[If you have not already read part one of this two part post, you can read it here.]
You can also build a fenced-in yard or run for your birds. This will protect the birds both day and night. This is one of the safest options for the birds. However, one of the draw backs to this option is that the birds will eventually have all of the grass and vegetation removed from the area. They will also not have as much access to bugs, seeds, and vegetation as if they were “free ranged”.
If you do decide on a fenced yard or run, there are a few things to keep in mind. First bury your fence 6-12” in the ground. This will keep out dogs and other digging animals that may try to burrow under your fence. If birds of prey, like owls and hawks, are prevalent in your area, you will want to either provide your birds with a covered area in which they can hide or cover your run with netting.
There are many predators that can climb a fence, such as raccoons. One way to stop them is to run an electric shock wire 6” above the ground at the base of your fence. Another electric wire along the top of your fence will provide additional security.
If you would like to “free range” your birds, we suggest portable electric fencing that is designed to be easily relocated every few days to give your birds access to fresh grass and also keep them safe. We have solar, battery, and plug-in energizers to fit your needs.
Most of the predator activity happens at night. Scientific studies have shown that all night animals share the same deeply rooted fear of being watched and therefore threatened. We have a very simple device that mimics the red reflection given off by animal’s eyes at night, the Nite Guard. It is solar charged during the day and requires no maintenance. You mount the small Nite Guard box near your coop. The flashing red light will make the predator think he is being watched, and he will be leery to come closer.
I hope these few ideas will help you keep your poultry safe. Enjoy your flock and know that we are always here to help.
Your Friends at Murray McMurray Hatchery.