How to tell which predator is killing your chickens

chicken carcass
Let’s be honest, losing a chicken to a predator sucks. So how do you prevent it from happening again? First, you need to know what predator is doing the killing, then you can figure out prevention.

Visible signs Likely predator Prevention
Head and/or crop of chicken is torn out of several birds Raccoon Use smaller wire to eliminate the raccoon from reaching inside the pen.
Side of chicken is torn out and eaten Hawk Introduce a few geese with your free range chickens. For penned chickens, ensure the pen is covered with either wire or netting.
All or most of the chickens are dead and only one eaten Weasel or Make sure there are no holes greater than the size of a quarter in the coop. Use smaller wire fencing for the pen.
Only the head and neck of the chicken have been eaten Owl Introduce a few geese with your free range chickens. For penned chickens, ensure the pen is covered with either wire or netting.
Chicken taken without a trace and/or holes dug under fencing or Introduce a few geese with your free range chickens. For penned chickens, bury your fencing  outward 2 feet from the pen, just buried beneath the surface.
Missing or dead chicks Rat Weatherproof poison in a safe, outdoor enclosure. Ensure there are no holes in the coop where they can enter that is larger than a dime. Make sure food is not laying around to attract them to the coop.
Mauled but not eaten Dog Introduce a few geese with your free range chickens or get a dog of your own. For penned chickens, bury your fencing  outward 2 feet from the pen, just buried beneath the surface.
Mauled and abdomen eaten Ensure there are no large holes in the coop. Use smaller wire fencing for the pen
Chicks killed and abdomen eaten Ensure there are no large holes in the coop. Use smaller wire fencing for the pen
Coop or pen torn up. Door or sides forcefully removed from coop Bear  Leave your suggestions below…

One way to identify the predators that are lurking around your coop are game cameras that can take pictures at night like these on Amazon.

Products that simulate another predator which usually keeps real predators away are a great way to help protect you flock.

What is your favorite way to keep your chickens safe?

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