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How to protect against hawks

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
So when my four barred rock pullets grow up I would love to let them free range in my fenced in 1/3 acre backyard. Unfortunately we live in front of a big marshy pond which is home to several different hawks. I would love to know if there are any ways I could protect my chickens besides putting them in a enclosed run.
post #2 of 17
There are no guarantees on keeping them safe from hawks. Some things you can do to help is to give them lots of places they can run under to hide when an attack starts like bushes or wood piles with easy low access. You can try to put poultry netting over an area of your yard but then you would have to close them in that area creating a "run".
Too many chickens in my wife's opinion and I only have 28!
2 RIR, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 5 leghorns, 7 BLack Copper Marans, 3 Olive Eggers, 8 Black Australorps, 2 Easter Eggers...how is that too many???
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Too many chickens in my wife's opinion and I only have 28!
2 RIR, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 5 leghorns, 7 BLack Copper Marans, 3 Olive Eggers, 8 Black Australorps, 2 Easter Eggers...how is that too many???
Join me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chickenNicks
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post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Read somewhere that's hawks won't mess with full grown hens is that true
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Sorry meant to say I read
post #5 of 17
While a full grown chicken is more of a challenge and maybe a little less likely to be attacked by a hawk, no, it is not true and I know this to be fact first hand. A friend of mine has lost several full grown chickens to hawks.
Too many chickens in my wife's opinion and I only have 28!
2 RIR, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 5 leghorns, 7 BLack Copper Marans, 3 Olive Eggers, 8 Black Australorps, 2 Easter Eggers...how is that too many???
Join me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chickenNicks
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Too many chickens in my wife's opinion and I only have 28!
2 RIR, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 5 leghorns, 7 BLack Copper Marans, 3 Olive Eggers, 8 Black Australorps, 2 Easter Eggers...how is that too many???
Join me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chickenNicks
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post #6 of 17
Actually after more thought, I would like to revise my answer. A hawk will kill an adult chicken with no problem. Chick or adult, no difference.
Too many chickens in my wife's opinion and I only have 28!
2 RIR, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 5 leghorns, 7 BLack Copper Marans, 3 Olive Eggers, 8 Black Australorps, 2 Easter Eggers...how is that too many???
Join me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chickenNicks
Reply
Too many chickens in my wife's opinion and I only have 28!
2 RIR, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 5 leghorns, 7 BLack Copper Marans, 3 Olive Eggers, 8 Black Australorps, 2 Easter Eggers...how is that too many???
Join me on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chickenNicks
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post #7 of 17

If you choose to free-range your flock, there are no guarantees of avoiding hawk attacks. I do agree with the above poster that having plenty of cover helps a great deal. Shrubs, plants, and different structures can offer  quick places to hide. The decision to free-range should be measured with risk. Obviously, if one has a large flock that can handle the periodic loss then free-ranging may be the very best choice. If one has a small flock consisting of a dozen or less birds, then periodic losses can be devastating. It might be beneficial to have a fairly large enclosed run and offer limited, supervised free-range time. Since you have four pullets, you have to way the risks/benefits. (If roos are legal where you live, then it may be wise to add one to your flock. A good roo will offer good potection and alerts to his ladies.) -best of luck with your decision!


Edited by TXchickmum - 6/16/13 at 2:42pm

Wife of 23 years to a dear husband, mama to 2 children, 3 Golden Comets, 2 Buff Orpingtons, Old English Game bantam, Japanese bantam, Black Australorp, Golden Laced Wyandotte, budgie, sugar glider, and a feisty Yorkshire Terrier.
 

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Wife of 23 years to a dear husband, mama to 2 children, 3 Golden Comets, 2 Buff Orpingtons, Old English Game bantam, Japanese bantam, Black Australorp, Golden Laced Wyandotte, budgie, sugar glider, and a feisty Yorkshire Terrier.
 

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post #8 of 17

Young chickens and hen-only flocks are particularly susceptible to hawk predation.  Addition of a full adult standard sized rooster can help with some types of hawks.  Cover as already mentioned can help, especially with adult rooster.

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 #9 of 17

My chickens are out foraging every day.  Their run is covered.  The protection arrangement consists of crows harassing the hawks.  It works pretty well.  When the hawks call or the crows caw, the chickens run for cover which is usually nearby.  The rooster stands out in the open, calling.  The dog wanders outside of the shop to see what is going on.

 

I suspect the dog would go after a hawk that was attacking a hen, because he is so protective of them.

 

We have hawks all the time.  They just haven't stopped by.  There is lots of cover over the area where the chickens spend most of their time.

 

It works for me.

 

Chris

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
There coop is right next to a trampoline and is under some trees so they would have some place to run for cover. I am also thinking about building a picnic table so that they could hide under. Do you guys think that would be enough cover. As far as the dog goes I am going to try to train her to protect the chickens.
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