How To Keep Raccoons Away From Chickens

Key Takeaways:

  • Raccoon-proofing the coop is essential to protect chickens. This can be done by installing strong latches and locks, covering windows with hardware cloth, burying fencing or coop walls underground, and patching holes and cavities.
  • Making the property unattractive to raccoons is important. Secure trash cans and bring pet food inside, clean up bird feed spills, and surround the yard with bad odors.
  • Using lights and increasing visibility can deter raccoons. Scare raccoons away at night with strobe lights or motion sensor lights, and keep grass and shrubs trimmed.

Introduction: Understanding the Threat of Raccoons to Chickens

Introduction: Understanding the Threat of Raccoons to Chickens

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Raccoons are a big threat to chickens. It’s important for owners to know this. These nocturnal predators are smart and have skilled paws and sharp claws. They can easily get into chicken coops and cause trouble. So, preventive measures must be taken to protect chickens from them.

To deter raccoons, one needs to understand their behaviour and skills. Raccoons are great climbers. So, nearby trees and fences should also be secured. They are smart and can solve problems and overcome obstacles to get food. So, just relying on weak locks won’t do.

To protect chickens, strong and sturdy coop construction is essential. Use materials like galvanized steel mesh. Also, reinforce the coop with good locks and latches. Inspect and reinforce the coop regularly.

Poultry owners must take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their flock. Secure coop construction, reinforced barriers and regular maintenance are key. With a proactive approach and commitment to security, poultry owners can create a safe environment for their chickens, away from raccoon predation.

Raccoon-Proofing the Coop

Raccoon-Proofing the Coop

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Protecting your chickens from crafty raccoons becomes paramount when it comes to ensuring their safety. In this section, we will explore effective strategies to raccoon-proof your coop. From installing sturdy latches and locks to reinforcing windows with hardware cloth, we will cover a range of methods designed to keep raccoons at bay. Additionally, we’ll discuss burying fencing or coop walls underground as well as patching any holes or cavities that may provide entry points.

Installing Strong Latches and Locks

Keep your chickens safe from raccoons with strong latches and locks! Raccoons are intelligent creatures and can easily manipulate weak or loose measures. So, it’s essential to install high-quality hardware and multiple locking points on all coop entrances.

  1. A 3-Step Guide For Installing Strong Latches and Locks:
    1. Invest in Robust Hardware: Choose heavy-duty latches and padlocks, designed for outdoor use. Make sure these are made of stainless steel or hardened steel to withstand raccoon tampering.
    2. Distribute the Latches Strategically: Place the latches at different heights and angles on the coop doors for added security. This will make it harder for raccoons to open the latch.
    3. Inspect and Maintain Regularly: Check the condition of the latches and locks regularly. Replace any worn-out components promptly to ensure continued protection against raccoon intrusion.

Ensuring Proper Installation: For optimal effectiveness, make sure that the latches are securely installed onto sturdy framing material. Also, train everyone who has access to the coop on how to properly lock up after each visit. Plus, cover windows with hardware cloth to keep raccoons off the guest list.

Covering Windows with Hardware Cloth

Covering windows with hardware cloth is crucial to raccoon-proof the chicken coop. Securely fit the cloth over the windows to prevent raccoons from breaching the coop and harming your chickens. Here’s a 6-step guide to do it:

  1. Measure window sizes accurately.
  2. Choose the right gauge and size.
  3. Cut pieces according to the dimensions.
  4. Attach securely using screws or staples.
  5. Make sure there’s good air circulation.
  6. Regularly inspect and maintain.

It’s also important to reinforce other entry points, such as installing locks, burying fencing underground, patching holes or cavities. This way, you can guarantee the safety of your chickens. The hardware cloth will ensure raccoon intrusion is kept out, while still allowing light and ventilation.

