Protect Your Chickens: How to Deter Wild Birds from Your Coop


Two colorful birds looking at each other while staying foot on the ground


Do you keep finding wild birds in your chicken coop? This is a problem for many chicken owners, from small farms to large ranches. 

Although wild birds seem pretty and harmless, they can be a big problem. 

They can bring diseases to your chickens, making them sick or even reducing the eggs they lay. 

So, we must keep these unwelcome visitors out. 

This guide is here to help with practical tips and tricks to keep wild birds away and protect your chickens. 

Get ready for a coop that's wild bird-free!

Risks Associated with Wild Birds in Your Chicken Coop

Did you know wild birds sneaking into your chicken coop could bring nasty surprises? 

These guests may seem cute, but they can spread germs that make your chickens sick.

These are some risks wild birds can bring:

Bringing diseases: Wild birds can carry avian influenza, salmonella, and respiratory infections. If they visit your coop, these germs might jump to your chickens, and nobody wants a sick chicken.

Troubling your chickens: When wild birds come into the chicken coop, it can stress out your chickens. A stressed chicken isn't happy and could lay fewer eggs or even become sick.

That's why finding ways to stop wild birds from getting too close to your feathered friends is important. 

How To Identify Birds Invading Your Coop

Figuring out what types of birds are making themselves at home in your coop can help you plan how to keep them out.

Here's how to figure out who these feathered intruders are:

Signs of Invasion

Feathers or droppings: Wild birds often leave traces like feathers and droppings. Different birds have distinct feather colors and patterns, and their droppings will vary in size and color.

Three different bird feathers, in white, black, and dark brown color


Nests: Wild birds might also leave nests hidden in corners of the coop or nearby trees.

Food disturbance: If you notice any trouble in your chickens' feed, it might be a clue that wild birds are sneaking meals.

Observation and Identification

Size: Is the bird small, like a sparrow, or bigger, like a pigeon?

Color: The color and patterns of a bird's feathers can provide valuable clues about its species.

Beak: Birds have different beak shapes and sizes depending on their diet and lifestyle. This can also be a significant tell to identify them.

Behavior: Keep an eye on their mannerisms. Are they solitary, or do they come in flocks? This might not directly reveal their species, but it offers cues about their habits, which can help decide how to deter them.

How To Keep Wild Birds Out of Chicken Coop

Here are 7 practical ways to make your coop less inviting to wild birds:

1. Reinforce Your Coop

The best offense is a good defense. Make your chicken coop with strong materials. Wire mesh is an excellent choice because it's sturdy and lets light in. Ensure mesh gaps are small enough to keep birds out but big enough for fresh air and sunlight.

2. Setup Bird Netting as an Enclosure

Creating a run area surrounded by bird netting can prevent wild birds from swooping in and mingling with your flock. 

Bird netting is a practical and effective solution to ward off pesky intruders and protect your chicken coop.

This bird mesh, or bird exclusion net, is a protective mesh to prevent birds from entering certain areas.

It's often used in vineyards or fruit gardens to stop birds from snacking on the produce, and it can work wonders for chicken coops, too!

A bird netting installed and surrounded in the chicken coop from the top level to underground

Image from Patti O. Amazon Customer Review | Harvesto Heavy Duty Bird Netting


Check this tangle-free bird netting that saves you from annoyance and wasted time. You won't have to struggle with knots or tangles, making setting up your coop's protective barrier much simpler, faster, and more efficient.

3. Upgrade Your Feeders

Birds are smart and love to eat the same food as your chickens. 

But you can outsmart them by using a special kind of feeder called a treadle feeder. 

Treadle feeders have a platform, or "treadle," that needs to be stepped on to open the lid where the food is. 

Chickens are heavier than most wild birds so they can step on the treadle, and the lid will open for them to eat. 

But when a wild bird tries, it won't be heavy enough so the lid won't open.

Tip: Teach your chickens how to use the new feeder by putting treats on the treadle.

4. Using Trained Livestock Guardian Dogs or Coop Cats

One of the more advanced and effective ways to keep wild birds (and other predators) away from your chicken coop is by employing the services of a trusty animal guardian.

  • Livestock Guardian Dogs

Livestock guardian dogs are breeds specifically trained to protect livestock from predators. They're excellent for larger homesteads with enough space for the dog to patrol. Breeds like Great Pyrenees, Akbash, and Anatolian Shepherds are known for their guarding abilities.

Training and socializing these dogs to live harmoniously with your chickens can take time and patience.

  • Coop Cats

Cats are natural hunters, and their presence can deter birds from visiting your coop. Having a cat roaming around the coop area can prevent smaller wild birds from swooping in for a free meal or a peck at your chickens. 

