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Do Owls Eat Chickens? Tips To Protect Your Flock

Do Owls Eat Chickens? Tips To Protect Your Flock

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These hooters are nocturnal birds of prey but do owls eat chickens? They make nests in tall trees, areas where prey is naturally found.

Owls will eat chickens when they get a chance despite hunting at night.

Sometimes, they strike during the daytime and can get away from your flock.

These birds are very skillful and can be within your vicinity.

If they get sight of your flock, your chicken becomes the next target.

In addition, their way of attack is callous.

They have sharp talons and beaks to nibble the chicken’s neck before feeding inside.

They disgorge feathers and bones as they cannot digest them.

In short, Owls eat chicken and are something any keeper wouldn’t love coming across.

Note that there are many Owl-species– more than 200.

They’re found in every part of the world except in Antarctica.

We conducted conclusive research, and below is everything we learned. Read on!

Chicken Predators

How Dangerous Are The Owls?

Owls are gruesome birds. Most of their attacks are very successful, and even when they miss out on their target, they can leave your chicken with fatal injuries that might even cause death.

Do Owls Kill Chickens?

Owls can kill your chicken due to their method of attack.

They are opportunistic feeders and can go for available prey within their target. They mostly much on rodents such as rats and mice.

They’ll go for voles, lizards, frogs, snakes, rabbits, squirrels, and even birds when hungry.

Chickens are also vulnerable when left to free range.

They move to a very high point while observing their sharp eyes for food on the ground.

Owls will attempt to make a well-calculated attack just like hawks does on your flock without you and the chicken noticing.

Owls target the neck of your chicken, ripping through using a combination of sharp beaks and talons.

Immediately they see a chance to strike; they’ll plunge and attack the chicken using their sharp claws and beaks.

The nature of their wings enables them to fly silently and descend undetected. 

After that, Owls will start eating everything they can and regurgitate parts that cannot be digested.

Sometimes when they miss out on their targets, even though chances are minimal, they can leave your flock bleeding profusely, leading to death if you don’t treat them quickly. 

In summary, Owls can kill chickens, young and defenseless. They scoop and fly away with them.

How Do Keep Owls From Killing Chickens

Below are the ways to protect your flock from killer Owls.

Keeping Your Chicken Safe

Chicken Predators

Keep your chicken in the coop during the night or at darker times of the day.

Owls will have no chance to roost near your backyard.

Your flock will be out of sight, preventing attacks by the Owls. 

In most cases, Owls are active at night and around periods of darkness, including dusk and dawn.

Ensure you lock your coop well, and you can also add overhead protection.

Further, cover up the chicken run with a wire or chicken cloth to prevent swooping.

Another option is using a meshed fishing line; Owls cannot see or get through it when they outstretch their wings.

Also, getting an animal or a dog to protect your chicken is a good idea.

We also recommend letting out your flock free-range when the sun is up.

But, again, watch out because owls might be looking for their prey.

Remove Opportunities For Owls To Perch

Owls love roosting on trees; therefore, cutting down the branches will discourage them.

Perching will allow the Owls to watch over the flock and plan their target.

The keepers with outbuildings such as barns or sheds should ensure that not only Owls but other predators do not gain access.

Owls might make their nests in the barns or sheds, threatening your chickens.

Consider Your Chickens

To protect your chickens, consider natural protection and when and where to free-range the flock.

For instance, keeping a chicken that camouflages with the environment– keeping white chicken and a white barn in the backdrop, or brown chicken and a brown shed in the background.

Such chicken will be less likely to be seen by the Owls.

Conceal Your Chickens

Different objects or plants within the backyard can keep your chicken out of sight.

A good example has bushes, shrubs, or flower beds where your chicken can rest when not free-ranging, concealing them from the birds of prey.

Again, bushes with berries provide food for your chicken.

Here, the chicken will naturally forage, reducing the risks of being caught by the Owls while feeding in your compound.

Get A protector

Dogs and roosters are commonly used to give the flock protection against predators.

Dog’s reaction when they feel a predator is around scaring owls away.

Roosters are keen observers, and they perfectly know how to communicate with other chickens in case of any danger.

The signal helps the flock to run for safety before Owls swoop.

Owls tend to migrate during spring and fall.

Your chicken will be very safe. However, they’ll still be problematic at all times.

Consider our suggestions and recommendations.

Some keepers prefer keeping their chickens indoors for more hours until it’s safe to let them outside. If this works well for you, so be it!

The safety of the chicken is what matters most.

How To Keep Owls Away

Chicken Predators

Keeping Owls away is a good move in the first place as far as chicken safety is concerned.

In fact, it’s a more proactive, less reactive approach.

We recommend the following tips that are believed to keep away owls among other birds of prey.


Owls are nocturnal. Lighting your homestead is the simplest yet effective way to deter owls from coming near your property.

Some keepers have advanced and installed light sensors that spook predatory birds when they enter the path of the sensor.

Alternatively, installing lights pointing toward the trees and outbuildings– where owls may scare them away.

Motion Triggered Sprinklers

The sprinklers keep away predators when they release water when an animal crosses their sensor path.

Owls do not have waterproof feathers; therefore, they hate water as they cannot take off from it.

Visual Deterrents

Visual deterrents such as scarecrows, fake human bodies, hawks, dogs, or even fake owls themselves will keep away owls.

Owls are solitary and do not like competing with other birds. 

However, note that owls are very bright, and sooner or later, they will learn about your fake deterrents.

While staying and looking for the opportunity on the ground, it will tell that a stationary object is artificial.

Think beyond the box and routinely the objects around your homestead for effectiveness.

What attracts Owls To Your Property, And what Ways to Protect Them 

Below, we look at the main things that attract owls to your property and the best ways to protect them.

Tall grass: Lush grasslands have many preys on the owls.

They will get there for hunting. Regularly mowing the lawns and keeping the grass will discourage the owls from roosting and looking for food, especially when they cannot immediately see it.

Open homestead: Owls like hunting in open places. Your properties, including the coop, expose your chicken to great danger.

Therefore, install different objects, pieces of furniture, plants, or bushes, preventing owls from seeing your flock as potential prey.

Nest boxes: The presence of nest boxes for birds on your property will attract owls. They’ll see the boxes as potential homes. Insure you remove all nest boxes.

Trees, branches, or vintage points: They give owls a chance to perch while looking for food. Cutting trees, branches, or vantage points will discourage the owls from stopping by and scouting the area to see if there can be food to munch on.

Presence of leftovers: Uneaten foods attract rodents, potential prey for the owls. As a result, the owls will be attracted to your property. At all times, clear up any leftovers.

Deep bird baths: Owls may stop and take a bath or drink water while searching for food. It is a good idea to remove any deep bird baths.


Owls are very dangerous predators to your chickens. If you are keeping chickens, their safety should be your topmost priority.

You must ensure that owls, skunks, minks, weasels, and badgers, among other predators, do not gain access to your property while looking for food.

We recommend that you focus on the preventive measures discussed in this article– removing opportunities for owls to perch, concealing your flock, and keeping protectors such as dogs, among other criteria.

We recommend keeping away the owls through lighting, motion-activated sprinklers, and visual deterrents like scarecrows.

Furthermore, removing things that attract owls to your property is a good thing to keep your chicken safe.

A well-protected coop and a secure environment are essential to protecting your chicken. Never entertain any predator; plan, and you will realize that your flock remains safe in your care. At least your chicken won’t be devastated.

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