wild birds in coop/run. A problem??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nuchickontheblock, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. Any concerns about wild birds (sparrows especially) in coops and run? any way to prevent them from coming in? My girls free range in my yard, but have access to their covered run and coop all day as well.

    We have many wild birds in our yard and they drink from the poultry waterer and sometimes from the outside feed dish. Some of them have appeared to be sick lately. For example a sparrow was sitting in the chicken feeding dish and allowed me to pick it up with the dish when I was locking the girls in a couple of evenings ago.

    Yesterday, very rainy and damp, when I came home, I found half a dozen sparrows in the run and going into the coop via the pop door. I know they can spread disease to poultry. [​IMG]
  2. upcdayz

    upcdayz Songster

    Feb 20, 2010
    I've had the same experience with sparrows, as they're one of the few birds in my area small enough to get through the wire on the pens. Usually they find their way out the same way they got in, but occasionally one will get lost and unable to get out without coaxing. As for the one that let you pick it up on the feeder - did it appear injured? I would be suspicious, too. Diseases I'm unsure about, but do know they (wild birds) often carry mites and lice, which aren't that difficult to get rid of in your flock.
  3. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Songster

    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    The wild birds around here had become a real problem this year. They learned the routine of scratch in the run in the morning, and then naturally progressed to going in the pop door to the feeder.With the price of feed and the risk of disease, we knew we had to do something.Our solution was bird netting over the wire of the entire run. It has worked extremely well. Even when the chickens are out of the run,and the gate is left open,no more birds inside.
  4. we have a people door that is the way in and out of the run. We leave it open when the girls free range and it's large enough for my 6'3" DH to go through easily. The run is covered and has hardware cloth otherwise. [​IMG]
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Mites, lice, disease, death of the birds by the poultry.... sure, all kinds of risk.

    I went over my wire roof coverings with plastic bird netting after the ducks started killing them when more started showing up for free food. I don't want to feed every sparrow in the neighborhood! Or risk anything on top of it.
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    All the problems mandelyn mentioned, but I've yet to find a way to keep them out. You can close it up tight, make sure the windows are covered in hardware cloth, but small birds still find their way in through the pop door and vents. I have a tiny little wren that makes a nest in the doorframe of my one coop every spring. I gave up keeping her out and just make sure to check my birds regularly for mites.

    Diseases I see no way to prevent with free range chickens. They are going to be exposed no matter what.
  7. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Yeah you can only really prevent it with a sealed up run and coop... free range... really what's the point of even trying. I just don't like the food theft, and the one bird the ducks killed... I don't want that happening either. Mine are cooped unless they're let out for play time, so a quick application of bird netting over top of the 2x4 wire roof solved the issue. No other nook or cranny left for access. I prepared for mice and snakes and things.. birds.. even finches are too big. The only thing I haven't been able to keep out is spiders.

    So.. no more murdered birds and no more food theft... but since I let them out to browse the yard sometimes, any disease or parasite they pick up is a fact of life. Use prevention and keep an eye on them, and treat for anything that pops up.

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