Homesteading Basics Using Game Cameras To Protect Your Backyard Chickens

Game cameras protect chickens

Hi, this is Marjory Wildcraft. On this edition of Homesteading Basics, we’re going to answer the question, “Are game cameras useful to homesteaders?”

The short answer is yes. Game cameras are a set of eyes and ears working for you in the middle of the night, and can be really useful for helping to protect your backyard chickens. They help you troubleshoot issues and show you exactly what’s been happening.

For example, here’s game-camera footage of my chicken coop when I was having some really bad problems with losses.

Isn’t that some amazing footage? Look at those raccoons and what they do!!!

Birds Do It… Bees Do It…

Now, my brother in North Florida sent over some footage that he had taken. Actually, this answered a question I didn’t even know I had: “If turtles move so slowly most of the time, at what speed do they have sex?”

Don’t you just love that male turtle moving his head quickly like that? It’s so funny.

Protect Your Chickens And Livestock With Game Cameras

I use a lot of different game cameras to protect my livestock, and I especially use game cameras to protect my chickens. I’ve got to tell you, there are zillions of them out there, and a lot of them, quite frankly, don’t work. Here, you can see a trial we’re doing on four different ones.

Actually, I have spent more money on game cameras than I want to talk about. I hope my husband doesn’t know. Sometimes he watches these videos, sometimes he doesn’t. I hope he doesn’t watch this one!

Anyway, game cameras are a great thing for homesteaders.  Use game cameras to protect your chickens from raccoons and other such predators.  And let me know if you’re interested in finding out a little bit more about which ones work best.

This is Marjory Wildcraft, and I’ll catch you on the next one.


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Marjory Wildcraft is an Expedition Leader and Bioneer Blogger with The [Grow] Network, which is an online community that recognizes the wisdom of "homegrown food on every table." Marjory has been featured as an expert on sustainable living by National Geographic, she is a speaker at Mother Earth News fairs, and is a returning guest on Coast to Coast AM. She is an author of several books, but is best known for her "Grow Your Own Groceries" video series, which is used by more than 300,000 homesteaders, survivalists, universities, and missionary organizations around the world.

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  • Karen

    Thanks for that Marjorie, I would love to know which game cameras work best!

  • HI Karen,

    Yes I thought I had an article written up on that, but looks like I didn’t get it publsihed. I’ll work it it.

    • laurence mays

      will you be posting on what the results of your trail cam trials were?
      Love your Blogs

  • Marilyn

    Marjory … yes, want to know which game cam worked the best for you.
    I haven’t purchased one because they all claim to be the best. Would
    be very grateful for more info!

  • Jim

    Around 2 years ago I got a Primos TruthCam35 that has a 60 foot detection range. This has been the best of many of the cheaper cameras that I have tried. I even got another Primos, but it only has a 40 foot range and isn’t nearly as good as the first one. Over the past couple of years I have gotten many video’s of critters (mostly deer) around my house and posted them on yourube. I’ve used that original Primos so much the latch broke off and I now keep it closed by wrapping a bungee cord around it and the tree it’s mounted to! One recommendation, it is better to get the external battery pack with solar charger. Then you never have to worry about changing out the batteries. I built my own external setup and it is working great, battery reading in the camera is always 99%

  • brad

    We went past free range hens to anarchy chickens. They wander all over the pasture – and in this season, the garden, which is about an acre.

    In the garden they spend a bit of time under the stacked wire cages for the tomatoes later, lol. Let’s see a hawk get them THERE! And we do have a nesting pair of red-tails about 300 yards away in a neighbor’s walnut orchard. We’ve had coon troubles and they continue to wander the area, but haven’t bothered the chickens much at all. i’m not sure why. Some hens just go to sleep on top of hay bales stacked 3 high, and you KNOW that they could climb up there easily.

    Sometimes, having a flap of fencing hanging off the side at ground level stops animals from tunneling under. Not sure if it would work for a coon, but it would be easy enough to clip up to move your tractor, then lay them on the ground. That could provide another couple of feet for them to dig under….

  • Michael

    A simple solution has been around for some years now. Get yourself any old computer. Install your favorite free version of Linux. Then install a free program such as ZoneMinder. Hook up your favorite camera, and point it at the area you wish to watch. One should then see the camera’s view in the software, and then only needs to outline on the display the areas wherein you would like to detect movement. Then let it go.

    It will only record when there is movement within the area you defined, and you should have little trouble figuring out how to have it notify you when there is activity. A message to a smart phone with a wakeup alarm might be very handy.

  • Darrel

    Several years ago, I researched trail cameras and concluded they hadn’t advanced far enough. I’d certainly appreciate what you have discovered about the latest batch of trail cameras, giving us both the pros and cons of the models you’ve tried.

  • Hi, I just found you and I love you site and this story. 30 yrs. ago, before trailcams I had twenty some goats with a large flock of ducks and around twenty or so geese in Northern Mi. I had small pond with tagwillows all around the pond. One day I go out there and I had a goose down, still alive with a big part of her breast gone. I put her out of her pain, this went on day after day for about six days. I had traps and baits all around, I asked every one. Oh big male mink running high country, It is in the fall, no he would have hauled off. Weasel, no not the chest. Coon, no. So I and my 12gauge sat down there for the night. Whh whhh I heard the wings and than in the branches of the tagwillows landed one big old Horned Owl. I had no more off my geese get tore up that way again. Thank you for your video. I had caught many of them and skunks in my chickens. I do think, there pricey but Stealth is in the top.

  • Mbk

    I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure those are tortoises.

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