Our chicken coop is not just a charming addition to the Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards landscape – it was carefully designed to keep predators away. From foxes to snakes, here’s how to protect your chickens from all different kinds of predators.

Land Predators

In Virginia, chickens face numerous land predators, such as foxes, raccoons, possums and coyotes. The best way to keep these predators away is to use electric netting fence. We wrapped open-air areas of the coop in electric netting and buried hardware mesh 6 inches deep around the run to keep our hens safe.


Protecting chickens from airborne predators can be more tricky, but we’ve got a helpful strategy to tackle this challenge. We plant a fake owl by the chicken coop to keep hawks away – hawks do not like owls and vice versa. The owl is moved around on the stake a few times a week to fool the hawk. This scarecrow tactic may seem whimsical, but it really does work.


While snakes do not necessarily threaten the chickens themselves, they are a predator to the chickens’ eggs. We use essential oils of cinnamon and clove to organically repel snakes from the coop.

With these strategies, your chickens will be safe and sound in their new home. Come visit Pippin Hill Farm’s chicken coop for more inspiration, and check out this article for more tips on building your own DIY chicken coop.

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