Keeping chickens safe from predators is a common problem for many chicken keepers. The neighborhood dogs looking at your feathered friends like they’re a tasty free meal is a sign that it’s time to work on keeping your flock safe.
Remember, chicken wire is to keep chickens in and not predators out. And it takes only one predator, just one time, to lose an entire flock.
But don’t worry, with the right type of fencing and proofing products, you can easily prevent chicken predators from getting near your flock.
With our recommended picks for a predator proof chicken coop, you won’t have to worry about the local fox, cat, nor other animals reaching your chickens.
Let’s have a look at the best ways to make a predator proof coop and protect your feathered friends!
The Best Predator Proof Chicken Coop Product of 2021
My recommended top pick to predator proof a chicken coop is the Broox Solar and Ultrasonic Animal Repellent.
This one is good at deterring pests during the daytime and is also a simple, humane way to protect the coop at night.
I know that digging predators can be relentless and if you don’t catch them in time, you could find that your chickens get severely injured or worse.
By ensuring that the coop fencing is secure and installing the Broox Repeller, you can better protect your flock.
I like that the Broox system is designed to ward off predators with a PIR sensor, LED lights, and ultrasonic technology.
You can install one or two around the coop, run, or the yard to keep chickens safe against predators.
If you are looking for a simple and affordable way to deter unwanted visitors from the coop or the run, consider the Night Guard Predator Control Light.
When you know that a specific predator is a problem outside and around the chicken coop, protecting your flock becomes a priority.
Fortunately, deterrents such as the Night Guard Solar Protector will help minimize a predator invasion without too much time or cost.
I know how hard it can be to prevent predators from reaching your flock.
I’ve caught myself running close to the coop with arms waving just to keep the hawks from diving at my chickens!
The best way to make your coop or run secure is with the right type of fencing.
I would use the YARDGARD Mesh Poultry Netting with hardware cloth.
Hardware cloth or welded wire is easily reinforced with poultry netting by YARDGARD.
An extra layer of protection right around the chicken coop or the chicken run will stop you from having to physically chase predators and pests from the flock.
The Top Predator Proofing Solution for Chickens
To help you choose a product to keep predators away from your chicken coop, let’s compare the most common devices and proofing solutions you can run outside.
If you are looking for a product to keep many chicken predators away from your backyard, then consider the Broox Solar and Ultrasonic Repeller and Motion Detector.
This unique repellent uses ultrasonic sound waves and a Passive Infrared sensor (PIR) to keep pests and different types of predators away from the chicken coop.
Ultrasonic technology works with frequencies that are inaudible to humans but not to those stubborn pests.
This means chasing predators and rodents away without annoying the neighbors!
Along with its repelling frequencies, Broox includes LED flashing lights triggered by the motion sensor.
It can be fixed to a coop or run or used to monitor the perimeter of your yard.
An infrared motion sensor detects pests up to 30 feet, but this can differ according to their size.
With an alarm, pest repelling audio, and flashing strobe lights, it is certainly a good way to deter unwanted visitors!
How will this protect a chicken run?
From deer to foxes and squirrels, this technology will do two important things: create confusion and frighten pests within the sensor range.
While it’s easy to use and install, you must use the correct mode for the type of animal you wish to deter.
It can take up to 4 weeks before you see results.
All the Broox Repeller needs to work is sunlight.
A solar panel on the top of the detector will keep the technology charged and ready to go. Alternatively, you can charge it with a USB cable.
I like that I can use the Broox Repeller throughout the day or night.
I think it may disturb your flock if placed too close to the coop and run, so installing it within a safe range and before predators get too close to the henhouse will make for a better solution.
To keep chickens safe and secure, I would combine strong fencing with ultrasonic technology.
- Solar power: Yes
- Deterrent Type: Ultrasound with LED lights
- Humane method to keep predators away from the coop
- Works during the day and night
- It May take some time to see results
- Must use different modes for different predators
Have you ever had the feeling that you were being watched?
Well, if you were a predator and you came across the Night Guard, that would be the case indeed!
The Solar Predator Control Light is one of Nightguard’s predator proofing devices.
Consider it a livestock guardian that is designed to deter animals that prowl and prey at night.
Although it does not include an alarm call or ultrasonic technology, its powerful light flashes will leave predators, wild birds, and even deer stunned and feeling like they’ve been “discovered.”
For the Night Guard to work, it must be placed outside and at the targeted pest or predator eye level.
