Wild Birds (like Sparrows) and Chickens

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Roadangel, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. Roadangel

    Roadangel In the Brooder

    Jun 5, 2012
    I was just wondering if anyone else has the problem of the wild birds getting into the run and eating the chickens food? At first I didn't mind cause there were only 3 or 4 of them, but now when I go outside in the morning to feed my chickens there are 20 or more birds in the run and then all try to get out as soon as the door opens. They go through the chicken wire and through the small gap at the door.. not sure what to do and if it's even safe for my chickens (disease?). Any ideas?
  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Songster

    Dec 10, 2013
    I don't know about disease but it will cost you more in feed. I wrapped my run in 1/2" wire mesh and it keeps other birds away from the feeders.
  3. Big Bubba

    Big Bubba Chirping

    May 19, 2013
    I have the same problem. Somebody suggested deer fence; which is a nice cheap alternative. The problem was the birds found ways to get in. I'm not exactly sure where. Well, the problem for them was getting out (they aren't that bright.) When leaving a few managed to get stuck in the deer fencing. I removing a few lives ones and an occasional one would die.

    So, I think deer fencing is an option if you can guarantee it will 100% keep them out.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2014
  4. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    I have the same problem. Once the snow falls the starlings become and even bigger problem.

    I simply moved my feeder into the coop to prevent as much feed loss as possible. This doesn't stop all of it. The starlings especially have no problem going into the coop, the sparrows are not as brave.

    My solution is to try to thin the flock. On the weekend I will stand at the kitchen window and when a flock of starlings go in I sneak out and quickly close the pop door and bingo they are trapped. I then go to work. Last year I dispatched over 450 starlings and around 100 sparrows.
  5. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    I have the same problem and had to mesh the top of my run but they are clever things and even squeeze through where ive overlapped the wire. It's mainly wild pigeons and one smart blackbird family that are still getting in now and yeah mine are too dumb to get out again too.

    I've added a board on the ground in front of the gate and that stopped a lot that were sneaking under and it's no great effort for me and the chooks to step over. So putting wire up didn't stop them but it easily reduced how many birds were eating their food by 80-90%
  6. Roadangel

    Roadangel In the Brooder

    Jun 5, 2012
    Thanks for all the quick replies. I have my run completely enclosed. We have bald eagles here and I didn't want one of those to get my darlings, so my hubby put some type of plastic roof on top that lets the sun go through (I can't remember what it is called) and keeps me dry in the rain as well. The sides are all enclosed with chicken wire. They seem to mainly get through the top of the door and if I don't watch and put dirt back in the corner they will go underneath where the chickens dig the dirt down to below where the frame starts. I close that off as soon as I see it (for other reasons besides birds) [​IMG]
  7. donnavee

    donnavee Songster

    May 7, 2009
    Hillsborough NC
    I do have a problem sometimes with Cardinals and Wrens hopping up the ramp into the run and eating the chicken feed - but normally only when DH forgets to fill the bird feeder. The really bad thing is that once the birds get in, they can't figure out how to get out since the run is completely enclosed.

    Good luck!

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