How To Defend Your Livestock From Predators

If you are looking to raise your own livestock, then you need to make sure that your animals are safe from local predators.  

Identify Local Predators

Before, you set up your livestock coops make sure you have a good idea of what possible predators will try to attack your animals. This way you can set up the right defenses and deter would-be attackers.

In the U.S. the most common predators are Birds of Prey, Canines, Wild Cats, and Bears. You can find out what predators are living in your area by searching for droppings, footprints, and markings on nearby trees.

Birds of prey like hawks and eagles make large nests in trees. They would look similar to the picture below.

hawk nests

For canines, it is a little bit harder to tell which is causing problems as they leave little trace of their existence. The best way to tell is to look for paw prints. Below are the tracks for dogs, wolves, and coyotes.tracks

If you spot markings on trees. Take a good look at them. If they look like scratches, then it may be a large cat. Here is an example in the photo below.

loin markings

If the markings look like rubbings, then you may have a bear in your area. Below is an example of bear rubbings.

bear markings

If you are ever unsure of what predators are in your area, then make sure to ask your local experts. For example, zoos, Forest Service, and animal control they would be more than happy to bring you up to date on animals in your area that you should be aware of. Another great way to find out what is lurking around is to set up motivation activated cameras in areas with signs of activity. You never know! You may end up with some goofy photos!

Funny night animals.jpg

How To Protect Your Livestock

Guardian Animals

The ultimate defense and deterrent to predators are Guardian Animals. It is a bit old school, but it still works.

This could be solved merely by having a rooster in your flock of chickens to sound the alarm when danger is near.

Dogs are man’s best friend for a reason. That reason being when you raise them with their selected livestock. Are your chickens free ranging in fox country? Well, then a big, barking and snapping guard dog is sure to chase off those foxes.

However what happens when you’re faced against something bigger? Say a mountain loin. You may want to think about raising some pigs alongside your livestock. Pigs are a close relative of boars, and most woodland creatures have learned to stay away from those mean tubs of bacon.

Strong Coops

Having a well-built coop can help in keeping out those unwanted raiders.

Are birds of prey attacking your chickens? Then set up lines of fish wire over your chicken run. When a bird of prey sees this, they will not spot the chickens for they will only see the reflection of the wire and will go look elsewhere for food.

Canines like to dig under your fencing, so lets beat them to it by putting fencing a few feet underground. You can also place an electric wire underground as well to give them a nasty surprise.

As for the bigger predators like mountain lions and bears, I would suggest building the fence as strong as you can to prevent them from busting through it. Also, you will want to fence off the top of it so that the mountain lions cannot merely climb or jump over the fence.


I hope you found this to be helpful! If you know of some tactics for keeping your livestock safe, then don’t be afraid to share it in the comments section below!




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