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Hawks! How can I keep the hawks away from my chickens?

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
Me and my husband just moved to a different part of Atlanta. At our old house out of no where we developed a serious fox problem. They got 6 of my chickens. Where we moved to, I do not think there will be any foxes and I thought there wouldn't be any predators and my chickens would be able to safely free range but I was wrong.
The other day me and my husband were outside with our 13 Cochin bantam chicks (almost full grown) letting them play in the grass. We went in to grab them a treat and when we came back around the corner the chicks had all ran under their favorite bush except for one (spicy) and she was giving her destress call. I was walking over to get her when a gigantic hawk swooped over my head and grabbed her. We were both screaming at it but it flew away with spicy and she was never to be seen again. :-( when it swooped down we were probably only 25 feet away.
I don't know what to do now. They love to come out and play, but I can only let they play right around my feet. And we are building them a larger fenced in play aria.
Is there anything I can do to keep the hawk away? Like a scar crow for hawks or something?
We still see the hawk flying around and I was curious if any of y'all have had any success with a hawk problem. Oh! And our hawk was bigger than a red tailed hawk, it had stripes and an almost 4 ft wing span! Does anyone know what kind that was?
Thanks!
post #2 of 60

The only solution to such a bold hunter is to fence the tops of your pen also.  There needs to be somthing between the flying hunters and your birds below.  Even a frame with netting firmly attached, and the birds underneath would be helpful.  I'd pen them temporarily with 2" chicken mesh, and clip thier wings on one side so they can't fly out.  Put that ONLY under trees, so that they cannot be viewed from above.  THis will work until your better chicken run is finished. 

 

Sorry about your baby, though. hugs.gif

NPIP tested geese, ducks, chickens, and turkeys

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NPIP tested geese, ducks, chickens, and turkeys

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post #3 of 60

Juveniles and bantams are hawk bait.  If bird small enough for hawk to pack off, then birds too small for free-range without protection.  Several tricks, in addition to covered run, can be employed based on species of hawk.  Red-tails and Coopers hawks can be managed for differently when vulnerable birds present.  First and most effective option is an active dog that can get to chicken (therefore hawk) being attacked.  Another with Coopers hawk to have fully adult standard sized rooster free-range with vulnerable birds.  My preference for such is a game rooster as such more inclined to go after hawk on ground.  Hawk will not want to grapple with something if it involves risk of being attacked by something else at same time.  Dog and aggressive rooster can both provide risk. Cover can help but hen only and juvenile only flocks often result in hawk simply pursuing chickens in cover.  Roosters more apt to attack hawk in cover making so hawk can not fly.


Edited by centrarchid - 8/10/12 at 6:36pm
Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it.
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post #4 of 60

I'v elost juvenile bantams occarionally to hawks here in Michigan.  Confine the chicks in  a covered run for a couple of weeks at least.  Chicken wire or netting will do. I've never lost an adult bantam to a hawk here.  Roosters really help too, and maybe the right dog (NOT MINE!!)   Mary

post #5 of 60

The only thing that I have found to protect agains hawks is a covered run.  Any time they are out, they are at risk.  Keeping them in for a while doesn't work, as I found out.  I have had 3 hawk attacks.  All more than 4 months apart. 

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, and all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God Made them all
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All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, and all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God Made them all
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post #6 of 60

I can sympathize with you.  Beginning today I have a hawk that was sitting on the gate when I got home from work.  Luckily the hens were in their covered run.  I do let them out in their fenced in grassy area when I'm home but it's not covered.  Looks like I get to figure out how to cover it like you. he.gif

 

Sorry to hear about your baby hugs.gif

post #7 of 60
Thread Starter 
Great tips everybody! I guess my plan is to keep them in their coup which is actually pretty big while I finnesh the covered run. Il let them out only when they are full grown. I have a rooster or 2 in the bunch. And only when I'm right there with the dogs. I have two. They get allong with the chickens fine but they are small and fairly useless but I love them to death tongue.png !!! They will help with hawk antimidation while I'm around. I'm going to make sure I'm building this run right and check out some designes. Anybody have a run they really like?
LivingTheDream65, good luck getting your chicken area coverd and I hope that hawk stays away from your chickens! I can't believe it was just sitting their on your fence! :0
post #8 of 60
I had a hawk trying to get my silkies for days and he was actually landing and jumping at them too. It freaked me out and they have a huge fenced area so I can't cover it all. But they also have bushes and stuff to hide under BUT.... I tied rope from several trees to make a clothes line and hung CDs or DVDs from it. I also put out 2 scarecrows and I'm going to move them every week or so and for a week I have been hawk free.

This method doesn't work for some but it works for me. It's worth a try. Hang the CDs from random trees if u can. They make so much reflection it actually makes me think I saw something out of the corner of my eye lol. But I did hang a lot of them!
post #9 of 60

We had a red tail sitting on our fence a couple of days ago.  No attacks on our chickens, but we have found two doves that a hawk has been at.  It's definitely made us think twice about letting our pullets free-range while we're not there.  

post #10 of 60

http://www.birdbusters.com/scare_bird_pest.html

 

These guys make quite a few items. I had a hawk dive bomb at my biggest chicken, it missed but not by much. I was thinking about getting some of these balloons maybe Im not sure yet. I havent had a hawk dive at another chicken but I hear them and see them flying around all the time. I have some baby chicks which are inside with me right now in the brooder, but Im pretty nervous about letting them outside. I have a nice big run, but I let them free range inside my fenced in yard when Im home. I wonder if anyone has tried any of these kinds of products?? They say the predator preventor would work on hawks, but Im not sure about that one either.

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