In the animal kingdom, winter is a time of scarcity. Dwindling resources drive wild animals out of their habitats to seek food elsewhere – often on the property of humans who own poultry animals such as chickens. But what exactly are the species to look out for, and how can you deter them? Nite Guard Solar can help you answer both of those questions.
Top Threats to Your Chickens This Winter
The creatures with the bandit masks have a reputation for a reason! Raccoons are intelligent, adaptable, and persistent. Many scientific studies have found that raccoons rank above cats and dogs and just below monkeys on an intelligence scale. Does this information surprise you? If you house poultry on your property, perhaps you’re already aware of just how smart these creatures are. You may place locks on every entrance to your coop, but raccoons have been known to pick locks. Keep reading to learn about more predator animals and discover how Nite Guard can help.
Although not seen often by human eyes, coyotes are a real threat to small animals like your pets or flock. Coyotes commonly attack at dawn or dusk and may leave little to no trace of both their presence and their prey’s remains. Even if you do not live in a rural area, coyotes can (and will) attack your chickens.
As notorious chicken killers, cunning foxes use their sly wit to get inside coops. A fox attack is premeditated murder, in a sense. The creatures observe and assess the layout of your property and areas where the chickens commonly spend time. They may also learn your schedule – knowing when the yard is empty, when the guardian dog is off duty, and other factors that make an attack more achievable.
Don’t underestimate your neighbor’s dog. While they won’t typically break into chicken coops, unleashed or stray dogs have been known to eat free range hens.
A small but ferocious creature, the weasel uses its size to its advantage by breaking into chicken coops through small holes or cracks. Despite its diminutive size, a weasel can kill a surprising number of birds in a short time.
Commonly known as birds of prey, raptors include hawks, owls, eagles and more. Anyone who keeps chickens knows the danger these fellow birds pose to their flock. Birds of prey will stalk your chickens from above before swooping down to grab them in their talons. If your birds are mysteriously disappearing with little sign of struggle, a raptor may be the culprit.
How Can You Deter Predators from Your Chickens?
The advice you will commonly hear sounds something like, “just make sure your chicken coop, run, or yard is impenetrable.” This, of course, ignores the fact that no structure is 100% predator-proof. Nevertheless, here are some steps you can take to help protect your flock:
- Add locks and ensure your coop is sturdily built
- Regularly repair holes and cracks
- Fortify wire runs near the ground or bury wire several feet deep
- Store excess feed indoors where it will not attract predators to your yard
- Use a livestock guardian dog
No system is completely foolproof, and these protective measures have their downfalls. Some wild animals, such as raccoons, demonstrate problem solving skills and may actually be encouraged by overcoming new obstacles to their prey in the form of locks or fortifications. The larger, stronger predators like coyotes may be able to simply break into your structures, and it can be difficult to fully protect your flock from winged predators above. To put it simply, unless your chickens and their coop, run, or yard are constantly being watched, your birds are at risk.
Nite Guard Solar Lights Are the Solution You’ve Been Looking For
Nite Guard Solar lights should be your new solution to chicken predators this winter. In fact, the original Nite Guard Solar light was designed to protect the inventor’s game birds! You cannot keep an eye on your flock from dusk to dawn, but Nite Guard Solar lights can “keep an eye” on nighttime predators. Night animals hate being watched. By creating the illusion that another predator is watching the threatening animal, the solar powered light source deters them from attacking your flock.
Nite Guard Solar lights are not only effective at warding off predators, but they are also weatherproof, solar-powered and totally safe for people, pets and livestock. If you are looking for a simple yet highly effective way to protect your chickens, reach out to Nite Guard Solar today to learn more.