Wild birds can be a real nuisance when they have free access to your chicken coop. They can spread disease to your chickens, they will eat your chickens' feed and some birds may even harm your chickens or their eggs. You may have to try several different methods of keeping wild birds out of your chicken coop before you find an approach that gets the job done.
Identify the Problem
Before you start trying to bird-proof your chicken coop, you need to identify the primary problem the wild birds are causing. You will need to handle birds of prey, who like to eat chickens, quite differently from a few stray sparrows or doves who enjoy eating your chickens' seed. A species-tailored approach to keeping the birds out of your chicken coop will make your efforts more effective and increase your likelihood of success.
Birds of Prey
Birds of prey such as hawks and falcons are dangerous because they want to eat your chickens. If birds of prey are entering your chicken coop, you will need to completely block their access. Reinforce the wire sides of your chicken coop and use wood to block any openings. If your chicken coop is not 100 percent enclosed, you will need to enclose it by whatever means you deem necessary. If the birds are entering through a door that is designed for people or chickens to go through, you may have to lock the door so that it cannot be opened except by a human. Keeping your chickens safe is more important than allowing them the freedom to enter and exit the coop as they desire.
Watch small birds coming in and out of your coop and then add additional roofing or screens to your coop as needed to keep those birds from coming in. A solidly constructed chicken coop will help keep all manner of birds out. If small birds are entering your coop through the holes in your wire fencing or windows in the coop, you may want to drape netting over the coop to eliminate their access. Cover all entry points with netting and fasten it down to secure it. If your chickens have access to the outdoors through a chicken door, install a covering or door that your chickens can push open but smaller birds will find difficult to move.
Your chickens' feed will attract wild birds to the coop. Make sure not to leave large amounts of excess feed in the coop. Feeding smaller amounts to cut down on leftovers can help stop wild birds from coming into the coop for a meal. You can also give your chickens a specially designed feeder that requires them to actually operate it to access the feed. If you want to feed wild birds, set their feeders a good ways away from your chicken coop so they have plenty of food without having to enter the coop. Check your chicken coops for signs of wild birds building nests. Take the nests apart when you find them, and destroy the eggs. This will discourage nesting behavior.
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Jen Davis has been writing since 2004. She has served as a newspaper reporter and her freelance articles have appeared in magazines such as "Horses Incorporated," "The Paisley Pony" and "Alabama Living." Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts in communication with a concentration in journalism from Berry College in Rome, Ga.