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Animals with a Taste for Chicken

The list of chicken-fancying predators is quite long, unfortunately. The specific danger depends on which part of the US you live in; but in general, you need to beware the following:

  • Pet dogs
  • Domestic cats
  • Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
  • Coyote (Canis latrans)
  • Fox (Vulpes vulpes fulvus)
  • Hawks, including:
    • Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)
    • Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus)
    • Sharp-shinned Hawk (Accipiter striatus)
    • Cooper’s Hawk (Accipiter cooperii)
  • Mink (Neovison vison)
  • Opossum (or Possum, Didelphis virginiana)
  • Owls, especially the Great Horned (Bubo virginianus)
  • Raccoon (Procyon lotor)
  • Rat (the Norway rat Rattus norvegicus throughout the States, and the Roof rat (Rattus rattus) in some southern and western States). These are not a danger to adult birds, but will take eggs and chicks.
  • Skunks:
    • Striped Skunk (Mephitis mephitis)
    • Eastern spotted skunk (Spilogale putorius)
    • Hog-nosed skunk (Conepatus leuconotus)
    • Hooded skunk (Mephitis macroura)
  • Snakes, notably the Black Rat Snake (Pantherophis obsoletus) (although with smaller snakes it will be the other way round, with the chickens trying to catch and eat them!)
  • Weasel family (Mustela), including the Black-footed Ferret (Mustela nigripes) and Long-tailed Weasel (Mustela frenata)

Chicken predators
The one thing a chicken keeper never wants to see... Follow our top tips on the next page to avoid this!

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