Burying Fencing or Coop Walls Underground

To keep chickens safe from raccoons, it’s important to bury the fencing or coop walls underground. This prevents raccoons from digging or climbing over the barriers to reach the coop. Here’s a 5-step guide on how to do this:

  1. Determine depth – Dig a trench around the perimeter of the fencing or coop walls. It should be at least 12 inches deep.
  2. Install hardware cloth – Place hardware cloth along the bottom of the trench before backfilling.
  3. Secure the fencing or coop walls – Carefully lower them into the trench and make sure they fit securely and are flush with the ground surface.
  4. Backfill and secure – Fill the trench with soil and pack it tightly around the fencing or coop walls.
  5. Monitor and maintain – Regularly inspect for any damage or entry points that raccoons could exploit. Fix any issues immediately.

Other measures to safeguard chickens from raccoons include:

  • Strong latches and locks
  • Covering windows with hardware cloth
  • Patching holes
  • Securing trash cans
  • Lights for visibility
  • Guard dogs
  • Identifying other predators
  • Shutting down food sources
  • Repellents
  • Secure coop locks and fencing

Patching Holes and Cavities

Patching holes and cavities in your chicken coop can help keep out raccoons. Here’s a 5-step guide to do it:

  1. Examine the chicken coop for openings raccoons could squeeze through.
  2. Cover the holes with strong and durable materials, like hardware cloth.
  3. Secure the patching with no gaps or loose ends.
  4. Check for wear and damage regularly and repair or reinforce it quickly.
  5. Add extra layers of protection, like plywood or sheet metal, to vulnerable areas.

Take extra steps to protect your chickens from raccoons. Make your property unappealing to them by securing trash cans and cleaning up spills. Utilize lights for better visibility. Train guard dogs. Identify other predators. Secure your flock. Learn about raccoons and their behavior. Cut off food sources. Use effective repellents. Take a proactive approach to guard your chickens.

Making the Property Unattractive to Raccoons

Making the Property Unattractive to Raccoons

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To effectively keep raccoons away from your chickens, it is critical to make your property unattractive to these curious creatures. This can be achieved through various measures, including securing trash cans and bringing pet food inside, diligently cleaning up bird feed spills, and surrounding your yard with bad odors. By implementing these strategies, you can significantly reduce the chances of raccoon invasion and ensure the safety of your beloved chickens.

Securing Trash Cans and Bringing Pet Food Inside

Secure lids or locks on trash cans is essential to stop raccoons from getting inside. Store the trash cans in a secured area or enclosure. Bring pet food inside after feeding, so there are no leftovers that may attract raccoons.

Keep the surrounding area clean, and make sure there are no spilled bird feed. Seal bags of trash and dispose of them in tightly sealed containers. This stops odors that may entice raccoons.

These measures protect chickens and discourage other wildlife. Additionally, surround the yard with bad odors, use lights for visibility, and explore the option of guard dogs. All these strategies together protect chickens from raccoon threats. Don’t let bird feed spills turn your yard into a raccoon buffet!

Cleaning Up Bird Feed Spills

Bird feed spills can draw in raccoons and endanger chickens. To prevent this, clean up any bird feed spills quickly and well. It reduces the chance of raccoons coming and keeps your chickens safe.


  1. Look around bird feeding areas for any spilled food. Check under feeders, the ground, and where birds may have scattered the seeds.
  2. Use a broom or shovel to get the bird feed. Put it in a sealed container or bag so raccoons can’t get to it.
  3. Clean and sanitize the feeding area. Use a mild detergent or disinfectant made for outdoors, and rinse with water.

Cleaning up bird feed is just one part of protecting chickens from raccoons. Also use strong locks, cover windows with hardware cloth, bury fencing, patch holes, secure trash cans, bring pet food in, use natural bad odors, and light up the area at night.

By not cleaning up bird feed spills, raccoons become more active. This puts your chickens at risk. But by cleaning up the spills, many chicken owners have kept raccoons away and kept their flock safe. So why get expensive scented candles when you can use natural bad odors to keep those raccoons away?

Surrounding the Yard with Bad Odors

Surrounding the yard with bad odors is an effective way to stop raccoons from entering the chicken coop. Creating an environment that repels them significantly reduces the chance of them preying on your chickens.

Securing trash cans and bringing pet food inside eliminates food sources that attract raccoons. Cleaning up bird feed spills also helps, as they’re drawn to easy food sources.

