2nd Hawk Attack in two weeks!!

DuckDuckSook

Songster
Jan 20, 2020
277
474
166
Southeastern PA
My Coop
My Coop
Hello friends!
I'm at my wit's end. We had a hawk get into the chicken run last week (there was a hole in the overhead netting that I didn't see; it has since been replaced with wire netting securely attached). I felt so bad since we lost a chicken. We started with six and are now down to four. (We lost our first one in the fall to a fox when the chickens were free-ranging.) I don't let my girls free range unless I'm out there. It's the only way they are safe. Or so I thought. I was out there with my hens cleaning out the coop/run and my sheep shed with my daughter (that means two humans were present) when the hawk swooped in and tried to get another one of my chickens as they lay in the dirt giving themselves a bath. I ran over and scared it away and I am very grateful that the chicken ended up being okay. She was upset and flustered and she lost quite a few feathers but no injuries to report. Thank goodness! The chickens have been outside since May and have never had any issues with hawks until now. I'm assuming it is because it is winter and food is scarce. At this point, I'm keeping the chickens in their run all the time and if I do let them out, I stand right next to them the entire time. Are there any other options for me? I am thinking about expanding the run so they have more room to run around but other than that, is there anything I can do? Is there anything that will deter hawks? Thanks for any insight and info you can provide.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
30,111
32,546
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I had a hawk kill a bird not 10 feet away from me. I had let the birds out and one followed me into the blueberries and the others went back into their covered pen. It happened so fast I didn't have time to react. The hawk did kill her but didn't take her. I did extend my pens out another 10 feet so every pen is 60 ft. deep by around 20 ft. across. I have good heavy duty netting covering my pens. I did have to buy more netting to cover the added space.
IMG_20191221_101158.jpg
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
30,111
32,546
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I don't let my birds free range any more due to losses from predators in the past. They have nice large pens. I give them things to occupy them. My land is mostly open pasture. There is shade in the pens and the birds actually prefer to be in their pens. Many years ago I planted trees in every pen. When I have opened the gates before I know it they're all back in their pens.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,376
42,891
1,156
southern Michigan
I've had hawk attacks here, and if one occurs, my flock is not allowed to free range for at least ten to fourteen days, and once it was for over three weeks, because the offending Cooper's hawk stuck around for two weeks.
Keeping the flock in for at least two weeks is safest! If the hawk is obviously hanging around, it needs to be longer.
Here losses have been bantams and young birds, nearly never standard adults.
Mary
 

DuckDuckSook

Songster
Jan 20, 2020
277
474
166
Southeastern PA
My Coop
My Coop
I have 3 Black Star chickens and 1 Brown ISA. They will be a year old in March so they are full-sized adults and they are pretty big as chickens go. The hawks still go for them even though they are fairly large birds. I'm definitely keeping them locked up for a while. I'm thinking about extending their run, which will be nice. However, I'd really like to let them out for a bit whenever I'm out there doing my farm chores. But, that is what I was doing during the second attack. Maybe in the spring/summer, the hawks won't be hanging around or as hungry. ??
 

KyCoop

Songster
Oct 23, 2020
138
319
111
Central Kentucky
I let my girls out of their run into a fenced off little area we strung masons line over head. But I baby sit them the whole time as if they were children in a swimming pool.
We had a hawk problem in the fall and one of my next door neighbors hens was killed. No free , free ranging for me.
 

ChicNmom

Songster
Dec 26, 2020
346
418
123
Wilton NH
It's been crazy here this past week just in my immediate vicinity. One person had a hawk get in the enclosure and kill a hen. A neighbor had a Cooper's hawk attack her hens but didn't hurt any. I had a Red Tail hawk attack Sunday but got outside in time so my girl only has a bald patch and a scrape.

I'm not sure why it's gotten so bad. There are plenty of squirrels and smaller birds around.
This hawk was extra sneaky. We saw it on the camera and it from the back of the property about feet off the ground the whole way so they didn't see it coming.
 

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