Predator Diagnosis

To understand how and why various animals attack poultry flocks, it can be helpful to know more about their behaviors. Knowledge of predator behavior provides background you can use as you try to identify and address predators of your flock.

Domestic dogs allowed to run free in a neighborhood can be a problem for poultry flocks. They often kill simply for the fun of it. Dogs descended from the wolf and have retained some of the hunting instinct of this predecessor. Not all dogs will attack a poultry flock. In fact, some breeds are good guard dogs for a flock. Factors that contribute to the likelihood that a dog will attack a flock include the breed of the dog, the presence of other dogs, and the dog’s past experiences. Some breeds have a greater tendency to chase prey than others. This inclination can be heightened by the presence of other dogs, often resulting in pack behavior. Also, if a dog has had success in the past at getting food by attacking a poultry flock, it is more likely to repeat the behavior.

Although coyotes have been seen traveling in large groups, they usually hunt in pairs. Coyotes are primarily nocturnal (active at night) but often can been seen during daylight hours. They were once diurnal (active during the day) but, through adaptation, have developed more nocturnal habits to adjust to habitat pressure from humans.

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