Top Chicken Predators in Urban Phoenix

Here in urban Phoenix there are three enemies occupying the top spots on the list of chicken predators. The Coyote, two hawks in specific, and the Bull snake.

coyote

Coyotes aren’t usually seen during the day, sundown seems to be when they’re most active. They’re rather greedy too, seldom  stopping at one bird. It’s not uncommon for them to wipe out half the backyard flock. Not only should the chicken yard be secured with a fence buried at least a foot in the ground. Concrete around the bottom as well would be ideal.  Don’t assume that a six or seven foot block wall perimeter fence will keep out a coyote, it won’t.

If at all possible, having a raised chicken coop that can be completely closed up at night is the best way to protect your birds. The top of your chicken yard or run needs to be enclosed with aviary netting, because in-flight predators are next on the list of chicken enemies.

The Red Tail Hawk is not fussy about what time of day they snatch a chicken from the flock. These birds are very intelligent, so you’ll need to be creative if you’re going to outsmart them. They are indeed capable of carrying off an average size chicken.

Red Tailed Hawk

Below is our resident Harris Hawk, smaller, and not capable to carrying off an average sized chicken. However, be aware that these birds work as a team. Where there is one, there is usually two more. They are patient and relentless towards their goal, give them the slightest invitation and they will take it. Once they find a flock, they will circle over head, then sit on a nearby roof, or fence. This could go on for days while they intelligently calculate their plan of attack.

Harris Hawk in Phoenix, AZ

There is at least one Bull snake slithering around our ranch. These predators are more of a problem with chicks or very young birds. Keep in mind when reaching to collect eggs that they have the same agenda! Look before you reach! They are harmless to humans, but they can be quite startling just for their size alone! Chickens are terrified by them and that could interrupt their egg production. It’s important to keep your birds safe and secure from Bull snakes with the same aggressive measures as the predators mentioned above.

Bull Snake

Remember, respect predators for their place in society, your job is not to prove where your place is on the food chain –  it’s merely to prove you are smarter.

amy elizabeth, TBN Ranch

 

 

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About tbnranch

amy elizabeth, writer, author. Lives in the northeastern reaches of the Sonoran Desert on a small hobby farm. Raises laying hens.
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6 Responses to Top Chicken Predators in Urban Phoenix

  1. I love your animated chicks pecking away : – )

  2. bulldogsturf says:

    I love the photos and specially the last words of respecting the predators.. too many times they are killed because of what they take of yours and yet people forget they are at the top of the food chain.. kill one and the vermin can increase.. I agree with you, learn to outsmart them..

    • tbnranch says:

      It’s actually easier that way anyway! I’m all for putting a little more effort into thinking than paying the price of a mistake. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. tbnranch says:

    That’s a pretty darn smart way to protect your pond fish! 🙂 Phoenix really doesn’t have a huge predator problem within the city limits, minimal effort is really all it takes. Or have I been super lucky??? The neighbors lost an entire flock of Guinea fowl to a coyote recently… what a mess that was. Better to be safe than sorry!

  4. Aviary netting is so stupid cheap to buy. I even used it in my small garden pond to foil the raccoons from eating my fish. Once under the surface, it becomes invisible. A chicken yard without netting would mean a coop without chickens here. We have Bold and even Golden Eagles here!

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