protect your flock Every chicken owner knows that there are a variety of things that can go wrong during the course of a chicken’s life. Disease and sickness are common and hard to treat, but no matter where you live or how careful you are predators are always a concern. From neighborhood animals like dogs and cats to chicken hawks and weasels, chickens can fall prey to hungry animals if you aren’t careful. 
There are predators that will only attack full-grown chickens, but other predators may eat pullets or cockerels, such as snakes and rats. Other animals, like skunks, can pick off the eggs and leave the chickens alone. Regardless, you have to find a smart and efficient way to keep your flock safe from predators. Contact us today to learn more, or read the helpful guide below.
1. Plan for Your Area
Different regions feature different predators, and it is important to understand the predators you may face in your area. This includes neighborhood pets that get loose, such as dogs. Burying chicken wire 2-4 feet underground is ideal for stopping certain predators. Strong predators can break through chicken wire, so reinforcing your coop may be necessary depending on where you live. Covering a coop is essential for keeping out hawks, owls, and predators that may try to climb up the sides. You may also want to research your local game laws or contact fish and wildlife services to find out if you can set traps for the predators in your area.
2. Keep Your Coop and Run Clean
Cleaning up food scraps can keep scavenger predators from coming around, so check your coop and run daily to make sure there is nothing tempting lying about. In addition to this, clearing the area of hiding places such as bushes and other brush keeps predators from having convenient areas to scope out your flock. 
3. Keep Guard Animals
Roosters are a common way to guard your flock, but they are also illegal in some areas. Roosters can also cause noise issues and may be aggressive toward members of your flock. Dogs are another way to keep your chickens safe, and you won’t risk breaking any city ordinances. Geese can also be kept around to protect chickens, but geese can also be dangerous toward humans. 
4. Hang Reflective Material
Reflective material (such as old CDs) can be hung around the coop. These methods are efficient during the day, as the reflected light will deter predators. You can also buy lights that are specially designed to keep away hungry animals. However, you should not use mirrors as these could start a fire.
5. Get a Coop Door Opener
When you have exhausted every method you can think of to protect the coop, don’t forget about automatic coop door openers. These are designed to open and close are specific times (such as dawn and dusk), and they help add another layer of security to your flock. Locking the girls up at night is an important way to protect against night time predators. 
Anyone who owns chickens -- whether as pets or as a food source -- knows that chickens require a lot of responsibility. There’s nothing that can describe the awful feeling of finding a chicken or even the whole flock dead after a predator attack. There is no way to completely protect your chickens, but there are measures you can take to ensure they are as safe as possible. Use some or all of these proactive measures to keep your chickens safe.   Always remember to check with local game laws if you plan on setting traps or luring predators to catch or kill them. Certain predators are protected in some areas, so it is wise to do your research before taking action.