How to Protect Game Birds from Predators
Located in Princeton, Minnesota, Oakwood Game Farm hatches over 300,000 game birds annually. Oakwood Game Farm specializes in raising Chinese Ringneck Pheasants and Chukar Partridges for training dogs and to populate private lands and shooting preserves. It also sells tens of thousands of day old game bird chicks, and ships them nationwide. Through its 40 years of existence, the team at Oakwood Game Farm has become familiar with a variety of ways to protect game birds from predators. Here, we share ways to create a safe home for your game birds.
For smaller pens, installing galvanized hardware cloth will keep your game birds safe from a number of predators. Most predators like to dig around the perimeter of a game bird flight pen. These types of predators, including rodents and mink, can be easily thwarted by employing galvanized hardware cloth. Bury the galvanized wire mesh 12” – 20” into the ground around the flight pen’s perimeter.
In addition, the galvanized wire mesh weave should be a specific size. To prevent predators like raccoons from reaching through the mesh weave and capturing a game bird, the mesh openings should be no bigger than 1 square inch.
Correctly installing galvanized hardware cloth will create a safe environment for your game birds.
For larger pens, 1” gaw wire is used rather than expensive hardware cloth.
Installing 2” netting as a top for your pen will provide some protection as well against raptor type birds, and also prevent ground animals from crawling up the side wire and easily entering the pen. It also is important to plant ground cover in your pen to protect your birds from extreme weather and again from raptors. It is important to plant something like corn or sorghum as these plants provide a stalk that is difficult to knock down as birds move through it. In the early spring, broadcast the seed in your pen so the cover comes up very thick.
In addition to making improvements to the game bird flight pen itself, protecting game birds from predators should always extend beyond the pen. The farther away you can keep a predator, the safer the game birds will be. The sister company of Oakwood Game Farm, Nite Guard Solar, supplies predator deterrent lights that scare away ground and aerial predators with an aggressive flashing red light that mimics the “eye” of a larger predator or a human.
At Oakwood Game Farm, we have used the Nite Guard Solar lights, and have had a significant absence in both ground and aerial predators. Easy to install and requiring no maintenance, these predator deterrent lights continue to keep our game birds safe.
On the website, Nite Guard Solar provides useful information on how to install the Nite Guard Solar lights to deter owl attacks. They also have installation instructions for other predators, including raccoons, foxes, coyotes, and hawks. Whatever your predator problem, properly installing Nite Guard Solar lights will deliver a swift solution.
Learn more about raising and protecting game birds from Oakwood Game Farm. We provide more useful tips on how to build a game bird flight pen on our Tips for Raising page.
If you live in the Princeton, Minnesota area, and are interested in purchasing our adult game birds, contact Oakwood Game Farm by calling 763-389-2031.