Keeping chickens might be a risky occupation. Discussed here are some animals which pose a threat to the safety of your chickens.
Coyotes are mostly active at night and only in places which are their natural habitat and have still not been disturbed by human settlements. They also hunt during daytime, and especially in cooler weather. Such coyotes also exist who have adapted to human presence and these also hunt during the day. Coyotes most commonly prey on chickens, geese, turkeys and ducks. Just shooting them will not stop them. It is best to trap them and make sure that your coop is surrounded by a coyote-proof area.
These are highly skilled hunters, and they prey on cottontail rabbits, mice and poultry birds. Foxes are primarily nocturnal, quick and wily. Being the arch nemesis of chicken farmers, foxes sometimes they also hunt during the day. They usually hunt two hours before sun-up and two hours after sundown. Foxes carry their victim considerably far away before eating them.
Carnivores with extremely sharp eyesight that can spot a mouse from one mile high in the air, hawks have strong hooked beaks and long sharp claws at the end of each of their four toes, out of which three toes point forward and one backward. They kill their prey using their claws and then tear them to small pieces with their beak.
These are the most widespread predators faced by poultry farmers. They live close to human settlements and are quite intelligent and adaptable. A fully grown raccoon is 32 inches in length and weighs roughly 11 – 18 pounds. Males are generally larger than females, and the most distinguishing features of raccoons are the bandit’s mask-like color of the face and the black-ringed tail.
These pose almost no threat to fully grown chickens, but usually prey on eggs or chicks. The four types are: the spotted, hooded, striped and the hog-nosed and spotted skunk. These are the most dangerous because they can climb. Skunks usually hunt at night and they keep away from farms which have cats, dogs or geese.
Fisher cats are a part of the weasel family, and are also called the black cat or pekan cat. They are found in North America in the forest. They have small ears, short legs and long furry tails. These predators have large paws that are sharp and are used to go up trees and killing prey.