12 Practical Solutions To Keep Owls Away from Chickens


A large brown owl flying in the midst of the sunny day showing its powerful wings and muscled legs


Is the nighttime hooting waking you with thoughts of an owl attack on your chicken flock? 

Owls are indeed magnificent, their stealthy nature and hunting prowess admired by many.

But for people like you who raise chickens, these features can be more of a cause for concern, threatening the safety and well-being of your backyard flock.

We understand your fears. That’s why we created this informative, straightforward guide. 

It's packed with 12 tested strategies to deter owls and provides effective solutions to protect your flock from unwanted visitors.

This guide is your first step toward achieving that chicken safety peace of mind.

How to Keep Owls Away from Chickens?

Here are the 12 practical and effective strategies:

  1. Cover the Run with Bird Netting 

Bird netting is one of the top solutions for guarding your chickens against owls. 

It is a robust barrier that effectively keeps owls and other aerial predators at bay - both above the ground and below. Its budget-friendly nature and the ease of installation further add to its appeal.

By draping this netting across your chicken coop or run, you can put a nearly invisible shield that deters owls and other birds of prey from entering while letting your chickens roam freely.

Not only does bird netting safeguard your chickens, but it also respects natural wildlife, making it a compassionate solution. It's effective against owls and shields your chickens from other avian threats, such as hawks and eagles.

Bird netting is a smart, safe, and legal way to protect chickens from owls. It's a no-fuss solution that helps keep your chickens safe and sound.

Just a thought: You may find this bird netting product worth checking out. It's a cost-effective and efficient way to protect your chickens against those pesky owls. Give it a glance!


A chicken run with chicken flock inside covered with bird netting from ground level to the top for protection


2. Build a Sturdy Chicken Coop

Building a coop with strong materials like wood or metal makes it hard for predators to break in. 

The coop should have a lockable door, and any windows or ventilation gaps should be covered with strong wire mesh. This stops predators from coming in while still letting air in.

These features make it even harder for predators like raccoons, foxes, or coyotes to get in and cause havoc. 

An elevated coop design can offer extra security from pests and dampness, and a solid, waterproof roof protects from weather and predators from above and the ground.

A chicken flock inside a sturdy, hard-fenced chicken coop

3. Early Bedtime for Chickens

A risky time for chickens is when they're still outdoors after the sun goes down. To stop your chickens from falling prey to owls, ensure they return to the coop before it gets dark. 

Make sure to secure the coop every evening to keep them safe tightly. Remember, owls are clever hunters - they'll grab any opportunity to attack.

This early bedtime idea is easy to execute and effective. But it's important to remember to keep a rhythm. Chickens are animals of routine, and they'll quickly adjust to a recurring schedule. 

You can drastically lower the chance of owls swooping down on your chickens by consistently encouraging early bedtimes.

4. Blend In Birds

Selecting chicken breeds that mesh with the colors of your environment can go a long way toward safeguarding them. 

Chickens with a natural ability to blend in are less likely to catch a hunting owl's eye.

Take the White Leghorn chicken breed as an example. These striking white chickens are like vivid signals to owls in any setting.

 However, the Brown Leghorn chicken may not be as easily seen by hungry birds due to their earth-toned feathers.

But blending in isn't just about matching color schemes. It's also about behaving in a way that doesn't attract attention.

Chickens that naturally camouflage themselves tend to act more cautiously when owls are around. 

This low-profile approach can make them less tasty targets for the watchful eyes of real owl hunters.

a brown rooster with bright orange and black-brown feathers standing in a chicken hen


5. Safe Hideaways

Set up secret shelters where your chickens can scuttle off if they spot an owl flying above them. 

Anything from bushes, thickets, and overhangs can give essential cover. An owl will probably call off its mission if your chickens cleverly use these hideouts.

These hideaways offer more than just a physical defense. They also provide a boost to the chickens' mental well-being. 

They will likely feel more secure when they know they have a safe place to escape, even when pesky owls hover around.

