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7 Ways to Secure your Chicken Coop

Want to stop your chickens from flying the coop? Or are predators making a feast of your feathered friends? Here are the 7 best ways to stop that, so you can enjoy all the benefits of having these amazing backyard pets.

Choose your fencing carefully.

While the chicken wire is an excellent choice for keeping your chickens fenced in, it can also be a negative. The holes in the wire might be too small for a chicken to squeeze through but are the perfect size for a snake to slither on in. We highly suggest if chicken wire is your main material, then you should wrap it in a snake-proof mesh as well. This way the snakes will get caught up in the mesh, and your hens will stay safe.

Build a roof.

Consider adding a roof to your chicken run. It will put a stop to any predator that can fly or climb, as well as keeping any scavenging birds such as pigeons and ducks from entering the coop. Large predatory birds and nimble cats can and will break into your coop given the chance. You can use netting or be on the safer side, add a ceiling that is the same material as your walls. You could even use sheets of iron if your space allows for it. This will also help to safeguard against rough weather.

Lock them up at night.

It might seem simple enough, but keep your chickens secure at nighttime. There are plenty of options for buying chicken coops, or if you’re feeling crafty you can always DIY one. Whether you let your chickens roam free, or have them contained in a ‘run’, they need somewhere safe and secure to sleep, and this is what makes coops/hutches so appealing.

Keep it locked.

Make sure you use quality locks on the doors to your coop. Place them out of reach of curious children and ensure they are strong enough to remain closed with harsh weather or if a strong animal, such as a large dog were to shove against it.

Stop diggers.

Some predators such as dogs will dig beneath a fence to get inside, and in a matter of minutes, your hens could be lunch. There are several ways to prevent this. We suggest using hardware cloth (steel mesh) or snake mesh, laying it flat, and burying it below the surface of the ground. Or bury it straight down beneath the fence by 30-45 cm. Both methods will stop predators from gaining access.

Buy your hens a bodyguard.

Although they might not appeal to everyone, and some neighbours might get annoyed by the early wake-up call, roosters are great at warding off predators. They will sound the alarm, get their girls to safety, and return to fight any danger.

Family dogs are also great at protecting what is theirs, and most are more than happy to bark and chase away any danger to their home.

Install motion sensor lights.

Most wild animals prefer to hunt during the night and are easily deterred by well-lit areas. Plus using motion sensors can warn you that there is something outside, so if you see your light turn on and go to investigate, chances are you’ll scare off the predator.

There are many other ways to keep predators at bay, but hopefully, these 7 tips can help guide you to keeping your hens safe.

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