How to Keep Predators Out of Your Chicken Coop

Raccoons, foxes, coyotes, weasels, owls, hawks, and even neighborhood dogs have been known to attack chickens at night or in plain daylight, especially if they free-range and you’re not nearby to deter unwanted visitors.

By their domestic nature, hens are easy prey: They have few survival skills, rarely take flight, and tend to flock together so they’re easier to target in one fell swoop.

Though we may not like it, predators are a fact of homesteading life. But there are several security measures chicken-keepers can take to outsmart them, and they should all be considered if you plan to raise a flock or upgrade your chickens’ housing.

Use Hardware Cloth, Not Chicken Wire


The mesh can be used for the walls, windows, vents, and doors, and should be attached to the wood framing with washers and screws, or heavy-duty fencing staples.

Secure the Floor of Coops and Runs


If your coop is attached to an enclosed run, cover the floor of the run with hardware cloth, bring it up the sides a few inches, and attach it to the frame.

Deter Predators From Above, Too


Simple bird netting or even a more elaborate pergola-style roof will prevent aerial attacks and keep birds of prey (as well as wild birds that may spread disease) out of the run.

Don’t Forget to Defend Against Larger Predators


Strive to build your chicken coop as solidly as you would your own house, and install an electric fence or electric wire around your coop and run.

Lock Doors and Windows at Night


On the exterior, I have gate latches and slide bolts on all of my doors and further secure them with carabiners (especially on the upper locks, which are more out of reach of critters).

Swipe up to learn more.