What should I worry about most in the Illinois suburbs?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jan 31, 2011
I live in Joliet Illinois. I have been reading and searching through the forum like crazy, trying to absorb every bit of detail. My question is do I have a lot to worry about when it comes to predators? I know we have coons, cyotes, fox, but how do I know if my coop is secure enough? A good friend of mine just told me her neighbor had her bunnies in an outdoor hutch and the cyotes were trying to rattle it open so hard, it was banging against the house! What can I do to avoid this? I also have possum living under my shed...any advice? I am so worried for my small flock.
Possums LOVE eggs....get ya some either fresh or grocery store or even rancid out of the incubator didnt hatch eggs and put them in a live trap with some stinky canned cat food. Last time I was in TSC they had 2 traps together on sale for about 34 bucks...not a bad price at all. Put them close to your house or coop or anywhere that is dark during the day....possums LOVE to live under houses, sheds etc when its light out and they come out at night!

As for your pen....with that kinda issues (coytoes-we have them here in FL too and they WILL chew threw a large wire pen to get at something or dig under) I suggest small wire cage/pen...harder for them to rip apart with their teeth. Chicken wire is nothing for a coyote and coons reach right thru it. You can also sink your wire DEEP into the ground at least a foot...and if the ground is frozen...you just make a wire floor and/or do a generous apron around the pen till you can dig your ground.

Always make sure (besides a coop) that part of your chicken run has 2 solid corners....that way if a coon reaches through and gets one...the rest have a protected corner to go to.

A fence around your property is a GOOD THING as is a chicken loving noisy dog.

Also other deterants....can get cheap battery operated bike reflector blinkers and turn them on at night. Any type of light in the coop/pen will deter predators. Also you can string some CDs on fishing line...they blow in the wind and throw off reflections that deter predators. Hot wire is GREAT...you can get a solar operated hot box for about $60 new and then the cost of hot wire. That will deter most anything. Ihave a friend in Chicago area-outskirts who ties small treble fishing hooks about 3 inches apart and strings them around his peremator....one end tied to a can with bb;s in it...that way if it snags something and it runs he knows which way to shoot....but dont to that if your chickens are let out as it will snag them as well.

Fire also deters the critters of the night if you can have a small burn pit and burn dead branches etc a few times a week after dark and let it smolder.

Now I am in FL...not Illinois...but many predators are common all over the US, esp coons, possums, foxes and coyotes. Given my choice I hate the racoons the most as they come in packs and are the most clever. So make sure you have a good roof/covering as they and possums will climb t the roof to find a way in. Hope this helps!
Thank you for the reply! Amazing on what you have to go through to keep them safe even in the suburbs. We were looking at purchasing a coop online, but no certain they will be sturdy enough with the climate out here. NOW I am worried if they will be sturdy enough with the predators! I have never trapped anything in my life. When you catch one and set it free in the forest, do they try to attack you? I know the possum live under my shed, how do I get rid of them and keep them from coming back. Even when I had my dog, he would attack and kill them, but they still keep coming back. How do I rid of them permanently?
Will a motion light work? Someone told me it will not work for the coyotes.
Possums, Rats, Stray Dogs, Stray Cats, Coyotes

Especially Stray Cats
Use sturdy wood, 1/2" hardware cloth over all openings, put everything together with wood screws, use raccoon proof latches and lock them up tight every evening in a timely manner. Works for us.

Also, use some type of dig prevention on the run, like a wire apron at the bottom of the run walls.
Get rid of the possum for starters. But you'll also find hawks & Kestrels to be a problem - fox are out during the daytime and coyotes as well (year round), I don't believe snakes are a problem - mostly garter snakes- but if you are by forest preserves etc. Illinois does have the smaller rattlesnake can't think of the name. You'll also find woodchucks tho I don't think those are a threat and tons of aggressive squirrels. Chipmunks are everywhere but I think they would just go after the chicken feed.

I don't think we have Bear(thank goodness) or wolves (yet).
How do I get rid of the possum and keep them from sleeping under my shed? Will the fox and coyotes come into my yard if I am present? Will they leave the yard if I come out or will they attack me? I have children the the idea scares the life out of me! I am in a suburb like Willow Springs, do you have this problem there?
You' , your children and chickens are probably more in danger of attack by someone's dog than either a fox or coyote.

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