“I’m a Chicken Hawk!”

Chicken Hawk 1
Not my picture but I love it!

So now that I am an expert Chicken Tender (NOT), I have found that the most important thing you can do for your chickens is keep them safe. Specifically, keep them safe from predators. It is your responsibility and they rely on you to do so. Predators can be anything from house cats, hawks, raccoons, dogs, snakes you name it! Anything that could consider your chickens or their eggs SUPPER.

Before I go into some of the helpful steps that I have taken to keep my flock safe, I will tell you that as a new Chicken Tender… ACCIDENTS DO HAPPEN. Honestly, I must tell myself that because losing any of my bird babies is a direct reflection of the care, I give them.

The first time I lost a bird, I lost all four at the same time. My first four babies. RIP to the Golden Girls. Not even Betty White made it through this one.

Chicken Hawk 2

Not that you can really tell by the picture besides that there is no covering for my chickens, they are not protected AT ALL. This time the predator was a neighborhood dog. He dug a little and pulled back the fencing and got in. He scared two to death, literally, and he got a hold of the other two. It was the saddest day of chicken keeping that I have ever experienced. We had an exchange student from China staying with us and I remember him just standing there watching me cry. I’m sure he figured out right then and there I was a nut… at least when it came to my chickens.

Fast forward to now. I now have 27 birds made up of 20 chickens (one roo), three turkeys (one female, two males) and four Cayuga ducks (one male and three females. Yeah, he is in HEAVEN). I have gone above and beyond to keep these babies safe. I’m sure I over do it. Never the less, I have had an accident or two. We lost three chickens to our own dogs. How, you say? Well, I didn’t even consider that they new babies where smaller and could get out of the ‘smaller than normal size chicken’ hole. Again, completely my fault.

So, to give you some tips on your coop and remember this is my OPINION. There are hundreds of articles and helpful sites that I suggest you research before buying your chickens. Just give it a google. But either way here are my suggestions.

1. Make sure you cover your run.

We have covered our run, which is 50 ft x 30 ft, with deer netting. It was around $15 for one 50ft x 25ft. We bought two and use the remainder of the second one to patch and repair the first one. The netting not only helps keep our flock in, but it also keeps other over head predators out. I honestly thought we would catch a hawk or something but nothing so far!

Chicken Hawk 3

2. Chicken wire is mainly to keep chickens IN

Ok, so I know what you are thinking, because I thought it too, chicken wire is for CHICKENS. Well, yes and no. Chicken wire is perfect for keeping your chickens in, but it is NOT strong enough to keep predators out. It is easily bent and broken if the right stubborn animal is trying to make a snack out of your bird babies. We currently have chain-link fencing for stability and chicken wire on top of that to secure the run. I have used hardwire cloth in the past. It is sturdier and has smaller mesh.

Chicken Hawk 4

Side note: Make sure you cut the wire outside of the run area and pick up any pieces that break off. YOU DO NOT WANT TO DEAL WITH BUMBLEFOOT. (Google if you dare!)

3. Don’t forget to go DOWN

Why? Because the predators won’t. A lot of your predators are diggers, meaning they will dig under your coop walls to get into your coop. I didn’t consider this with my first coop and my babies sadly paid the price for it. We added a third layer of chicken wire that goes out past the bottom of the coop about two feet. This way, if something does dig, it will take them a long time to do so. Hopefully long enough that we notice and can stop them.

4. Please “Mind the Gap”

This right here is why I lost the last three ladies. We have a chain link fence with a normal chain-link gate. I knew the grown chickens were too big for the hole beside the gate, but I never even considered it after transferring the new babies out to the run. Turns out they could just jump right through the small hole. The dog-Os took it from there. Since then, we have covered the hole with a pipe and then a layer of chicken wire that’s held tight with a bungee cord. Not pretty but they are safe again.

5. Get your birds off the ground

It may be piece of mind, but I feel that the coops being three feet or so off the ground gives a second layer of protection. Not only do the predators have to make it into the coop, they now must figure out how to scale the chicken coop!

Chicken Hawk 5
Red coop is the one they sleep in. We have the one on the ground for the turkeys and the smaller (brown) one for the ducks.

6. PEW. PEW.

I have NEVER had to protect my flock with means of killing another animal. However, I am prepared to do so. You must protect your flock from predators and sometimes it’s either your birds or the predator. I have seen what an animal can do to coop and chickens. The neighborhood dog that killed my first flock, tore the bottom boards of the coop off to get to them. I’m not saying I would have the heart to kill a pet but I would definitely scare the dang thing if I knew it would save my babies.


Ok, this step is optional but so worth it. Yes, we have a coop cam. I used it when we first put the babies in with the established flock to make sure they were going into the coop at night. We caught on video, when my rooster died which ruled out predators. Now if I hear anything outside, I can check on them from my cozy bed. It also helps when I am away and want to make sure my babies aren’t too sad I am gone. 😊

Chicken Hawk 7
Tom keeps watch most nights. He’s our third layer of protection!
Chicken Hawk 6
I’m pretty sure our ducks think they are turkeys.

Cocout Oil Deodorant


1 Cup of Baking Soda – You can change this amount depending on your sensitivity.

1 Cup of Arrowroot Powder – Found on Amazon

¾ Cup of Coconut Oil – Found at Walmart… they even have organic.

