How To Deter Wild Birds From Your Chicken Coop
There is nothing more startling than walking into your coop to a frantic bird flying around. Wild birds, although beneficial for other reasons, are better kept out of your coop. Wild birds carry many diseases along with a number of internal and external parasites that can seriously impact a flock of chickens. Birds are always hunting for food and water sources, making your coop a desired spot for landing. After discovering your coop, the wild birds will continue to come back if measures are not taken to deter them. First ask yourself a couple of questions:
How are they accessing the coop or run?
What types of birds? Small birds or birds of prey?
Coop & Run Construction
Take the time to identify or pinpoint any points of entry from the interior and exterior of your coop. Openings in the eaves can allow small wild birds ways to gain access. Also examine the areas around your windows and doors for any gaps. Any holes found can be blocked up with wood, hardware cloth or wire screen. If your chicken run is open, bird netting is useful for keeping wild birds out. You may also use poultry netting with smaller holes to help keep out wild birds.
To limit the wild birds from eating your feed you could try using a treadle feeder. Most styles, such as the Feed-O-Matic, have a foot activated door that opens when a chicken approaches. The trough will automatically close when not in use. This type of feeder will help reduce waste and not allow wild birds to gain access to your chickens’ feed. Plus, it has the added bonus that rodents cannot access the feed either.
Other ways to keep wild birds from your chicken area can be hanging old CD’s with string or twine, pinwheels or shiny tape like Nite-Guard-Repellent-Tape around your coop or run. When these move in the wind, the sudden flashes of light startle the birds. Scarecrows with CD’s attached to the clothes can also work. With a scarecrow, I recommend moving it around the chicken area periodically so the wild birds don’t get used to it.
Once you have the wild birds under control and away from your coop, continue to observe each season to make sure your efforts to keep them away are still working. Be sure to add this task to your seasonal coop maintenance.
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