Great horned owls are predatory birds that can pose a significant threat to your chicken coop.There are many ways to keep your chickens safe, from preventative measures to scare tactics.
Step 1: Allow your chickens to be free during the day.
You can train your chickens to return to their home at night if you only let them out during the day and provide them with food and water.The time when your chickens need the most protection is when owls begin to prey.Chickens should always be indoors during the day.The location is their safe-zone.If your home is too warm, consider installing fans to make it more comfortable.
Step 2: Each day, remove any leftover chicken or owl food.
Keeping the pen free from food scraps is a must.Owl food includes mice, voles, shrews, and insects.Chickens that are sick, dying, or dead should be removed from your flock immediately.It’s a habit to remove eggs daily.When owls begin to hunt, try and remove them before the sun goes down.
Step 3: For more flexibility, keep your chickens in a floorless coop.
These are the simplest types of chicken houses and typically consist of a floorless wooden box with some chicken wire around it.It’s much easier to move a flock of chickens in a floorless coop than it is to buy a bigger product.A wire net or tarp can be used to cover floorless chickens.Always keep a lookout for new predator locations by scouting the ground underneath nearby trees for large feathers and bones.Chickens need to be retrained to establish a floorless coop as their new home.
Step 4: Chickens can hide if you have safety shelters around your range.
owls give your chickens somewhere to hide when they make an attack of desperation, so shelters are ideal.Put a plastic drum on its side and cut a hole in it that’s big enough for chickens to hide in.Hay will provide comfort in the shelter.Place a brick on each side of the drum.
Step 5: Chickens can be protected with protective material.
Birds can prevent owls from entering your chicken house.Netting can be attached with bird netting mounting clips.If you want to give your chickens some shade, you can use a tarp sheet.All of these materials can be found in local hardware or garden stores.If you want to purchase something that is big, you need to get some measurements from your coop.If possible, use orange nets as owls and hawks see this color well.Netting is unnecessary if your chickens are provided adequate protection.
Step 6: Chickens can be raised in regions with good ground cover.
Natural cover from predatory birds like owls can be provided by areas with lots of bushes and shrubs.If you plant your own ground cover plants, make sure they are varieties that chickens can eat, like lavender and comfrey.Make sure they are suited to your climate zone.Purchase pH papers to see if your soil has optimal pH levels.Use an appropriate adjustment technique if it’s outside of the recommended range.During the hot summer months, ground cover provides shade for your chickens.
Step 7: perching sites can be removed within a certain distance of your chickens.
Remove any trees that make good perching spots.Make sure that the tree or structure you’re removing is on the property.If you’re not comfortable doing it on your own, hire an arboriculturalist.Discuss the possibility of removing trees on your neighbor’s property if they are giving you owl problems.
Step 8: You can place roosting spikes on perching areas by yourself.
The spike strips make it impossible for owls and birds to land on them.Owls plan their attack on your chickens by perching in high spots.Take note of any areas that could be used for roosting in proximity of your chicken house and place spikes on them, such as near the rain gutter.”pigeon spikes” can be purchased online or at local hardware stores.To apply spikes to steel, use non-Silicone-based outdoor construction glue.You will need at least 4 number #8 wood screws for each section of spikes.
Step 9: An electric fence should be installed.
Electric fences are cheap and easy to install for free range chickens.These fences can prevent owls from attacking, even though they are more effective for defending from ground prey.Electric fences can be attached to pole shockers, which will prevent owls from perching on any poles close to your chickens.
Step 10: Place an owl or eagle decoy near your chicken house.
The owls are territorial and hunt alone, meaning they avoid other regions that have been claimed.Place decoys of eagles, hawks, or owls near your chicken house to scare them away.Home improvement stores and online suppliers can sell decoys.Place the decoy on top of posts facing away from your yard as they can generate nervousness and aggression.
Step 11: Make an animal.
A cross-shaped frame made from a wooden stick attached to a garden pole or rake handle is all it takes to make a segull.Dress it up and stuff it with hay.Move it between owl locations when you set it up near your chickens.To make sure the owl doesn’t discover it’s not a real person, try rotating it 2 to 3 times a week.You can purchase an electric scarecrow from your local home improvement store.The devices shoot water towards the owls.You can kill owls if the water pressure is too strong.
Step 12: Purchase a guard animal to protect you from owls.
A rooster is a good choice for a guard animal.Investing in 2 to 3 roosters is ideal if you have 15 or more chickens.Both at night and during the day, guard dogs are very effective.Some regions don’t allow roosters.rooster laws can be found in your local county and city codes.Dog scent is enough to ward off predatory animals.
Step 13: Motion-activated night lights can be used to scare owls.
Night lights are ideal for keeping owls away.If you leave the nightlight inside, it can interfere with the sleep habits of your chickens.Many owl-specific night lights use a red strobe, which is bad for owls.The alarm can be set on most lights.
Step 14: Old CDs can be hung from trees to deter owls.
Tie strings around the inside holes of old CDs and hang them up in close proximity to each other around common owl locations.The sound of clicking against each other and the reflection of the sun from the CDs are deterrents.Hang them up in a way that their clicking sounds vary in duration, sequence, and Frequency for the best results.You should keep an eye out for the spots that owls frequent the most.Mirrors can start fires.
Step 15: If needed, contact state and federal wildlife services.
Wildlife services can help you identify problems that are drawing owls to your chickens.If you want to kill or relocate a predator, you must speak to local wildlife services first.The Wildlife Services program is part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.You can find regional and state contacts at theusa.gov/federal-agencies/fish-and-wildlife-service.Search for animal shelters in other countries.Germany has the largest animal sanctuary in Europe called the Falkenberg Animal Home, while Australia has an animal welfare league.Some areas of the world, like Ukraine, Greece, Egypt and Romania, do not have well-established policies to address animal control and care.