Most Common Urban Chicken Predators in Phoenix AZ

How to Keep your Flock Safe from These Common Natural Predators

Biggest Threat: Coyote

Coyotes are common in urban areas of Phoenix and are known to prey on chickens. These animals are highly adaptable predators that can thrive in a variety of habitats, including rural, and highly populated urban areas. They are opportunistic hunters & it’s almost certain the coyote will eventually find your chickens.
Note: The coyote rarely takes one bird, they are known to kill the entire flock, take one or two birds and leave the dead behind.

Note: The coyote rarely takes one bird, they are known to kill the entire flock, take one or two birds and leave the dead behind.

Harris Hawk

The Harris Hawk is a bird of prey that can swoop down and carry off small animals, including chickens. They are known to be skilled predators, and they hunt a variety of prey. They hunt in groups, which is uncommon among raptors.
They often hunt cooperatively, with one bird flushing prey from cover while another waits in ambush. This allows them to take down larger prey than they could handle alone.
The Harris hawk is a skilled and adaptable hunter that has evolved unique hunting behaviors to maximize its chances of success in capturing prey.


Bobcats are carnivorous animals and are known to prey on a variety of animals, including chickens. When hunting chickens, bobcats use their keen senses of sight, hearing, and smell to detect their prey. So it’s especially important to keep your keep clean. Bobcats typically wait until dusk to hunt, but keep in mind, I have experienced an attack during the day, so always assume your birds are at risk if unprotected. Bobcats aren’t known to be greedy, they usually take just one bird.

Note: Bobcats aren’t known to be greedy, they usually take just one bird.


Raccoons are known to be skilled at breaking into chicken coops and killing chickens. They are not a huge threat in the city, but I have seen them on our urban farm.
Raccoons are a type of mammal that are known for their distinctive “hands.” Raccoon hands which are very dexterous and have long, flexible fingers that can grasp and manipulate objects with ease, such as latches on coop doors.


Rattlesnakes can pose a threat to chickens, they are venomous snakes that are found not only in desert areas but the city as well. They are known to prey on small animals which includes birds. Chickens are potential prey for rattlesnakes because they are small and often forage on the ground, which makes them vulnerable to snake attacks. If a rattlesnake can get into a chicken coop or other chicken enclosure, it may be able to kill or injure chickens.

How to Protect Your Backyard Flock From Predators

Secure your coop: Make sure that your coop is secure and predator-proof. This includes using sturdy materials for the coop, such as wire mesh or hardware cloth, and ensuring that all openings are covered with tight-fitting, predator-resistant material. It is also important to have a strong lock on the door, as many predators are quite clever at finding their way in.
Provide a secure run: A run is a fenced-in area where your chickens can roam during the day. Make sure the run is secure with a sturdy fence that is buried at least 6 inches into the ground to prevent predators from digging underneath it. Cover the top of the run with netting or wire mesh to prevent hawks or other birds of prey from swooping in.
Keep the area clean: Predators are attracted to areas where they can easily find food, so make sure to clean up any spilled food or water and store feed in a secure container. Also, remove any debris or brush around the coop that predators could use as cover. Droppings from your birds are also an attractant, clean the coop at least once a week.
Use lights and sound: Some predators are deterred by lights or loud noises. You can install motion-activated lights around the coop or a device that emits sound to deter predators.

Congratulations! By learning how to protect your birds, you have done your part to help keep your flock safe from predators. 🙂

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Interesting Facts About Combs and Wattles

Why Do Chickens Have Combs & Wattles? What are They For?

Combs and wattles are fleshy protuberances located on chickens’ heads and necks. The comb is the larger, often brightly colored structure on top of the chicken’s head, while the wattle is a smaller, reddish piece of skin that hangs beneath the chicken’s chin.
Combs and wattles serve several important functions for chickens. Firstly, they play a role in regulating the bird’s body temperature. Chickens don’t sweat, so they rely on their combs and wattles to help dissipate heat from their bodies. The blood vessels in these structures expand and contract to help regulate the bird’s internal temperature.
Secondly, combs and wattles can also play a role in attracting mates. In many breeds of chickens, the size and color of a rooster’s comb is a sign of his health and vitality, making him more attractive to potential mates.
Lastly, combs and wattles can also be used to signal social status and dominance within a flock. In some breeds, chickens with larger and more ornate combs may be seen as more dominant and may be more likely to lead the flock or have access to the best food and resources.
While combs and wattles may seem like just an interesting physical characteristic of chickens, they actually serve important functions in regulating body temperature, attracting mates, and signaling social status within a flock.

Want to Know More?

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Five Healthy Supplements for Chickens

Do Your Hens Need a Little Boost in Their Nutrition?

Supplements for a Healthy Flock

  1. Probiotics: Probiotics help improve gut health by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria in the chicken’s digestive system. This can lead to better digestion, absorption of nutrients, and immune system function.
  2. Vitamin D: Chickens need exposure to sunlight or a source of supplemental vitamin D to maintain healthy bones and egg production.
  3. Calcium: Calcium is essential for strong eggshells and overall bone health in chickens. Calcium can be provided in the form of oyster shells or calcium carbonate supplements.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids: Supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids can improve the nutritional quality of eggs, making them more beneficial for human consumption.
  5. Electrolytes: Electrolytes can be added to chicken’s drinking water during periods of hot weather or stress to help maintain hydration and electrolyte balance.

It’s important to note that supplements should not replace a balanced and varied diet for chickens, which should include a combination of high-quality feed, fresh water, and access to grazing or foraging.

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