8 Most Dangerous Chicken Predators. Be Aware of Number 2!!

Dangerous Chicken Predators

Keeping chicken is a very good thing to do, as a hobby or as a profession, but chickens are in comparison with other more dangerous animals they are small and vulnerable. This makes them a perfect target for certain predators. My bet is, because people from every corner of the world are keeping chickens and they are literally everywhere, there are predators that enjoy chicken meat everywhere. We want your chicken to be safe and that is why we at the typesofchicken.com team decided to share our opinion on the 8 most dangerous chicken predators:

1. Coyote

Protecting chickens from predators
via Flickr

The coyote is a common predator and it can survive in normal weather conditions and they are one of the most dangerous meat eaters in the world. Their biggest population is around North America and Mexico.

They enjoy chicken meat and attack furiously at coops and poultry farms. They are very adaptive to human environment and although they prefer to attack in the night they can attack during the day if they feel that it is safe.

You need to know that shooting them may not stop them so if are from one of these regions that the coyote has populated we suggest you to buy traps at your local hunting market. They are similar to some larger breeds of dogs so make sure you don’t shoot an innocent trapped big dog.

2. Domestic cats

Protecting chickens from predators
via Flickr

You might wonder why domestic cats are on this list but for most people, if they own chickens there is a chance that they are very animal friendly and have a pet cat.

The size of the domestic cat makes her dangerous for your little chicks, but they are not a big threat for a larger adult chickens. Unlike dogs, it is the nature of a cat to hunt and that is why cats are dangerous for rabbits, parrots and even some dogs.

An interesting fact about cats is that if they have the opportunity to hunt the chicks, they will kill more chicks and if it is your cat it may bring you some of them as a gift.

3. Skunks

Protecting chickens from predators
via Flickr

Depends on the type of skunk, they can attack your chickens but for most them if they enter your coop they will eat the eggs. As the coyote skunks are mostly found in North America.

I believe you are familiar with their natural defensive mechanism, they spray an very distinctive and unpleasant odor from their tails. What you might not know is the most developed sense is hearing and they are very good diggers.

Another similarity with the coyotes is that skunks also attack in the night. They are mostly attracted to food, water or any area they can adapt to as shelter, one of the easiest ways to prevent skunks from getting into your yard is to make sure you don’t leave any food outside during the night.

4. Hawks

dangerous chicken predators
via @Carlos Escamilla – Flickr

Hawks are maybe the most dangerous birds you can find, their claws and their beak are very strong and they are able to rip through the skin of almost every mammal.

What makes them very proficient hunters is that they are able to see from very long distances, and when they register some pray from a distance they have time to adapt and perform a strategic attack on it.

A smart and efficient way for you keep your chicken safe from hawks is to add a metal grid on top of your coop. You can recognize a hawk from the dark brown color of their feathers and the widespread of their wings.

5. Fox

Dangerous Chicken Predators
via Flickr

Foxes are the most recognizable enemy of the chicken owners, they are quick, witty and adaptable, which makes them very efficient in their hunt.

They mostly attack in the night but do not be surprised to see a fox hunting in the day, especially during the spring time when they gather for their young ones. Except from their natural hunting skills what makes the fox hard to catch is the way it resembles a dog.

From the color to the formation of its head the similarities with the dogs are obvious, but there is also one big difference between these two species and that is the tail. Foxes have a much bigger tail than the dog.

6. Raccons

Dangerous Chicken Predators
via Flickr

Raccoons are maybe the most intelligent of all the animals that are dangerous for your poultry. They are highly adaptable in a human environment and their size makes them very fast and proficient in their hunts.

Don’t let their size fool you, although small raccoons make up with their viciousness. Raccoons are known to mutilate their pray, or in this case the chickens. They will execute a fast surprise attack on your chickens and will try to remove the heads or legs of your chickens with their first bite.

Their distinctive look is that the combination of black and white color of their face makes it look like a burglar mask and their tails have black and white stripes.

7. Snakes

Dangerous Chicken Predators
via Flickr

After the domestic cats, snakes are the chicken predators that most adaptable to different habitats.

They usually have darker colors of the skin so in wet outside places they are very hard to notice, and for most of the types of snakes their movements are very quiet and most likely not recognizable for someone that is not focusing on it.

Their main source of attack is their venom, which they transfer to the body of their pray through biting. Most of the snakes are dangerous for the eggs and the small chicks but some of them are bigger and can make a very big problem for you and your poultry.Except covering your coop one way to get rid of snakes is to use snake deterrents and keep in mind snakes don’t like open spaces so mow the grass around your coop regularly.

8. Possums

Dangerous Chicken Predators
via Flickr

Another predator distinctive to the North American region, possums are also dangerous for your chickens. Although not as smart and wily as the raccoons, a possums strong suite is that they are a bit smaller and they can move faster and almost everywhere.

They will leave a mess after attacking a flock and most likely they will kill more than one chicken or chick. They are known to drink the blood of their pray and sometimes they leave the rest of the body behind – they attack viciously and fast.

Traps are a way to protect your chicken from possums, and to prevent possums you need to try not to leave any poultry food outside during the night.


The safest way protecting chickens from predators is to make sure that your coop is firmly build and has built in precaution systems. When it is time for you to decide the chicken coop you want, the typesofchicken.com team highly recommends you use this manual. It can help you build a strong and safe environment for your chickens.

  • Jeanette Hasenkamp

    We lost 75% of our flock to a mink last fall.

    • Jody Cooper

      They didn’t even mention Bobcats and we are having a big problem with them!

    • Tabi

      Did it get in through a tiny hole, dig…? I’ve been reading up on minks and just trying to set up precautions. I’m so sorry for your loss!!

  • Katie

    A neighbors dog was the most persistent predator we have had. Even though they live a mile down the road, he let his dog run free all the time. Thankfully my dogs have been trained to guard the chickens at all times and the “predator” is no longer a problem.

  • Annmarie

    Fisher cats are also predators in our area.

  • Bur Oak Farm

    I’ve lost more chickens to dogs than any other predators combined.

  • Debbi Brown

    I can’t believe that cats are listed on this list but not dogs. Dogs should be #1 by far. Bobcats, fishers, weasels and minks are also not listed, as well as owls? More research should have done before writing this article!

  • Only a very small number of snake species use venom to kill. The vast majority of snakes that would prey on poultry use constriction to kill and are non venomous. And even then, those snakes almost always prey on eggs or chicks since all but small bamtams are too big for snakes found in the U.S. to swallow.

    Like other commenters posted previously, weasels, minks, fishers, bobcats and DOGS are much more likely to be a danger to poultry than snakes and cats.

  • dina

    Livestock guardian dog is best bet. Tried everything else. It’s spelled “prey” lol

  • Marie

    I have to protect my chickens from eagles!!!

  • Lydia

    Not a very thorough or well-written article. There are many common chicken predators that aren’t listed, and some of the advice or information offered is perplexing. Hawks, for example, don’t just come in brown, so the author’s claim that hawks are identifiable by the “dark brown” coloring of their feathers is limited to a few very specific species and excludes varieties that are the most likely to hunt chickens. (i.e. The cooper’s hawk, which is usually gray with a rust-colored breast and barred wings and tail.) The description of opossums is also baffling, as for the vast majority of the country, opossums are lazy animals that will look for the easiest meal, and are unlikely to kill multiple birds or be wasteful as that would represent unnecessary effort.

    In short, if you’re looking for advice on how to defend your flock from predators, this probably isn’t the place to get it.