Wild birds in the coop

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by blooo, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. blooo

    blooo Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 10, 2008
    berkeley, ca
    Whenever I let my chickens free-range, I leave the door of my tractor coop open so that they can go in to eat, drink, lay an egg, etc. whenever they like.

    However, my neighborhood birds have recently gained enough courage to go in my tractor coop to eat the chickens' food whenever the door is open.

    I don't mind if they eat some food, but am concerned that my chickens could catch some disease from these wild birds. I'm not sure what kind they are - small, brown, possibly sparrows(?)

    I could close the coop door and leave water outside for my chickens, but would much rather let them go in and out as they please. Thoughts, anyone?
  2. birdsofparadise

    birdsofparadise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    North Kohala, Hawaii
    We have wild chukars and turkeys here that stroll around the property all of the time. Iʻm hoping that my roosters will keep some distance between the flock and the wild things.
  3. TerriLaChicks

    TerriLaChicks Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 23, 2008
    Central Louisiana
    I'm fixing to put up flight netting (we have a run attached to our tractor for the winter) for that very same reason. I noticed the chickadees and sparrows going into the tractor also, & I am concerned about the possibility of disease--avian flu or something.

    We had so many dead wild birds from West Nile a couple years back--we brought several in that we found dead & they tested positive for West Nile. So who knows what else could be out there?

    I'd be interested to know other's opinions on this.
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's the thing- your birds are already free-ranging, so you have to assume they are already being exposed to wild bird disease. That said, having wild birds inside the tractor exposed your chickens to more droppings, so the parasite load is more likely to be significant. Would it be possible to install a flap on the door to discourage the entry of wild birds? In the old days specialized hen gates were used to keep wild birds out. Do your birds have a sand/ DE/ DriKill box where they can dust themselves to minimize mite/tick transfer?

    You can see some hen gates by scrolling down in this link. Diagrams, instructions.

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  5. blooo

    blooo Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 10, 2008
    berkeley, ca
    I love that page with those drawings! I occasionally dust the run with DE, but have been meaning to put in a dust bath box as well. I do think I could build a hen gate for my tractor. Thanks, LynneP, for the suggestions!
  6. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    In the mean time could you only provide feed at night just before it's time to go in for the night? That might discourage the wild birds from hanging around all day.
  7. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    You're welcome, blooo. That's a very old-fashioned set of diagrams from a time when all of us had to make everything for our chickens. I'm not sure things have changed so much either, except that construction materials are better. I love the hen doors so much that for our second coop in a few years I'll be incorporating them into a pop-door design.[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2008
  8. Deedus

    Deedus New Egg

    Dec 30, 2013
    In the past few weeks, I've seen little sparrows inside our coop. They go in through the chicken door. We love watching the birds, and I thought this was cute at first. I just found my coop is infested with Northern Fowl Mites, and have been dealing with how to get rid of them - but that's another story!

    Our chickens free range, but the girls need to go in and out to lay eggs. I am thinking of hanging strips of mylar from the top of the entrance - has anyone ever tried this? Any other ideas would be much appreciated. I just treated all 6 of my birds and I don't want another infestation of mites!

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