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Again. With the hawk.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rachaelakers, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. rachaelakers

    rachaelakers In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2013
    One of my hens likes to come up on the back porch all the time. (two story deck) And she was out there making a racket so I looked out there and pretty much just had a odd feeling. So I got my coat and a banana. And had her follow me back down two flights of stairs. And I dropped the banana at the bottom of the steps for her and the two other hens and continued to the coop to look for eggs. But the hen (big red) followed me all the way over to the coop. And was pretty much under my feet the whole time. So I got the egg. Reached down to pet her and tell her bye so I could go back in and after I stood up she lost it. Ran in the coop and straight up the ramp inside. And I just happened to look up and see a hawk not so high off my house just leisurely flying around. And he kept circling my backyard. So I locked my girls up and came inside. I have already had one hawk try to get them and I scared him away. And I had a coyote have a go at them too but he got a few BBs in his butt. So I am still lucky not to loose a chicken yet. But I know its bound to happen.

  2. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    Yeah,it is bound to happen.I have been telling my dh *the hawk* *the hawk* for 3 years now.I know the day is coming where it actually does make a kill.Can't seem to avoid it unless you have a big secure run.
  3. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    Jan 23, 2013
    Pocono Mtns
    My Coop
    Do you need wire or netting completely over the run to avoid a hawk attack in the run or will wires stretched over the run every foot or so deter hawks since they won't be able to fly into the run? I forsee hawks as my biggest problem.
  4. rachaelakers

    rachaelakers In the Brooder

    Jan 2, 2013
    I actually let my here hens free range in my backyard. It is fenced and they don't haven't escaped yet. I lock them up at night. But during he day they are out.
  5. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I've been fortunate not to have lost one to a hawk...yet. There have been some close calls. Between me being outside as much as I am and my dogs patrolling, they have made it unscathed. Keeping my fingers crossed. Guess it's the balance I strike - the benefits of free range balanced with the dangers of free range.
  6. FromChictoChick

    FromChictoChick Chirping

    Apr 13, 2012
    My Coop

    I tried the stringing up method. Nice and tight back and forth across the coop
    The theory was the Hawk couldn't/wouldn't go in if it couldn't fit it's wingspan
    The Hawk got stuck in there but not before it killed a pullet and was ultimately able to get back out and in again
  7. FromChictoChick

    FromChictoChick Chirping

    Apr 13, 2012
    My Coop

    Mine use to free range over half an acre with a 6'chain link fence surrounding

    They didn't get out. There was shrubbery and cover, but once the Hawk figured out chickens are good eats and easy kills I lost too many. I had to keep replacing and restarting. :(

    Mine don't free range anymore and I still don't have a way to keep this persistent hawk away

  8. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Pole shockers and traps may be beneficial. I certainly wouldn't advocate anything illegal, but sometimes persistence and patience pays off. I covered my large chicken yard with chicken wire, which is close to an open field, because of hawks. It helps if you have trees that you can trim just up above your head which gives the chickens cover and a place they can retreat to. They seem to favor these areas especially in the Spring/Summer months when hawks are active. In regard to Coyotes, Coons, and Foxes, you have to trap them and shoot them. Leave the carcasses out on the perimeter of your property if you have no neighbors it will upset. The vultures get a meal and other predators smell the death of their own.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2013
  9. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Songster

    Apr 21, 2012
    North Texas
    Hawks are our main threat. -used to let the chickens forage in the yard all day when we had two roosters. -roosters always alerted the gals promptly, and everyone ran to cover without incident. Since we had to rehome the roos (due to noise/neighborhood), we constructed a very large completely covered run for our hens. I spend several hours per day in the lawn/garden, and the hens roam around freely during that time. Hawks have circled over on numerous occasions (whilst I was outdoors with the gals), and even buzzed close by on two occasions.

    Obviously one must weigh the risks vs. benefits of "free-ranging". If there is a relatively large flock, where the periodic loss is tolerable, then free-ranging/pasture is optimal. If there is a very small backyard flock, where loss is unacceptable, then a free-range/confinement combination may suit well. (and personally, I would always completely cover the run)
  10. clio

    clio Songster

    Apr 30, 2010
    Sonoma County, CA
    I live in a mid-size city about 40 miles north of San Francisco, in a tract housing area with a back yard where my chickens free range during the day. There are farms and open fields within a 10 min. drive on city streets.
    Yesterday, a large red tail? hawk flew into the garden and took the head off one of my two month old BCM chicks.
    We are going to net the area again (had a net over the koi pond for years), increasing the netting area.

    I just read on another thread that someone used pennant stringers as a deterrent for hawks. Will that also work?

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