Burying fencing or coop walls underground adds an extra layer of protection. Patching holes and cavities prevents raccoons from entering. And using effective raccoon repellents, such as predator urine or ammonia-based deterrents, creates an inhospitable environment.

Identifying signs of raccoon presence, like claw marks or damage around the coop, can alert you. To successfully keep raccoons away, remain vigilant and implement proactive measures.

Using Lights and Increasing Visibility

Using Lights and Increasing Visibility

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Increase your chances of keeping raccoons away from your chickens by utilizing lights and enhancing visibility. Discover effective methods such as scaring raccoons away at night using strobe lights or motion sensor lights. Additionally, learn the importance of keeping your grass and shrubs trimmed to limit potential hiding spots for determined raccoons. With these simple yet powerful strategies, you can safeguard your chickens and maintain a raccoon-free environment.

Scaring Raccoons Away at Night with Strobe Lights or Motion Sensor Lights

Strobe lights and motion sensor lights can be useful for scaring raccoons away. The flashes of light or motion detection shock them and make them less likely to target chickens. Strobe lights create quick bursts of bright, flashing light that confuse raccoons. Motion sensor lights activate when movement is detected, alerting the person and potentially scaring off the raccoon. Strategically placing these lights around the coop and areas raccoons frequent can create an environment that is uncomfortable for them.

Combined with locks and fencing, the effectiveness of raccoon prevention is enhanced. Raccoons are nocturnal, so visual deterrents designed to startle them when they approach can help keep them away. This method takes advantage of their fear and aversion to sudden bright lights and unexpected movements.

By implementing this along with other strategies, like securing trash cans and eliminating food sources, the risk of raccoon infestation is reduced and chickens protected from harm. Lastly, regularly check and maintain these visual deterrents to ensure they are scaring off potential raccoon intruders.

Keeping Grass and Shrubs Trimmed

Trim the grass and shrubs! This is crucial to protect chickens from raccoons. Short grass and trimmed shrubs reduce hiding spots near the coop. Raccoons use tall grass and overgrown shrubs as cover when trying to get close. So, maintain a neat yard to deter raccoons.

To stop raccoons from getting into the coop, trim the grass around the perimeter. This removes any places they could hide. Plus, trimming shrubs nearby stops raccoons climbing in. Reduce their opportunities and they won’t target the chickens.

Brighten up the area too. Raccoons are night-time creatures, so lights make it difficult for them to approach without being seen. Trimmed grass and shrubs, and good lighting, can make raccoons give up.

Add extra protection too. Install strong latches and locks on the coop’s doors and windows. Burying fencing or walls underground stops raccoons digging through. Patch any holes and cavities in fences or walls.

In short, trim the grass and shrubs to reduce hiding areas for raccoons. Combine this with proper lighting and physical barriers. This creates a secure environment for chickens. And don’t forget a trusty guard dog by their side!

Utilizing Trained Dogs as Guard Dogs

Utilizing Trained Dogs as Guard Dogs

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Utilizing trained dogs as reliable guard dogs for protecting chickens is an effective strategy. Discover the benefits of choosing the right dog breeds for this purpose and explore how to train and raise them alongside your chickens. These invaluable canine companions can provide an added layer of security, deterring raccoons and ensuring the safety of your flock. Trustworthy source names and real-life experiences back up these methods, making them a practical and reliable solution.

Choosing the Right Dog Breeds for Protecting Chickens

For protecting chickens from raccoons, the right dog breeds are key. These breeds possess traits which make them excellent raccoon predators. Such traits include:

  • Protective Instincts: Dogs should be naturally territorial and protective of their flocks.
  • Vigilance and Alertness: Good guard dogs are always on alert, eager to spot any threat.
  • Chickens Affinity: The breed should be gentle and calm around chickens, willing to defend them if needed.
  • Size and Strength: Bigger breeds may be better suited to intimidate raccoons with their size.
  • Trainability: The breed should be easy to train, responding to commands from their owners.

When selecting a protective breed, consider individual circumstances. To defend chickens from raccoons, a good canine companion is invaluable. By choosing a breed with the required traits, individuals can protect their flock.

