Chickens and coyotes

Keswick green
By Keswick green on Fri, Jan 17, 2014 - 5:47pm

In northern  California we have coyotes and all the other native animals. How can we protect the chickens from nighttime hunts?


jasonw's picture
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Posts: 1029
Multiple level of protection

I would evaluate how many levels of protection you can put in while still making your chicken setup cost effective. 

1) First thing is securing your coop as much as possible.  And this may include having to "lock up" the chickens at night.  That is probably the easiest way to prevent nighttime hunts. 

2) Electric fencing can also be a good deterrent to night time predation

3) Livestock guardian dog  - We have a 1 year old Great Pyrenees and she is really starting to prove herself and her breed at protecting the flock.  And it is always funny to see a chicken walk over a 90 lb dog as she sleeps during the day for her night shift. 

Hope this give you a few ideas to start the discussion. 

Keswick green's picture
Keswick green
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Joined: Jan 17 2014
Posts: 3
Jason good suggestions.

Jason good suggestions. Locking up the chickens would involve what kind of structure.? Coyotes will be  aggressive if they see the chickens, so I'm thinking it would have to be a wooden house. But the electric fence might suffice.



Grover's picture
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Joined: Feb 16 2011
Posts: 898
Buried Chain Link Coyote Barrier

My chicken coop is in the corner of an old shed. It is approximately 8' X 8'. I placed and finished about 4" of concrete on the floor. It makes cleanup with a square point shovel a breeze. I built an outdoor run that uses the shed as 1 side. Using parts from a 6' X 12' chain link dog kennel, the run is 6' wide and 24' long. To keep the coyotes and stray dogs out, I dug a trench about 18" deep along the perimeter and draped sections of chain link fence. Get a 4" wide curved trenching shovel - well worth it. (Drape the chain link in the trench with about 6" stretched on top of the ground. Then use screw drivers to hold the chain link in place while you bury the rest.) I used heavy duty 6' tall fencing for this separated into sections that were about 2' long. There was a total of 6 of these. You'll need 12'-15' of fence for this. After filling the trench with the native soil that I dug out, I set the dog kennel panels and connected the pieces of buried chain link to panel chain link with galvanized hog rings about every foot.

To keep hawks and raccoons out, I used chain link fence top link pipe to connect the shed roof trusses to the top of the kennel panels. These are at 2' spacing. I then used 4' tall lightweight vinyl covered fencing material on these supports and wired it in place. I remember buying 50' and had just a little left over.

Animals have tried digging under the buried fence, but the deepest dig was about 10-12". Upon discovering these, I grab a rake and fill the hole. This system has worked very well so far. I expect that it will continue to work for another 20 years. My soil pH is typically between 5.5 and 6.2. That isn't very aggressive. Your mileage may vary.

I still get mice and rats in the coop, but they're only interested in free food rather than hurting the girls. If you've got weasels (non-lawyer types) or minks in the area, you'll have to try something with smaller openings. The dog kennel has a built in gate which makes access to the outside run easy as well. I'm happy with it. The girls love the extra room and are very safe.


Keswick green's picture
Keswick green
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Joined: Jan 17 2014
Posts: 3

Great info, will keep. Thanks


Woodman's picture
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Posts: 1028
Chicken security

The daily routine here is open the coop up in the morning and close it up at night.  I've never lost a hen locked up in the coop.  Lone roosters were killed on two different occasions though when some small animal dug down under wire fencing to get into the paddock area; 6" wasn't enough depth of bury for the fence.

Leolog's picture
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Joined: Apr 14 2014
Posts: 3

Keep It Simple People. I use a fence to keep them from wandering, and a small door to keep the coyotes out and the chickens in.

Best idea if you have a problem is to have a door that shuts at night.

It would be interesting to see a schematic with some simple electronics to open and shut a chicken door.

I am fortunate in that I live well out in the woods, and the coyotes don't like to come onto the property, the other people that live out here shoot them. Rats are a bigger issue, with feed swiping etc.

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