1 Teaspoon of Essential Oil – I used mint and will probably use a mixture next time for a more potent smell. Just make sure you are using a safe for skin essential oil.



Stir all ingredients in a large bowl. If using a deodorant container, pack tightly into. What you do not use, make sure to seal tightly and store in a cool place.


On my journey of becoming more earth/body friendly, I decided to start using all natural deodorant. This decision was backed up by studies that show aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer. I don’t need that in my life sssoooooo added bonus! (I mean main bonus, right? HELLO!)

My sister actually began the process ahead of me but I didn’t know until almost two weeks into my… um… let’s call it my DETOX period.

So I did NO research on this, I just stopped using my normal deodorant/antiperspirant. I’m sure you are totally surprised by lack of research. I decided this on the way to work one day and ran to the Walgreens in front of work and started checking out the HUGE selection of all natural deodorants. All two of them, Crystal and Toms. (Actual selection below)
Deodorant 1Deodorant 2

Crystal was about $1.50 cheaper, so which do you think I chose? YUP! Crystal Essence Deodorant that was a lavender and white tea scent, and off I went! This one worked so well that I still have a full bottle of it. After about day three of being super paranoid, apologizing about possibly being smelling, asking people if I was smelly and telling people to make sure they “JUST TELL ME I’M SMELLY IF I’M SMELLY”, I went back to Walgreens and bought Toms in the tea tree scent. I could tell I was a little smelly, but it wasn’t like when you are 11 years old and your mom decides to tell you and EVERYONE else at the Christmas gathering that “Maybe it’s time you start wearing deodorant?” with a look of disgust on her face. This instance leads you to decide to smell under your arms to see what the heck she is talking about, and you almost die from your own grossness. SHOUT OUT MOM!

About a week passed and I decide to call my sister, Beth, who then tells me she is on month 4 of not using the DEATH Deodorant. She was using some other more expensive brand because it’s highly rated and has 1 million reviews to back it up on Amazon. 1 million reviews that she read, took notes on, and has them organized by type, if I want her to send them over.  She is the complete opposite of me when it comes to decision making. Before she jumps off a cliff, she knows EVERYTHING about jumping off the cliff; the height of the cliff, the speed she will reach before reaching the bottom, how she stops the free fall, how she lands peacefully at the bottom, etc.  ME, I’ve jumped and I’m half way down to the hard ground before I realize, “I should totally take up flying lessons.”  Basically, she is one of the smartest humans I know! In this phone call she tells me that the “detox” period or slight smelly time after stopping the DEATH deodorant HAS NOT PASSED YET FOR HER. What the heck am I getting myself into?? I WILL BE FOREVER SMELLY?! But don’t forget… ALIVE.

Around 3 months in, I found a natural deodorant by Arm & Hammer Essentials Fresh Scent. THIS ONE WAS MY FAVORITE and less than $2.00. WINNER, WINNER! I started using this every morning and every now and then, about mid-day, touched up with the Tom’s I had left over in my purse. It’s totally normal to carry deodorant in your purse…

Deodorant 3

Finally, after eight months, I’M NOT SMELLY and it’s time for phase two; make my own deodorant. Hey, it makes sense to me! After a bit of research, (also known as: one quick Google search of homemade coconut oil deodorant) I was on my way! I LOVE the scent of coconut, so uneducated me went this route. YUM, or so I thought.

Side note – No scent of coconut… Wah. Wah. Wah.

Now for the update on the Coconut Oil Deodorant:


That about sums it up. The first two days it caused my lymph nodes to swell under my arms (the article warned me about that) and the application is a bit messy. It breaks apart when you are applying it, and you kind of have to rub it in. :/ On the upside, I didn’t smell or sweat like a crazy person as I thought I would. I decided to skip a day to see what would happen too. AND NO SMELLY SWEAT happened. JUST DON’T GO THREE DAYS because… HELLO SMELLY!

My plan is to continue to use this until it runs out and then I will change up the recipe a bit and give it another try.

Here are the ingredients I used: Cocout Oil Deodorant

  • 1 Cup of Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup of Arrowroot Powder
  • ¾ Cup of Coconut Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of Essential Oil – I chose mint!

Deodorant 4

Don’t worry… the coconut oil melted in the car. It’s back to normal white semi-solid consistency now!

I just mixed all the ingredients up and packed it in the TINY deodorant container and let it sit overnight. I put the rest in a plastic tub and stored it in the refrigerator for later.

Deodorant 5

So, my revisions are as follows:

  •   ½ of the backing soda – to hopefully prevent my glands from swelling.
  • A different, or additional, scent so it SMELLS like ANYTHING!

I’ll keep you posted on the new set up!

If you are curious where to buy the ingredients or the TINY deodorant containers – AMAZON!

Just know that if you decide to take part in this process of going with all natural products, it takes time. Your body has been conditioned to the products you use now for HOWEVER long you have been using it. For me, that’s around 16-17 years. It takes a minute to get all that out and for your body to get used to the new. GIVE IT A SHOT. And by a shot I don’t mean a weekend… you know who you are! -_-

Can’t wait to hear how your process went!

Thanks for reading, Loveys!