As it’s so easy to set up, you can place multiple lights around the perimeter of your backyard or secure it to the coop and run.
This device is completely weatherproof and solar powered, so no need for extra cover or batteries.
Whether in a chicken run or coop, always secure your backyard chickens well with predator proof fencing.
This is especially important to prevent digging predators.
Secure Your Flock
Tough fencing such as hardware cloth is no match for those really stubborn raccoons that will try to get into the henhouse during the night.
You can keep chickens safe from predators in their coop at night by investing in a predator proof system.
Nightguard and similar deterrents are a humane way of keeping pests out and dealing with predator issues.
- Solar Power: Yes
- Deterrent Type: Predator control light
- Easy to use
- Solar powered
- Can be attached directly to the coop or chicken run
- Must be at eye-level with the pest or predators to be effective
Secure the chicken run or chicken coop at night with the YARDGARD Mesh Poultry Netting.
The lightweight, flexible chicken wire will make for a simple run and can confine free range chickens or reinforce existing fencing.
Chicken wire is a popular choice for the coop and run; however, it is not a predator proof solution. Bothersome raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and even the local dog can chew at chicken wire mesh.
To secure the coop and the entire chicken run, use hardware cloth and cover it with YARDGARD Poultry Netting.
If it takes predators some time to reach your backyard chickens, they may give up and move on.
By adding the mesh to existing fencing, you create a reinforced barrier against small and large predators.
To prevent smaller predators like raccoons and smaller pests from reaching the chickens, any openings shouldn’t be more than ½ inch wide.
How it all works
The YARDGARD netting is galvanized to reduce rust.
It’s also lightweight, making it easier to utilize.
I would use the mesh netting on the bottom of the coop to prevent ground animals from getting in; however, rabbits and even rats can easily move through the larger-sized holes.
YARDGARD’s chicken wire is a simple way to secure chickens around the perimeter of your backyard during the day.
I think it is best secured with a durable hardware cloth if one were to use it as predator proofing for chickens.
- Solar Power: No
- Repellent Type: Chicken wire
- Lightweight and flexible fencing
- Combine with hardware cloth for stronger fencing
- Use to cover the bottom of the coop
- Use to make a chicken run
- Not a standalone predator proofing product
Remember, before you choose a device or wire to keep your chickens safe, consider where it will be used, the type of predators you need to repel, and what you can afford.
Let’s learn a little bit more about effective predator proofing solutions.
What is Predator Proofing?
To predator proof means securing your chicken coop kit, run, or area where chickens free range.
The use of netting, fencing, and deterrents will help prevent threats to the chickens. If you’re still in the market for a coop, a walk-in coop is a good in-between for accessibility and predator security.
One can proof the most vulnerable areas of the henhouse such as the door and the coop floor. In case you need some flooring ideas, here’s my article about “floor for chicken coop“.
Common predators to safeguard against include foxes, raccoons, snakes, members of the weasel family, and hawks.
You can also use these products to keep a dog or wild birds away from chickens.
Focus on areas such as the coop doors, bottom of the run, or coop cover.
This is essential to making sure your flock doesn’t soil their metaphorical diapers. Or literal ones, like the ones I’ve reviewed here.
How to predator proof your chicken coop?
Keeping and raising chickens safe day and night means investing in some foolproof fencing and predator deterrents.
The system or product you use will depend on the types of predators that move into the yard, including the entire flock size.
You can easily make a run or a coop out of mesh and wire fencing, or consider electric fences for large and persistent predators such as bears.
Here’s a short video to give you an idea.
What To Use
One of the best ways to safeguard outside coops is with hardware cloth.
Hardware cloth is a durable material that is often used with chicken wire.
It cannot be destroyed by foxes, raccoons, coyotes, and hawks.
Be sure to include the hardware cloth or welded wire at ground level. Burrowing predators can move through regular chicken wire, so the welded wire is a good choice.
Keeping Predators Away During the Daytime
You can keep your free range hens safe from predators during the daytime with a trained livestock guardian dog.
One can sound the alarm when a fox or raccoon approaches.
For chickens confined to a strong coop or run, welded wire that is reinforced by mesh can protect the flock.
Remember, wire netting on its own is not adequate protection.
You can keep your flock protected by paying attention to the coop door, the ground bordering the coop (against digging predators), and as previously mentioned, an electric fence against large predators.
Keeping Predators Away at Night
Along with a well-reinforced coop, you should consider a predator deterrent or repellent for outside use.