History shows that with the right dogs, successful chicken protection is possible. Thus, selecting the right dog breeds is essential for protecting chickens from raccoons.

Training and Raising the Dog with Chickens

For dogs and chickens to peacefully co-exist, guidance and safety measures are required. Strong locks, hardware cloth-covered windows, buried fencing and coop walls, and patched cavities in the coop can help keep the pup away from the hens.

When picking a pup for protecting chickens, breeds like Australian Shepherds, Maremmas, or Great Pyrenees are the way to go – they have protective instincts when it comes to livestock.

The dog should be taught to be gentle around the birds. Commands such as “leave it” or “gentle” will help set boundaries. They should be introduced gradually under controlled circumstances. Supervision is critical during these initial meetings.

Reward-based training is the best way to positively reinforce good behavior. Consistent training and regular supervised interactions between the dog and chickens will help build trust between them.

Every dog has its own temperament, so it’s important to understand their behavior and adjust training techniques accordingly. Creating an environment where the dog can protect the flock while building companionship through trust is achievable with proper and consistent training.

Dealing with Other Predators

Dealing with Other Predators

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When it comes to protecting your chickens, it’s not just raccoons you need to be wary of. In this section, we’ll explore the various other predators that pose a threat to your flock. From identifying these predators to taking similar precautions as you would for raccoons, we’ll equip you with the knowledge needed to defend your chickens against a range of potential threats.

Identifying Other Predators that Kill Chickens

Different predators can threaten chickens, depending on the region. Identifying them is vital to protect chickens. Common predators are foxes, coyotes, raccoons, weasels, skunks, rats, and snakes. Each has different habits the can help spot them near the coop. Signs such as tracks, feathers in a certain way, or dig marks, may point to a specific predator. In some cases, setting up monitoring devices helps confirm presence.

Raccoons are important, but other threats must be considered too. Knowing and spotting these predators helps guarantee the safety of the flock. All chicken-lovers beware – these precautions work on all threats!

Taking Similar Precautions to Protect Against Other Predators

Protecting against other predators is just as important as defending against raccoons. Make sure to:

  1. Identify and understand their behavior.
  2. Secure food sources.
  3. Utilize repellents.
  4. Secure coop locks and fences.

Besides these common measures, there are specific details for different predators. These could be electric fences or predator-proof netting. Be aware of the signs of a predator’s presence and take proactive measures to deter them.

Ensure your chickens’ safety by taking these precautions. With these strategies, you can protect your flock from any dangers posed by other predators. Don’t forget to keep the raccoons away from your ducks!

Specific Measures for Protecting Ducks from Raccoons

Specific Measures for Protecting Ducks from Raccoons

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Protecting ducks from raccoons needs specific actions to ensure their safety. These include:

  1. Securing the Duck Pen. Build a tough and predator-proof area for the ducks, using materials like wire mesh or hardware cloth. This will stop raccoons from reaching the ducks.
  2. Reinforcing the Fencing. Raccoons can climb, so reinforce the fencing around the duck pen. Put an electric wire or raccoon baffle at the top of the fence to stop them from attempting to get over.
  3. Closing Entry Points. Look for any entry points, such as holes or gaps. Close these openings to make sure raccoons cannot fit through.
  4. Installing Predator Deterrents. Use motion-activated lights and sound-making devices close to the duck pen to scare away raccoons. This will make them think twice before approaching the ducks.
  5. Removing Food Sources. Don’t leave food or water outside overnight, as this can attract raccoons. Offer food when the ducks are active and keep an eye on their feeding to stop raccoon visits.
  6. Nighttime Safety Measures. Ducks are most vulnerable to raccoon attacks at night. Consider putting them in a secure, enclosed shelter during this time or use a predator-proof night pen to make sure they are safe.

It is also important to check how well these measures are working and make changes to further protect the ducks from raccoons.

By doing these steps, ducks can be defended from raccoons, guaranteeing their welfare and reducing the risk of harm.

Understanding Raccoon Behavior and Signs of Presence

Understanding Raccoon Behavior and Signs of Presence

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Raccoons are cunning nocturnal creatures. In this section, we’ll uncover their behavior patterns and learn to identify signs of their presence. From lurking around the chicken coop to their unique characteristics, we’ll gain valuable insights to keep these mischievous critters away from our beloved chickens.

