How To Keep Predators From Digging Under Chicken Coop (Protect Your Chickens! Here Are Ways To Prevent a Predator From Burrowing Underneath Your Predator-Proof Chicken Coop)

What Can I Put Around My Chicken Coop To Keep Predators Away?

Hands down, my favorite way to prevent animals from burrowing under my chicken coop and run is the predator apron system.

A predator apron is simply fencing material that is installed above the ground and runs along the perimeter of the chicken coop and enclosed run.

When an animal tries to dig underneath your coop, they’re not going to dig at the outskirts of the apron. They’re going to be digging as close as they can to the base of the coop where they’ll immediately run into the apron.

To see how you can quickly build a predator apron, watch the video below (or keep reading).

DIY Predator Apron System for Chicken Coop & Run | Carolina Coops

Placing a predator apron is much easier than the old method of digging a trench 12 inches deep all the way around the perimeter of your chicken coop and burying some fencing into the ground.

What Do You Use for a Predator Apron?

To make a predator apron, you’ll need:

All you have to do is attach the fencing material to the bottom boards around the perimeter of the chicken coop by hammering in poultry staples. I use galvanized poultry staples because they don’t rust like regular staples, and they’re strong enough to keep predators out.

Make sure to pay close attention to the corners where you attach the seams of the fencing material together. For some reason, predators love to start digging in the corners. So make 100% sure that the seams are securely attached.

To keep the seam secure, you can use hog rings and a hog ring plier to fasten the fencing material where it overlaps. There’s no way animals can rip the seam apart this way.

Other Ways to Protect the Cpreoop From Predators

Since you must have a predator problem on hand, here are additional tips that might help you out.

Predator-Proof Chicken Coop

When it comes to chicken coops, one of the most important things you can do to protect your flock is to make sure it is predator-proof.

A floor made of solid material, such as concrete, will make it difficult for predators to dig their way in. Wire mesh can also be used to cover any openings in the coop, such as windows and vents.

Also, it’s important to realize that raccoons have paws that work a lot like human hands and they’re very smart when it comes to opening your chicken coop door! So you’ll need a complicated lock, a padlock with a key, or a combination lock for your chicken coop.

My favorite way to lock raccoons out of the chicken coop is with a weatherproof, titanium lock (Amazon) and a hasp (Amazon).

By making these simple changes, you can help keep your birds safe from harm.

By making these simple changes, you can help keep your birds safe from harm.

Chicken Wire vs Hardware Cloth

One mistake beginner chicken keepers do all the time is using chicken wire around their chicken coop and run.

Chicken wire = Not good

I personally don’t use chicken wire because predators can easily tear through it. Chicken wire is more for keeping your chickens in than keeping predators out.

I really recommend you replace any chicken wire with 1/4 inch hardware cloth (Amazon) because it really works to keep all sorts of predators out of the chicken coop.

Predator Deterrents

If you really don’t want nighttime animals to be around your coop in the first place, what really works for me are 2 things.

The first thing that I bought on Amazon was called Predator Guard (there are also other kinds of predator deterrent lights available on Amazon). Predator Guard introduces a pair of flashing red lights that animals assume is a set of eyes. It scares them and makes them stay away from your yard.

I installed 4 of these little gadgets around my chicken coop, facing out in all four directions. Works like a charm! It scares foxes, deer, wolves, coyotes, skunks, bears, and many other nighttime predators.

The other thing I got were deterrent spikes (Amazon). This is just in case some of the animals don’t get scared of the predator deterrent lights.

I had a few raccoons that weren’t affected by the Predator Guard for some reason (they were chill raccoons, I guess), but the deterrent spikes I placed on top of fences where they were coming from helped 100%.

Conclusion: How Do You Predator-Proof the Bottom of a Chicken Coop?

Having only one method of keeping predators away from your chicken coop is not ideal. Predators are constantly finding new ways to get to their prey, so it is important to have multiple layers of protection.

The first layer of protection should be a predator apron. This will deter predators from digging underneath the coop and getting to the chickens.

The second layer of protection could be an expertly designed predator-proof chicken coop (Amazon), which is a secure enclosure that keeps chickens safe against predators.

The third layer of protection could be to use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. This will make it impossible for predators to access the inside of the coop through windows and vents.

The fourth layer of protection could be a fence with deterrent spikes to stop predators from climbing over a fence.

The fifth layer of protection could be predator deterrent lights. These flashing lights will startle most predators and disrupt their hunting behavior. When used in combination with other predator-proofing measures, they can be an effective way to protect chickens from harm.

Finally, another way to help protect your chickens is to keep the coop clean and free of food scraps. A clean coop will help discourage rodents and other pests from taking up residence. Food scraps can also attract predators to the area.

Having multiple layers of protection is the best way to keep your chickens safe from predators. With a predator-proof chicken coop, hardware cloth (Amazon), a predator apron, deterrent spikes (Amazon), and predator deterrent lights (Amazon), I haven’t lost a chicken to predators in over 20 years!