Your chickens may starve to death if you don’t squirrel-proof your chicken feeder. But what are the proper steps to do this?
Let me share my story! Squirrels were always attacking my chicken feeder, and they kept stealing all the food. This made me pretty mad😤😤, and I decided enough was enough. After trying various methods, I finally found the best solution! You just have to buy a feeder with weight-activated perches and wrap it with a metal wire. This worked really well.
Today, I’ll share with you all:
- A step-by-step guide on how to squirrel-proof your chicken feeder
- What’s the best squirrel repellent?
Step 1: Choose a Squirrel-Proof Chicken Feeder
The very first step is to choose the right kind of feeder that is made to keep squirrels far, far away from your chicken food.
If you ask me, I’ll tell you to go for a feeder with weight-activated perches.
Here’s how it works: These special feeders can easily sense the weight. So, if a heavy animal (like a squirrel) tries something, the perch goes down and closes the feeding doors.
It’s like a little trick to tell the squirrels, “Sorry, this food is just for the chickens!”
If you pick this feeder, your precious chickens will have the food they need, and the squirrels will not be able to play dirty. It’s a win-win for your feathered friends!
Step 2: Create a Barrier
Next, you have to create a barrier around your chicken feeder. This could be made of any material (Like metal or plastic).
It will act like a protective wall around the feeder.
I usually go for a metal wire and surround the entire feeder with it. Also, I make sure that I’ve covered the bottom side nicely because squirrels can easily dig from the soil and reach it from below.
If you’re a newbie, let me tell you that wires should be really closed together (like a tight fence) so that squirrels can’t make their way through.
Step 3: Clean Up the Mess Regularly
If your chickens tend to knock over their feeders, it’s a sure-shot thing that squirrels will come for the scattered food. So, it’s a good idea to clean up any spills (as soon as you can).
But if you can’t get the time to clean up the mess regularly, you can anchor the feeder to the ground. This will make it difficult for chickens to spill anything.
I always say that cleanliness is the best way to go! If you keep the chicken coop and the feeder clean, you’ll have less trouble, trust me!
Step 4: Use Scented Deterrents
Do you know that squirrels have a very good sense of smell? Yes, they do! That’s why you can sprinkle peppermint or hot pepper squirrel repellent around the food to keep them away from the feeder. These repellents are literally the best in business.
But here’s the thing: You have to keep doing it regularly. Squirrels are stubborn, and they (most probably) always come back, thinking it was just a one-time thing.
So, be consistent with using these flavors, and ultimately, the squirrels will give up!
The best part? These repellents won’t bother your chickens in any way!
Step 5: Dedicate Spots For Squirrels
In this step, you can be generous and dedicate special spots just for squirrels! This way, you’ll provide them with their own food, whatever they like (nuts or seeds).
They’ll have their very own buffet, and they’ll be less interested in bothering the chicken feeder.
Interestingly, squirrels are quite curious animals. They love to explore and find new spots for enjoying their food. If you give them what they want, they’ll happily leave your chicken feeder in peace.
Step 6: Bring In Your Furry Friend as a Squirrel Hunter
Do you have any idea that your dog or cat is the perfect solution to your squirrel problems?
Yes, that’s true! They enjoy keeping an eye out for little creatures, especially if they belong to a breed that’s naturally good at it.
So, if you’ve been trying to keep your pet away from the chickens, maybe now it’s time to rethink the rules.
Why not train your dog or cat to help protect the chicken feeder from those sneaky squirrels?
This can turn into a fun adventure: your pet gets a new, exciting job, and your chickens get a protector!
Step 7: Block Squirrel Entry Points
In step 7, you need to look out for entry points (vents and windows) from where squirrels are making their way in. The best thing to do is to block them smartly.
On a side note, squirrels are quite focused, and they surely can chew through many materials to get what they want.
But you shouldn’t give up in any case!
What I used to do was go for hardware cloth, steel wool, or other hard material to block the passages and bid “goodbye” to squirrels (forever).
Step 8: Install Motion-Activated Devices
When a squirrel comes too close to the chicken feeder, motion-activated devices make a noise and alert you. It’s a bit like giving the squirrels a surprise, and they don’t like it.
Here’s a scenario to explain better: Take a moment and think like you’re trying to sneak into a room, and suddenly, the lights turn on, or someone shouts. It shocks you, right? That’s the same idea for squirrels.
Let me tell you something! These gadgets are pretty expensive. So it is up to you to decide if it’s all worth it.
Step 9: Use Predator Urine
Last but not least, you can use predator urine (available at garden supply stores) around the chicken feeder. It might sound disgusting, but believe me, it’s effective!
Predator urine is like a warning sign for squirrels. It smells like a bigger animal (like a fox or a coyote) has been around.
That’s why squirrels get a bit scared and think a predator is close. So they keep their distance from your chicken feeder!
So, there you go, fellas! I’ve discussed a 9-step guide with you to squirrel-proof your chicken feeder to keep them fed at all times!
With these tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can confidently enjoy watching your chickens feast without any unwelcome furry guests.