those around too. He smells terrible!!! [​IMG] I guess some would call it "manly"
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Be warned that whatever you do to eradicate/deter predators might be accessed by your chickens or your other pets, so please don't do anything crazy like put broken glass around your coop! You may be killing your birds, predator or no predator. [​IMG]

    Not sure how suggestions are different from comments, but on a public forum, it's impossible for the members to control how a thread shakes out. That's what moderators are for. [​IMG]
  8. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
  9. calista

    calista Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2010
    I second the hardware cloth on a Fort Knox run (or accept predator losses if you free-range). To me, the fencing expense was worth every penny for my peace of mind.

    Occasional problem animals (such as raccoons and local dogs running loose) who don't take the hint can be live-trapped in a cage such as a Havahart and then dealt with at your discretion and comfort level.
  10. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

    Quote:My free-ranging goat is a wether but he does a darn good job of spreading his own feces! [​IMG] Who needs rock salt when every path through the snow is liberally sprinkled with rasinets?!? [​IMG]

    And sorry I broke your "no comments" rule, Grim. [​IMG] [​IMG]

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