This can be a daunting task but it is an important step in keeping your pets and livestock safe from natural wildlife predation. You can have a single problem animal trapped and killed, but it does not keep other wild animals from coming and picking on your chickens, ducks, rabbits. As long as there is easily available food (i.e. your unprotected animals), predators will come to eat. The most effective way of keeping your animals safe is to create a predator proof enclosure, which can be successfully done with a little time and effort.
Here are some examples of how you can make your enclosures more predator proof:
First and foremost, pets and poultry must be put in at night. This is ultimately the safest thing for the animals. Even if you free range your animals, they need to come in to a secure coop or house at night. This is every prey animal's natural instinct anyway and you are only facilitating natural behaviors.
There are many ways you can predator proof your chicken coop.
Free Range Chickens
There are two ways you can predator proof outdoor rabbit hutches.
Ducks and Geese:
The number one way to keep your animals safe is to lock them in a secure enclosure at night. We cannot stress this enough. Poultry left outside at night are literally sitting ducks for hungry wild animals. Be a responsible animal caretaker and put your animals in at night.
There is always a compromise between freedom and safety. Free range animals have more freedom, but are at greater risk of predation, and you are likely to lose a few animals each year. If you don't want to lose any animals, you need to put them in a secure, predator proofed enclosure. They will have less freedom, but be safer. Decide with your family what trade offs you are willing to accept before deciding to get chickens or other backyard livestock.
Please contact local mountain lion expert, Dr. Quinton Martins, for advice on how to proceed: 707-721-6560 or firstname.lastname@example.org learn more about Dr. Martins' research, visit True Wild's website here.
View and learn how to construct a Puma Proof Pen designed in partnership with Audubon Canyon Ranch's Living with Lions Project.
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