Ensure the cat is well-fed and trained not to view the chickens as prey!

A dog, chicken, and a cat sitting beside each other in one frame


5. Using Simple Scare Tricks

Scare tricks are a good way to keep wild birds away from your chicken coop without hurting them. These tricks make the birds feel scared or uncomfortable, so they don't want to come near. 

Here are some easy scare tricks and how to use them well:

  • Scarecrows

Scarecrows look like people, which makes wild birds think there are humans around, so they stay away. Try different looks (shapes, masks, shiny tape) to keep it new and surprising.

Tip: Change your scarecrow's clothes, place, or looks now and then to keep it working.

  • Wind Chimes & Noise Makers

Wind chimes make noises that can scare wild birds away. Pick chimes that aren't too loud so your chickens don't get scared. Other noise tricks include special bird noise scare machines and devices that play bird warning sounds.

Tip: Move the noise-making things around and try different kinds so birds don't get used to them.

A bamboo wind chimes hanging in an apple tree in a garden.


  • Shiny Stuffs

Birds usually don't like bright, flashing lights; shiny stuff can make that happen. You can use shiny tape, old CDs, mirror-like stuff, or special reflective bird-scaring. When these objects catch the sunlight or even lamplight, they can scare birds away.

Tip: Hang shiny things in different places and heights to scare birds away from all angles.

  • Moving Tricks

Making things move can help scare birds, too. You can use spinning wheels, fluttering ribbons, or funny air-filled tube dancers. Objects that move with the wind can make birds feel nervous.

Tip: Mix moving tricks with shiny, noise-making things to keep wild birds away.


6. Using Decoys

Decoys are fake birds that look like dangerous birds, such as hawks or owls. They can help scare away other birds from your chicken coop. Birds don't want to be near birds that might hurt them, so they stay away when they see decoys. 

Here are more details on using decoys:

  • Fake Hawks or Owls

Hawks and owls eat smaller birds. So, when these smaller birds see a decoy that looks like a hawk or an owl, they think it's real and stay away from your chicken coop. You can place these decoys on the roof, a fence, or trees near the enclosure.

Tip: Change the spot of the decoys now and then. That makes it more likely the birds will think they're real.

  • Sounds

Some decoys make sounds that can also help scare away birds. They could be the sound of the decoy bird itself or a distress call from a smaller bird that signals danger. This adds another layer of trickery to make the decoy seem real.

Tip: If you use sound, play it only occasionally. Birds might figure out it's a trick if they hear the same sound too much.

7. Using High-Tech Tricks

If simple tricks don't work, you can use more advanced tools to keep birds away from your chicken coop. 

These can be tools that use movement or sound. If different pests bother your chicken coop, they may work better. 

Here are some high-tech tricks to use:

  • Motion-Activated Sprinklers

These are water sprinklers that turn on when they sense something moving nearby. If a bird comes too close, it gets a surprise shower! This scares most birds away, like a garden hose with a mind.

Tip: Set the sprinkler so it only turns on for birds and not your chickens!

  • High-Pitched Noise Makers

High-pitch noise makers, also called ultrasonic devices, make noises too high for humans to hear. Birds, however, can listen to them and find them very annoying. This noise makes birds want to be far away from your chicken coop.

Tip: Like the sprinklers, ensure these noise makers don't bother your chickens.

How to Maintain A Bird-Free Coop

Consistency is The key to maintaining a healthy flock.

Here, we share a few things you can do to help maintain a bird-free coop:

1. Regular Inspections

Regularly inspect your coop for signs of bird invasion. 

Are there any new feathers, droppings, or disturbed chicken feed? 

Is the bird net secure? 

Pointing out minor issues before they become significant problems is key to maintaining a healthy coop.

2. Maintain Cleanliness

Keeping a clean coop goes a long way in ensuring a healthy environment for your chickens. Removing droppings, changing bedding, and keeping food and water spots clean make your pen less attractive to wild birds.

3. Monitor the Flock

Keep an eye on your chickens. They might not lay as many eggs if distressed or ill, which could indicate wild birds causing trouble.


Free-range chickens happily walking in the heat of the sun

4. Closely Manage Food and Water

Remove unused food and water to discourage wild birds from viewing your chicken coop as a free buffet. You don't want to provide an open invitation!

Remember, every chicken coop is different; what works best for yours might need trial and error. The key is to remain vigilant and always tune in to your chicken's needs.

Final Word

Caring for your chickens and protecting them from wild birds might seem tough. 

But, with the right strategies and regular care, victory is closer than you think. 

After all, your chicken coop is only as safe as you make it.

Invest in a smart solution to keep those pesky wild birds at bay without trouble.

Check out this tangle-free bird netting when considering one!


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