Whatever reason you have for taking care of chickens, it is of utmost importance that you keep them protected at all cost. And one of the best ways to do so will be to build them a chicken coop that is predator-proof. There are all sorts of chicken predators around that come in different sizes and shapes. You have hawks, owls, snakes, cats, dogs, and the list goes on. To start building a predator-proof chicken coop, here are a few proven-and-tested tips that you should keep in mind.
• Choose motion sensor lighting. Most nighttime predators like owls, fox, and coyotes hunt during the night. Nonetheless, you can easily spook them by getting lights that turn on and off. Though this has been proven an effective method in keeping predators away from most chicken coops, they are not the sole solution. You see, when predators become very hungry, they do not care at all if there is presence of light. They decide to make a dash towards your chicken hoping to get their food and satisfy their hunger.
• Keep your chickens secured during the night to keep them safe from predators. You have to ensure that your chicken coop is durable enough so that it will serve to keep local hungry predators away from your chickens. The use of thin materials for your coop will make it very easy for foxes and dogs to tear through them. Raccoon are even smarter creatures and will find ways to have your latches undone. In this regard, going for a two-step latch can be of great help. If there are small holes in your coop for weasels, rats, mice, and snakes to get inside, make sure to close them. These creatures will not stop to eat your eggs and will keep coming back for more even after you will be doing some relocation.
• Skip the use of chicken wires to keep your chicken coop predator-proof. Chicken wire is very thin. Aside from that, it is designed only to keep your chickens inside and not keep predators tearing it from the outside. It is highly recommended to go with one-half of hardware cloth to keep small predators away from your chickens like snakes and mice. For bigger predators, on the other hand, using livestock fencing will suffice. Take note that some predators like coyotes and fox only take a few minutes to dig a couple of feet to your chicken coop. For these scenarios, you should be able to extend your wire or cloth down into the ground so these creatures will not be able to dig any further. Most predators can be lazy. They often prefer to leave their prey alone once they learn that it will require them to do a lot of hard work to get them.
• Utilize a caged roof to keep flying and climbing predators away from your chicken. An effective chicken coop from predators should be able to keep your chicken safe from overhead threats like hawks, owls, and other birds of prey. Yes, you read that right. Birds of prey can indeed fly away and snatch your chickens, even the bigger breeds. For these cases, the use of cheap netting will work out just fine.