The chicken home is a prime target for all sorts of pests. Depending on your location, these could include opossum, raccoon, snakes, mink, skunk, rats and mice, just to name a few.
Some chicken houses are fairly secure, some are open to something that makes its way in. How secure the chicken home depends on building.
Some pest can chew through a wall, some slither in and some need a excellent size entrance.
Chicken House Style
My very first chicken house, back in the 1980s, was a lean-to off the side of a shed. I had problems with all sorts of predators. Late one evening I went out to collect eggs and did not bring a flashlight. When I reached in to feel for the eggs, I grabbed a chicken snake. In the matter of a few nights, a mink killed all of my ducks.
The second chicken property was three feet off the ground, had a hardware cloth floor, plywood walls and a tin roof. The entrance was a ladder door that was closed at evening. In the two years I utilised that chicken house, I did not drop a single chicken.
The third chicken house is sixteen feet by sixteen feet square, sits on the ground, dirt floor, has an open entrance that goes into the chicken yard and a complete sized door, which I use to enter the chicken house. So far, I have lost three or four chickens to opossums and a bunch of eggs to raccoons.
The only way to hold rodents out of the chicken property is for it to be completely screened in at ground level, or have some type of metal shielding such as tin of flashing. Wooden walls can be chewed by means of.
Mice and rats go into the home at night and eat the chicken feed.
For the most element, mice pose small dilemma to chickens and chicks. Rats on the other hand will kill a chicken or chick.
For catching rats, I use a modest reside trap. NEVER put rat poison out and never use a classic style rat trap.
I take the rats several miles away from my house and drop them off in a rural region. A coyote, bobcat or owl will make a meal out of them.
A chicken snake, aka rat snake, can get into the chicken property through a hole about the size of a half dollar, or maybe significantly less. I saw a 4 foot long chicken snake squeeze through a space only a half inch wide and about two inches lengthy.
Chicken snakes can be your pal, or they can be a pest. They eat rats and mice, but they also eat chicks and eggs. If you suspect there is a snake visiting the chicken property, verify at sundown. Twilight is when most chicken snakes are on the move.
I normally take a hoe to the chicken house, pin the snakes head down, grab it, and either release it a lengthy way from the chicken residence or kill it.
If I see a chicken snake near the chicken yard, I generally leave it alone. They are helpful in maintaining rats and mice below control.
Four Legged Critters
Opossums and minks will kill every little thing from chicks to adult chickens by eating the head. I have had opossums attain by means of a cage and claw at the chicks in an try to grab them
Raccoons and skunks are typically egg thieves, but have been known to sometimes kill a chicken.
Cats will kill young chicks and chicks that are a number of months old.
I use a Havahart live trap to catch 4 legged critters. Never use a foothold trap where chickens can get into it. Over the years I have caught many chickens and a couple of guineas in the live traps. They have been all released unharmed.
When it comes to dealing with pests, the chickens’ security comes very first. This means no poison, no rat traps, no foot hold traps, absolutely nothing that can harm the chickens.
If you suspect a predator is going around the chicken residence, set up a wildlife camera. The photos should give you an concept of what you are dealing with.