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What keeps hawks away?

post #1 of 61
Thread Starter 

I'm sure this question has been ask alot so if there is a thread could someone lead me to it or just be willing to answer it again. I keep my chickens in a run where they are very safe, but I have a perfect yard to let them free range in but the only real problem is hawks. They would go back in the run at night, and the dogs are good at keeping other predators away. But during the day there are just hawks everywhere! Do turkeys or geese keep them at bay or are they just hawk food as well? Whats the best way to keep my chickens safe from hawks while free ranging?

Hell hath no fury like a broody hen...

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Hell hath no fury like a broody hen...

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post #2 of 61

Hi...I was told the crows do a good job of keeping the hawks at bay.  We have wooded acreage and the hawks are everywhere...as well as crows.  I would hate to think I had to keep watch every minute they were free roaming.....but looks like I might have to have a designated "free roam time".   I will soon have a 12x5 covered run, but someone mentioned on here bird netting worked well if you have a small area to cover.  Good luck!  

  1 WONDERFUL Hubby, 2 Australorps, 2 Barred Rocks, and 2 Buff Orpington's.   Oh yeah...thousands of bees too!

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  1 WONDERFUL Hubby, 2 Australorps, 2 Barred Rocks, and 2 Buff Orpington's.   Oh yeah...thousands of bees too!

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post #3 of 61

You being with them the attacks will lessen,but they are never completely safe except in a covered run. I let mine out. Hawks seem to be busy courting each other right now,so they have ignored my birds. I would say crows are good to have near(but not IN your yard),because my neighbor had an injured(by crows) juvie hawk on his porch.So they do more than just chase them-they attack.

 

The standard stuff suggested....mylar ribbon,fishing line,old cd's,bird netting,many places to hide.

post #4 of 61

I think the best approach is to wait until spring to free range.  Despite having lots of hawks around, I had no problems with free ranging until winter.  I think the lack of cover and limited supply of food makes the chickens an attractive target.  When the chickens have plenty of cover, and the hawks have more easily available prey, chickens are farther down on the menu.  I'll let you know how this theory works for me in June.  Good luck.

post #5 of 61

I lost two silkies during the spring/summer last year. in my experience, they still eat during the summer.

post #6 of 61

 Ravens are the most powerful hawk defense ravens and owls, ravens will attack them during the day they take attacks to a higher level then crows because ravens will try to take out a hawks flight feathers so it will crash and cant fly anymore. 


Owls will kill all roosting hawks at night and eat them.  The great horned owl is the number one hawk and falcon predator. Not sure how to attract either to your area.

post #7 of 61

Very few types of hawk will take full size chickens.  It takes a very big hawk to even try it.

 

However, if you have hawks that do eat chickens, your only truly safe way to keep poultry is under cover. Perhaps allow them out while you can stand right over the top of them to protect them.

Exhibition quality Blue Swedish Ducks and Gray Saddleback Pomeranian Geese,   Hatching eggs available in late winter and spring. NPIP

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Exhibition quality Blue Swedish Ducks and Gray Saddleback Pomeranian Geese,   Hatching eggs available in late winter and spring. NPIP

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post #8 of 61

My dog also does a good job protecting against hawks. When one flies over she barks and stays in the area it is over refusing to let it land. A heron was brave enough to land on the other side of the pond one day and she went running over scaring it off as soon as it landed.

post #9 of 61

Almost every hen I lost to hawks was in the middle of summer.  I only remember one time finding a plucked carcass on the snow in the winter.  If you have a lot of hawks, they quickly figure out that chickens are easier to kill and make a nicer meal than a field mouse!  I only have Red Tailed here, which are big.  I don't know anything about the small hawks and falcons.

 

If you can plant more shrubs and trees in your yard, that is the best thing.  The chickens learn how to hide underneath cover.  Also having a few lawn chairs and a table, even if you just put them out while the chickens are out. My grandmother used to set out a few opened umbrellas in the yard and the chickens learned to dive underneath the umbrella canopy if a hawk soared over.  I know it stinks to clutter up your hard with "junk" but the more hiding places you have, the better. I have watched hawks dive at my chickens but the chickens duck under a bush and the hawk aborts their dive and goes back to the sky.  If the chicken had been in the wide open, they would have been dead.

 

Spring is a great time to find some nice sales and deals on shrubs.  If you pay a little more money, you can get bigger ones that are nicely leafed out already. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Henway Park View Post

I think the best approach is to wait until spring to free range.  Despite having lots of hawks around, I had no problems with free ranging until winter.  I think the lack of cover and limited supply of food makes the chickens an attractive target.  When the chickens have plenty of cover, and the hawks have more easily available prey, chickens are farther down on the menu.  I'll let you know how this theory works for me in June.  Good luck.



 

post #10 of 61
I have this HUGE owl lamp that my mom found at a garage sale a while ago...when u plug it in the eyes light up red...lol. I have it up on a post by my coop. I like to think this helps detour hawks......tongue.png and any other critter that might wander on to our property..I I also crumple up tin foil and throw It around my garden area....I read once that this helps keep birds away from your garden....something about the glare etc....don't know if it works for hawks but it's cheap and easy.... I also have lots of scarecrows and little windmills......I know this probably sounds dumb to most but that's what I do.. hmm.png. And don't forget the guineas.....they go crazy when there is a hawk or anything else for that matter...when they start squawking all birds run for cover.....
Edited by chickee35 - 3/15/12 at 9:16pm
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