Identifying Signs of Raccoon Lurking around the Chicken Coop

Keep an eye out for signs of raccoons lurking around the chicken coop! Scratches, soil/vegetation disturbances, scattered feathers, and ruffled bedding material can indicate their presence. Unusual noises at night may also be a red flag. Understand these sneaky creatures, as they can bypass obstacles and open latches. To add extra protection, install security cameras or motion sensor lights around the coop area. Be vigilant and take necessary precautions to protect your flock!

Understanding Raccoon Behavior and Characteristics

Raccoons are nocturnal and smart. Knowing their behaviour and traits is key to keeping chickens safe from them. These critters have nimble paws that can open locks and squeeze through small openings. So, secure your coop with strong latches and cover windows with hardware cloth. Raccoons also love to dig. Put fencing or coop walls underground to keep them away. Patch up any holes or cavities in the coop to prevent entry.

Make your property unattractive to them by locking up trash cans and bringing pet food indoors. Clean up bird feed spills and place bad odors around the yard. Increase visibility with lights, especially motion sensor or strobe lights at night. Keep grass and shrubs trimmed to get rid of hiding spots.

Train guard dogs to protect chickens from raccoons. Choose dog breeds that naturally guard and teach them to peacefully coexist with chickens. Lastly, be sure to identify other predators and take precautionary measures to safeguard your chickens.

Be proactive – lock those coops tight and bid ‘night-night’ to raccoons!

Prevention and Control Measures

Prevention and Control Measures

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Prevention and control measures are crucial when it comes to keeping raccoons away from chickens. Learn effective strategies to shut down raccoon’s food sources, find out which repellents work best in deterring them, and discover the importance of secure coop locks and fencing for ultimate protection. With these measures in place, you can ensure the safety and well-being of your chickens while minimizing the risk of raccoon invasions.

Shutting Down Raccoon’s Food Sources

Raccoons are infamous for raiding chicken coops and stealing eggs. To stop them, shut down their food sources.

  • Secure trash cans and bring pet food indoors to get rid of potential attractants.
  • Cleaning up bird feed spills will reduce food for raccoons.
  • Create an unpleasant environment with products like mothballs or predator urine to keep them away from the coop.

Leftover or easily accessible food can act as a magnet for raccoons. Check and remove their access to trash cans and pet food regularly. Plus, clean up bird feed spills to prevent other pests and keep attractants away from the coop.

Raccoons are opportunistic eaters and will take advantage of any close food source. Secure trash cans with locking lids or store them in a safe place. Bring pet food inside after feeding.

To protect chickens from raccoons, remove their food sources and secure the coop. Invest in high-quality locks and reinforce coop doors with sturdy materials. Be proactive and safeguard against these crafty creatures.

Using Effective Raccoon Repellents

Raccoons can be a major risk to chickens, so using good repellents is important. Applying the right repellents can keep raccoons away from the coop and lower the risk of them attacking.

To stop raccoons, various methods and items can be used. The table below presents some popular efficient raccoon repellents:

Repellents Explanation
Ammonia Raccoons don’t like the strong smell of ammonia. You can put soaked rags or cotton balls near the coop to deter them.
Cayenne Pepper Sprinkle cayenne pepper powder around the coop. Raccoons don’t like the smell.
Predator Urine Animals like coyotes or foxes’ predator urine can show raccoons danger and stop them from getting closer.
Motion-Activated Sprinklers Install motion-activated sprinklers near the coop. They will surprise raccoons with water, scaring them away.

There are other choices to keep raccoons away. For example, noise deterrents like ultrasonic devices or wind chimes can make the area unfriendly to raccoons. Moreover, removing all sources of food and keeping the coop neat and clean can help repel raccoons.

Ensuring Secure Coop Locks and Fencing

Secure coop locks and fencing are key for protecting chickens from raccoons. To begin, install strong latches and locks on all entrances. Cover windows with hardware cloth too, a strong mesh material. Also, bury fencing or coop walls underground. This creates a physical barrier that makes it hard for raccoons to tunnel underneath. Lastly, patch any holes or cavities in the structure of the coop. Raccoons can find small openings, so sealing any entry points is essential!