 This comfort and security can reduce stress, promoting happiness and wellness.

black hens perching inside the barn

6. Watch Out in Daytime – Keep Your Eyes on the Sky

Many people think owls and hawks only hunt at night, but that's untrue. They can also look for food in the day and early morning. 

Owls don't need it to be very dark to hunt. They move around when there is some light, like at dawn.

To keep them safe, keep an eye on the sky and watch for any danger. 

7. Be Careful During Bird Migration

When birds move to different places, backyard chickens can face more danger from predators like owls.

 During these times, do more to keep your chickens safe. When birds move around, they can bring new problems. 

Birds moving to different places is part of nature, but it can create problems for your chickens. 

With more predators around, your chickens need more protection. 

8. Get a Watchdog

If you have a dog that gets along well with your chickens, let it roam your yard at different times during the day and at twilight. 

Owls don't like messing with dogs, so your friendly pup can help scare them away. Having your faithful dog on guard duty gives your chickens another layer of safety.

Dogs have been friends with humans for a long time and can help protect against many dangers, including owls. 

When a dog is nearby, it tells any sneaky predators that the yard is guarded. Owls like easy prey, and a watchful dog makes them think twice before they try anything.

A large, fluffy, grayish dog lying on the grass


9. Have a Rooster as a Living Alarm

A rooster is like a loyal guard for your chickens. If it spots an owl, it will make a unique sound, warning the hens to hide. 

Roosters are not just protective. They are also great at spotting danger.

The sound that a rooster makes is not just to wake you up. It can also be a warning. 

Roosters are excellent at tracking what's happening around them and can quickly notice danger like owls.

When a rooster gives a warning, it's a clear signal for the hens to find a safe place.

A large, colorful rooster walking beside a two black chicken hens


10. Scary Decoys

Owls like to have their own space. Putting a fake owl or hawk close to your chicken house or yard can keep real owls away.

But remember to move the fake birds around often because owls are smart and will figure out if they don't move. That extra trick can help keep your chickens safe.

Using scarecrows or decoys may seem old-fashioned, but they work well to keep owls from coming after your chickens. 

When an owl sees another bird that hunts in the area, it will be less likely to try anything. Put decoys in the right places, and you can make owls think twice about coming close to your chickens.

a fake or plastic owl located near trees


11. Reflective Shields

In your yard, hang shiny stuff like used CDs, aluminum foils, or baking trays. They will shake when the wind blows, and their shine will scare predators like owls. Owls don't come near when they see shiny things they don't know.

Owls like to hide when they hunt for food, and shiny things can stop them. If an owl sees something shiny and moving, it will get scared and may go somewhere else to find food. 

12. Spot the Threat

Knowing what kind of danger your chickens face is vital. Be sure you can say if it's an owl or another threat to protect them immediately. 

Finding out who is causing danger is key to keeping your chickens safe. Owls and other animals like raccoons and foxes that walk on the ground can also be a risk. So make a good plan about it.


Can You Kill An Owl If Its Killing Your Chickens?

Owls have protection laws. We need to know that it is important not to hurt owls. Laws are there to keep owls safe.

Why? Because owls help keep things balanced. They eat rodents and other small animals, so it's against the law to harm them.

The law keeps all birds that hunt safe. The exact rules can change based on where you live. In many places, killing, hurting, or even bothering these birds and their homes without a special permit is prohibited.

The United States has a special law called the Migratory Bird Treaty Act to protect owls and other birds. This law says it's prohibited to kill, sell, buy, or move any part of a protected bird species, including their eggs, feathers, or nests.

Hurting these protected birds can get you in legal trouble. You might have to pay much money if you harm an owl. In some cases, you might even go to jail. 

That's why it's important to find ways to keep owls away from your chickens that won't hurt them. 

This way, you protect your chickens, follow the law, and help our nature stay balanced.


a puzzle piece with a sign "break the law" written in red



Final Word

Protecting your chickens from predatory owls is crucial. 

But with the strategies in place, you'll be well-prepared to keep owls away from your chickens and ensure their well-being. 

Remember, the best way to protect your chickens is before an owl sees them as a potentially easy meal.

After all, it's much simpler to prepare and prevent than to repair and repent!

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