Canberra Backyard Poultry


Predators

The main predator for the Canberra region is the fox; there are often more foxes in suburbia than rural areas because of the greater availability of food due to the larger human population.  Foxes are particularly difficult because they can dig in like a dog, but can also climb – anywhere a cat can get into your pen, a fox could get in too.

Other predators include:

  • birds of prey (e.g. hawks)
  • local dogs
  • cats (especially for smaller breeds – some of the heavier chicken breeds could give a cat a run for its money!)

There are a number of ways to make your coop and run predator-resistant.

To stop foxes and dogs digging in you can bury corrugated iron to a depth of 30-40cm around the perimeter of the pen.  You can also have a heavy duty mesh (not chicken wire!) laid flat along the ground for 30-40cm around the outside of the pen, weighed down with rocks.  If the pen is uncovered, have the fences at least 1.8m high, and make the top of the wire floppy, not taut, as this will discourage foxes from being able to climb and over the wire.  Ideally, the whole pen and run could be covered, which also prevents attacks from the air by birds of prey.

At a minimum the coop where the chickens sleep at night should be as fox proof as possible.  However, daytime attacks by foxes are not unheard of, especially if the fox is hungry enough, so it is a good idea to have a fox resistant run too.

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