No matter whether chickens lay eggs in a nesting box or get light to trigger laying, or have roosts for night time or lots of space to exercise, if they can't survive in your poultry coops, you will have no eggs and you will not even want the meat. Having the excellent henhouses plans and knowledge of predators are essential for keeping your birds safe.
Even just looking financially, if these aren't your pets, it is an utter loss when a predator gets into the henhouse and kills your birds. Even a predator killing just a few chickens will cause enough unrest that laying can be affected. Management can become harder when they won't go back into the poultry coops to normally roost at night. Sometimes puncture wounds that were overlooked on survivors can cause losses, and take up time to deal with as the birds conditions worsen. It is upsetting and shocking for the family when pet chickens are killed too.
The best way to go about protecting your chickens and building predator-proof henhouses is knowing the likely predators in your area and their method of operation. Knowing what size hole they can squeeze though, type and usual time of attacks will go along way to protecting your poultry.
Most predator attacks happen on henhouses at dusk and night and though most chickens will roost for more safety, there should never be a hole in poultry coops larger than 1" and the doors should never be left open after dusk and before dawn. If you are unable to be around at dusk you may want to install an automatic coop door for peace of mind and freedom!
Predation rates can be higher when henhouses are located near trees or backing onto forest and woodland. These areas are habitat and cover for the predators. And covered runs prevent aerial predators, hawks, eagles, owls and crows from striking. Regular hexagonal chicken wire will not stop the most intent predators for example raccoons from getting into your poultry coops and attacking the chickens. Welded wire or hardware cloth is the only wire we ever use in our poultry coops.
When planning your henhouses please be aware of how important keeping the birds safe is. They will always find somewhere to roost and lay their eggs. They won't always be able to get away if a predator gets in the henhouses when you are not around. Check out these great henhouse plans!
Tags: henhouses, henhouse, poultry coops, chickens coops, chicken coops