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Hawk decimating my flock, need to come up with a better coop solution - Page 2

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

I am playing the coop security by ear at the moment.  Until recently they have never slept with the door shut except when I was first raising them as babies in mobile coops.  If I start sustaining losses to night predators I will definitely beef up the security for the coop and build an automated door to shut them up at night.  So far the hawk has been the only one.  From what I have read they typically dive bomb their victims but since I found him eating a bird in the coop, he clearly didn't employ that strategy.  I am just curious if it is typical behavior for a hawk to land on the ground and walk through a pop hole into a coupe of birds or is he more than likely accessing it via the air through the lack of a soffit on my shed (which will be corrected by COB today).  :)

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by junebuggena View Post
 

Your flock needs some sort of protection from aerial predators. A covered run is one option. Planting large shrubs or putting a few berry patches in the pasture are good ideas too, but it takes time for them to get established, and you need to keep the birds away from them for at least a year so that they can get a good root system in place. Another option is building a few simple structures to give the flock places to take cover. Roosters will help alert the flock to dangers, but the flock needs places to hide, when the rooster gives the warning.


That is what I started doing last weekend, building stuff in their pasture for them to hide under, I live that idea a lot if it will end up working for me.  I like the idea of bushes but like you said, you have to keep them away from them for a year for establishment.  I am curious about LGD for chickens.  I wonder if they would be able to deter a hawk.  If he landed on the ground I would think so but if he dive bombs the bird I wouldn't think it would matter.  He may deter him from leaving with the bird but the damage would be done.  I'll probably have to keep studying his behavior until I can find a way to deter him.  Hopefully without having to confine them to a run but I'll do what I have to do to keep the flock alive.

post #13 of 18
Fake hawk statue! For some reason they work great!
post #14 of 18

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply

Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.

 

 

Reminder to self: August 2021 Check Post #15852 in Show Off Your American Gamefowl

Reply
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by annabobbob717 View Post

Fake hawk statue! For some reason they work great!


I have tried an owl but that didn't work well for me.  The owl was perched over the area he ate one of the birds from.  I leave the owl out there and rotate it from time to time but it hasn't proven to be very effective for my situation.

post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 


That is a good thread.  I do think this hawk is going to have to come to the ground now to get my chickens as they have better cover.  He hasn't been back in a couple of days.  His usual pattern has been about every 2-3 days he will come back for another bird.  I am hoping the last incident scared him so much he doesn't want to come back.  I was very surprised he was able to fly out the small opening in the eve of the shed that didn't have a soffit.  I would think he would have gotten a rusty nail scratch at a minimum from the roofing nails that are sticking out from the shingles.  I think he landed and walked in the coop through the door and took one of the babies, easy pickens.  Then I came around the corner while he was in there eating his nice dinner and that scared the lights out of  him and he tried to fly out of the open side into the chicken wire and then bounced back into the eve of the shed.  Poof, he was gone like that.  We have hawks hover over my birds all the time but this is the only instance of one finally taking any.  Hopefully my rooster would confront him on the ground.  I would think he would, he gets up in my dogs face when they are in the pasture and flares feathers.  I'll keep fighting the good fight hoping not to go to a confined setup.  I will continue to post my progress.

post #17 of 18

for extra protection cover it with pallets

palets.jpg 

These things.

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

I just wanted to give everyone an update.  So far I haven't had a hawk attack in almost 3 weeks.  The last incident was when I posted on here.  I have tried a little bit of all the suggestions.  Littered the pasture with different obstacles that they use to dust bathe under.  My wife built a nice scarecrow and hung CD's from his arms.  She put a couple of cheap windmill spinner things from the dollar store.  There are also a few streamers we hung from the chicken coop.  Lots of movement out there when there is a sllight wind.  We have a fake owl guarding their pop hole during the day and a few pallets to graze under during the day.  Strangely I had my first night time predator attack a few days after posting but that couldn't have been a hawk.  The behavior wasn't the same.  This predator (probably a coon) killed 4 birds and injured another pretty good.  All babies.  He didn't even eat them all, just one of them.  The others he ate a little and then left them.  Completely my fault because I never locked them up at night.  I put a door on their pop hole and now lock it up at night and we haven't had an incident since.  The only vulnerability I have now is for diggers.  I am sure at some point I will have to fix that issue too.  I am going to be building another coop in the fall, i will be sure to add all the precautions in the beginning.  Thanks for everyone's suggestions.  Hopefully they will help someone in the near future with their hawk issues.

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