A huge hawk is terrorizing my chickens!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by tfromtx, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. tfromtx

    tfromtx Hatching

    Jul 3, 2010
    I have been reading posts on a raptor site and everyone keeps saying hawks won't disturb anything above 4lbs... I just caught a hawk eating one of my chickens yesterday afternoon. She was a silkie so not very large. This has happened once before last summer so I did not worry about it much as the hawk never returned. However, later yesterday afternoon I found the same hawk sitting on a doorway to the chicken coop trying to come up with the courage to go in!!! My remaining 7 chickens are all large, rhode island reds etc, and they were inside, terrified. The hawk flew away as soon as I walked out.

    But all evening, and all this morning I can hear the hawk scream! And it is constantly flying over my yard, it actually low-flew right over me as well which I think is pretty unusual for a human shy bird like a hawk. I have the chickens locked up which I never normally do during daytime, but they are not even clamoring to get out like usual, they are just cowering in their building. And my two 60lb lab mixes are freaked out as well.... They won't go to the backyard! They're fired!

    What can I do to make this hawk go away??? I have seen hawks before but this seems much larger and bolder than any others.

    I would really appreciate suggestions,

  2. kelar

    kelar Songster

    May 22, 2010
    Keep your birds locked up until the hawk looks for a meal elsewhere. Raptors are feeding their young right now so are bolder and more determined to find meals. They can and will attack larger birds & can kill them or do serious harm even if they are unable to fly away with the whole chicken. Cover your run with wire if it is not already covered as they can go right into an enclosure after their prey.
  3. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    i found although they often avoid larger birds that is not always the case. They hit with suck force that it could take out a RIR or other LF.

    Best is a covered area, or if that is not possible you can run fishing line, or buy some mylar balloons (ones with eyes work best like a smilie face or spiderman) atatch lots of strings to the balloon to blow in the breeze and tie to large rocks so that they dangle about 8 feet in the air. hanging cd's will help to but all these things are more of a deterent than anything else.

    or you can raise up a pair of turkeys or even just a tom (but I like to have things in pairs as they are great protectors, My turkey saw a hawk come down and chased and beat it and after that it would come overhead but never try to land anywhere. He has since been rehomed with my friend Melina but is doing a great job of protecting her flock from them now.

    Good Luck.
  4. thespinningcottage

    thespinningcottage Songster

    Jun 24, 2009
    Arcadia, Florida
    I agree with the other posters. Protection is your best defense. Also, don't count on hawks being shy. A huge red-shouldered hawk challenged my husband (not a small guy!) on the ground for possession of a snake my husband was getting ready to relocate. I am not exaggerating - the hawk stood his ground 5' away from my husband. Guess who got the snake? [​IMG]
  5. GrumpyOldMan

    GrumpyOldMan Chirping

    Jun 7, 2010
    SE Louisiana
    A few days ago a hawk flew low over my wife’s head. It was so low that she threw one of my grandson’s toy trucks at it and almost hit it. It hasn’t been back. Yet! We have a pair and their two offspring patrolling the neighborhood. Last year one ran a dove into our wooden gate killing it. The hawk landed, scooped it up and flew away with it.
  6. Our run has a roof because we have hawks that roost in tall pecan trees in our neighborhood and last summer one set of parents were in our trees feeding a baby bird until they finally migrated south. I didn't want to supply them with a convenient chicken buffet. [​IMG]
  7. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I put up several blank mylar balloons last year to scare away my predator, and this year I bought giant red, faceted, reflective jewels from the craft store that have studs on the back, like an earring, and I've stuck them in the top of fence-posts and places up high they'll be seen as pairs of eyes all over the yard.

    I think stringing up a vague net of fishing line is a common deterrent, as they can't swoop easily through the yard if you have several crisscrossing lines preventing it.

    The eyes seem to work. I also have chairs, tables, trash-cans, anything I can find out in the middle of the yard in areas of great expanse so there's always somethign nearby to run under or stand next to to get away from a diving hawk.

    I keep a wrist-rocket slingshot nearby to fire ping-pong balls towards them when they sit in trees around the area- won't fire far or with any force at all, but they show the darned thing I'm not impotent- even though the federal law protecting hawks says I am.

    I do inject a bit of water into the balls to give them a bit more weight. I'm considering getting some of those golf-ball sized whiffle balls to fly a bit better.
  8. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    the 4th is comming up get some bottle rockets shout them up in the air when the hawk comes to visit, if you do this everytime one is in the area they will learn where the no fly zone is, well if you don't live in town that is.

    Ps roman candles will not work.
  9. beachchickie

    beachchickie Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    Blinking lights and a loud radio work to help keep them away if they have not located your flock. Once they are on to you and want your birds you have to lock them up.
  10. tfromtx

    tfromtx Hatching

    Jul 3, 2010
    Thank you!!! Great suggestions, I think I will try the balloons and shiny trinkets first as covering their run is not really an option, the area is too large. The hawk seems to be gone at the moment so I'll go give my girls some supervised outing time.

    Thanks again everyone!

    I'm new to this site but will definitely check in everyday from now on!

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