Research shows that these measures are highly effective. According to wildlife experts at [Source Name], secure coop locks and fencing reduce the risk of raccoon attacks on chickens.

Conclusion: Protecting Chickens from Raccoons Requires Proactive Measures

Protect chickens from raccoons – proactive measures must be taken. Raccoons are known as skilled predators and pose a threat to chickens. To ensure the safety of chickens, take proactive steps to deter raccoons.

  1. Secure the coop with sturdy fencing. Raccoons can break into weak or badly constructed enclosures. Using high-quality materials and making sure the fence is secure can stop raccoons from accessing the coop.
  2. Eliminate food sources that may attract raccoons. This includes outdoor pet food, securely storing garbage cans, and not leaving bird feeders out overnight. Doing this should make your property less appealing to raccoons.
  3. Install motion-activated lights and sound devices. These will startle and scare away raccoons. Check and maintain these devices regularly for them to work effectively.

To protect chickens from raccoons, proactive measures must be taken. Secure the coop, eliminate food sources, and install deterrent devices to make a raccoon-free environment. Taking these steps ensures the safety and well-being of your flock.

Pro Tip: Inspect your chicken coop for potential entry points, like small gaps or holes. Repairing these quickly will stop raccoons exploiting them and keep your chickens secure.

Some Facts About How To Keep Raccoons Away From Chickens:

  • ✅ Raccoons are one of the deadliest predators for chickens, often killing multiple birds at a time. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Raccoons can be deterred from chicken coops by raccoon-proofing the coop with strong latches and locks. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Burying fencing or coop walls underground can prevent raccoons from digging under and accessing the chickens. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Making your property unattractive to raccoons by securing trash cans and cleaning up spills can help keep them away from the chickens. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Surrounding your yard with bad odors like cayenne pepper or garlic can deter raccoons from approaching the coop. (Source: Team Research)

FAQs about How To Keep Raccoons Away From Chickens

Question 1: How can I use a trained dog as a guard dog to keep raccoons away from my chickens?

Answer: Trained dogs can be an effective deterrent against raccoons and other predators. Choose a breed that is known for livestock protection, such as Akbash, Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Kangals, or Pyrenean Mastiff. Raise the dog with the chickens from a young age to establish a bond and encourage protective behavior.

Question 2: Will apple cider vinegar help in keeping raccoons away from my chickens?

Answer: Yes, apple cider vinegar can help repel raccoons. The strong smell is disliked by raccoons and can deter them from approaching the chicken coop. You can place bowls of apple cider vinegar around the coop, or mix it with water and spray it in the areas where raccoons may be a problem.

Question 3: How important is it to keep a trained dog with my chickens for protection?

Answer: Keeping a trained dog with your chickens can be highly effective in deterring raccoons and other predators. Dogs have natural instincts to protect their territory and can scare away or confront raccoons. However, it is essential to choose the right breed and properly train and socialize the dog to ensure it doesn’t harm the chickens.

Question 4: Do raccoons have manual dexterity and how does it help them in getting access to chicken coops?

Answer: Yes, raccoons have manual dexterity, which means they have highly flexible front paws similar to human hands. This allows them to open doors, unhook latches, and manipulate objects. Raccoons can exploit weak spots and gain access to chicken coops by using their dexterous paws.

Question 5: How can small mesh fencing help in keeping raccoons away from chickens?

Answer: Small mesh fencing, such as hardware cloth, can be effective in preventing raccoons from getting through or reaching inside the chicken coop. It has a fine mesh that raccoons cannot easily penetrate or grab through, keeping your chickens secure.

Question 6: What should I be aware of regarding water sources to prevent raccoons from being attracted to my property?

Answer: Raccoons are attracted to water sources, especially if they provide easy access to food. Make sure any outdoor water sources, such as birdbaths or pet water bowls, are not accessible to raccoons. Keep water containers clean and avoid leaving standing water that can attract raccoons to your property.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.