We received an email from one of our favorite backyard chicken farmers. Jerilyn and her family have a variety of chicken breeds. They’ve had over 150 birds in less than three years, and they have only lost one to a predator – a hawk.
Jerilyn gives great advice on protecting backyard chickens from predators. Her key – have adequate shelter.
1. Feed birds under trees, and put the feeds themselves in clusters.
2. Place small shelters in open areas. If a hawk flies over, the chickens can take cover.
3. Don’t place food or waterers in the open. Predators target chickens distracted by eating or drinking.
4. Get an owl decoy, and move it around periodically.
Jerilyn also built a low shelter with cinderblocks and plywood and elevated their smaller coop. The birds can run underneath if they sense danger.
“We would lose a lot of birds if they didn’t have the trees to shelter them. Chickens did evolve from the jungles in Asia. I think that if chicken owners have adequate shelters for their birds, they wouldn’t lose so many to hawks.”
—from Jerilyn’s email
There’s nothing like experience – and nothing so kind as people willing to share their experience with others. Thanks, Jerilyn for taking the time to help owners and their backyard chickens!