Products such as the Night Guard Predator Control Light and the Broox Ultrasonic Repeller will work to distract and frighten the many predators that could make their way to your chickens.
These devices can be attached to the coop or post.
If you are suffering the loss of your flock, the next step is to find out which type of predator is attacking your hens so you can tailor your chickens’ security.
How to Tell What Killed My Chickens?
It’s never easy coming across a chicken that a predator killed.
What is more perplexing is finding dead birds inside the coop or run.
If you think you are dealing with a predator outside the coop or run, then determining what killed your chickens can help you prevent future losses.
What Killed My Chickens During the Daytime
The following predators could all be responsible for snatching chickens in the daytime.
If you find a decapitated bird close to the fence, it is most likely a raccoon that is the culprit. These critters will stick their paws through mesh and wire openings to pull chickens and get a free meal!
Using a ¼ inch to a ½ inch welded wire around chicken coops and runs will stop many raccoons from capturing a chicken.
Bird feathers scattered around the coop and a bite on the bottom of poultry are sure signs that weasels have stopped by.
Much like a dog, weasels will kill by targeting prey and not necessarily consume the whole bird.
A missing chicken is most likely a fox; however, either a raccoon or hawk can capture a chicken without leaving a trace.
A fox is more likely to attack early morning or through the night, but a daytime threat is not unheard of.
A bite wound on a free range chicken is often a sign of a dog attack.
Chicken Run Designs
There are many different types of designs for chicken runs that you can easily incorporate for your flock.
You can get creative by building runs in the shape of a tunnel or confining hens to a traditional square-shaped run.
No matter the design of the chicken run, it should provide good protection against predators.
Focus on areas such as the door and think about the necessary cover against prowling animals and hawks.
How to Keep Predators from Digging Under the Chicken Coop
Along with a cover and entire perimeter reinforcement, don’t forget about the predators that dig!
To prevent burrowing predators from reaching the flock, be sure to include hardware cloth. You can dig the hardware cloth into the ground to stop predators from causing havoc.
Solid floor or an electric fence are two alternative ways to stop a burrowing predator in its tracks.
It’s good to know which types of predators can cause harm to chickens. From digging to climbing predators.
Let’s look at some of the common and unsuspecting predator groups you need to protect against.
Do Possums Kill Chickens?
Yes, possums can steal eggs, kill chicks, and have been known to attack adult chickens. If you suspect a possum is threatening your chicken run, you could try and keep your birds safe with step locks or wiring.
Do Racoons Eat Chickens?
Yes, the mischievous raccoon will find many ways to get into the coop.
Even the smallest raccoon won’t think twice about eating a chicken.
Do Skunks Kill Chickens?
Skunks will undoubtedly make a meal of chickens by burrowing into the coop.
You can try step locks, securing the door, and installing a strong and safe barrier to prevent invasions.
Protecting Chickens from Hawks
To protect against hawks, be sure to cover the henhouse.
The top of coops and runs can be covered in mesh netting or hardware cloth. And also, take note that shiny things seem to deter hawks. Do not leave coops and runs without cover as it leaves chickens vulnerable to hawks.
Rats in Chicken Coop?
To handle rats, you can proof runs or coops with a fine mesh.
Protect the flock against rats by securing netting across every section of the run.
Rats can burrow 18 inches into the ground, so be sure to install the necessary proofing.
It’s also a good idea to secure your chicken feed, as rats might be attracted to it.
How to Keep Snakes Out of Chicken Coop?
Snakes go after eggs, chicks, and often the rodents that live near coops and runs.
To stop reptiles from moving in with your flock, use hardware cloth to conceal all holes and gaps.
You can also apply a coop predator apron to keep snakes away.
What You Need to Know About Proofing Coops Against Predators
To successfully safeguard your flock, you need to learn which predators frequent your yard. Different proofing methods are available to deter specific types of ground, burrowing, and aerial predators.
I like products that are easy to install and prove effective at stopping the local cat, neighborhood dogs, fox or fisher cats from making a meal out of your chickens.
Be sure to compare materials such as YARDGARD’s Mesh Netting and repellents, including Night Guard’s Solar Light.
Netting can protect against hawks and smaller pests while repellents including the Broox Ultrasonic Repeller helps deter foxes and larger animals.
Even the local raccoon will be stunned by flashing lights and alarms!
Along with our recommended picks, you might want to choose two or more methods to reinforce and safeguard your runs, coops, and henhouses and get rid of predator problems once and for all.