Badger and chickens

The place to discuss worms, mites, lice, rodents, wild birds, foxes, badgers, dogs etc.
Post Reply
chicks&bees
Newcomer / Hatchling
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Mar 31, 2020 8:25 am

Badger and chickens

Post by chicks&bees »

Hello, I wonder if anyone can help here with some advice on badgers and chicken keeping. We have decided to have a little farm. To start with, we hoped to get just some chickens and ducks and a few bee hives with a view of taking on a couple of goats next spring. Our garden is of a quite generous size considering it is in the urban area (roughly 30x100m) with rear gate leading onto a copse. We get lots of wildlife in the garden, which is nice, but also starting to pose a threat to our dream of keeping a little farm. Badgers have moved in and created their set at the back of our garden and foxes have been having their den in next door neighbour’s garden. Despite of this, we have decided to go ahead with our plan with a view of using electric fence around the coop. Several of our friends have said that this method has been very successful in keeping the foxes away from their chickens. However, after I have seen some videos on strength, intelligence and persistence of badgers, I am starting to be worried, whether our measures are going to be sufficient. We have found ourselves in a peculiar situation with chickens and ducks already being ordered to arrive sometimes in May. We have also started converting an old wendy house into a temporary coop before building a permanent large one, once we determine the final number of poultry we would like to eventually keep. We hoped to reinforce the windows with some wire fencing, however, I wonder if a simple wendy house will be able to stand against the fierce strength of the badger. Do you think this project is still viable considering the circumstances, or should we give up before even trying as we have limited budget to spend of some extreme fencing protection? Thanks a lot for your advise!
User avatar
Tweetypie
Full Member
Posts: 557
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 8:44 am

Re: Badger and chickens

Post by Tweetypie »

Hello Chicks and Bees and welcome to the forum, where I am sure a lot of the more experienced hen keepers will reply soon.

One thing I would say is that you should get all your fencing and hen housing sorted out before you get any chickens, because one thing is for certain, Mr Fox will find a way to get to them, if there is the smallest of opportunity.

I have a small set up of 4 hens in an approximate 20 foot square run,with 6 foot tall trellis style fencing. I put down concrete paving slabs in the run, so nothing can dig underneath the fence. I have a large raised dustbath and an area in the corner, by a wall, that they can dig,too.

I have not seen any foxes or badgers where I live and if this were the case, I would have to use metal fencing in addition to the paving slabs.
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 6682
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Badger and chickens

Post by Marigold »

Hi chicks and bees and welcome from me, too.
First thing to say about your plans is that if you want to keep ducks as well as hens you will need a separate coop for them as they sleep on the floor, not on perches like chickens. Chickens poo steadily all night and it would land on the ducks below. So they can't share a coop. Also they eat different food from chickens; they need much lower protein and calcium than hens who are bred to produce an egg most days. They also need at least a small pond or large container of water to dip their heads in, which gets mucky and then you have to tip it out, which makes the ground too muddy for chickens. So you would need to plan for separate accommodation for each species. Read more about keeping ducks, and ask questions to our expert, Dorsetduckowner, for more advice on what ducks need.

Also, yes you really will need a secure coop for the hens, but also a secure run if you know there are foxes about. In the Pests and Predators section in here you can read some of the horror stories posted by our members who learned the hard way that foxes attack at any time of day and not only when the birds are roosting at night. More than one person reports that a fox snatched a pet hen whilst just sitting in the garden. And in Spring foxes have cubs to feed, which makes them more desperate to find food for their family. So you will need secure electric fencing around the whole run area, as foxes can jump over ordinary fences 2 metres high, as well as chewing and digging their way in. Badgers are a similar problem except worse, as you say, because they're so strong and fierce.
I'm sorry if this sounds discouraging but not as bad as if you put a lot of effort and love into getting ready for chickens and ducks and then found they couldn't really live together, or worse still, were eaten by a predator.
bigyetiman
Full Member
Posts: 1228
Joined: Tue May 16, 2017 8:27 pm

Re: Badger and chickens

Post by bigyetiman »

Quite agree with the other posts.
Depending on where you live you also have to think about danger from above, a hen will be very appetizing to a hungry bird of prey.
Luckily I was with mine this morning when a Peregrine dive bombed them, so danger averted.
Welcome to the forum, we are a helpful bunch on here
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 6682
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Badger and chickens

Post by Marigold »

I suppose you could be safe from predators with the goats and the bees - if the neighbours weren't worried. I really don't think that in the space you have it would be practical to keep hens and ducks as well.
Shadrach
Forum Contributor / Grower
Posts: 65
Joined: Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:50 pm

Re: Badger and chickens

Post by Shadrach »

chicks&bees wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 2:39 pm
Hello, I wonder if anyone can help here with some advice on badgers and chicken keeping. We have decided to have a little farm. To start with, we hoped to get just some chickens and ducks and a few bee hives with a view of taking on a couple of goats next spring. Our garden is of a quite generous size considering it is in the urban area (roughly 30x100m) with rear gate leading onto a copse. We get lots of wildlife in the garden, which is nice, but also starting to pose a threat to our dream of keeping a little farm. Badgers have moved in and created their set at the back of our garden and foxes have been having their den in next door neighbour’s garden. Despite of this, we have decided to go ahead with our plan with a view of using electric fence around the coop. Several of our friends have said that this method has been very successful in keeping the foxes away from their chickens. However, after I have seen some videos on strength, intelligence and persistence of badgers, I am starting to be worried, whether our measures are going to be sufficient. We have found ourselves in a peculiar situation with chickens and ducks already being ordered to arrive sometimes in May. We have also started converting an old wendy house into a temporary coop before building a permanent large one, once we determine the final number of poultry we would like to eventually keep. We hoped to reinforce the windows with some wire fencing, however, I wonder if a simple wendy house will be able to stand against the fierce strength of the badger. Do you think this project is still viable considering the circumstances, or should we give up before even trying as we have limited budget to spend of some extreme fencing protection? Thanks a lot for your advise!
We have badgers here and so far they have not even attempted to break into any of the coops.
We also have foxes but thankfully they are human and dog shy and tend only to come out from dusk onwards.
Electric fencing, if done properly will deter most creatures. However, the standard portable style chargers do not give a high enough voltage. We have wild boar here and what will make the sheep think twice about charging through the fence doesn't bother the wild boar.
Post Reply

Return to “Pests & Predators”