Jrios58

In the Brooder
May 1, 2020
38
46
36
Good Morning soldiers,
We are at war! Just yesterday we lost a bird to a hawk. We have always had hawks around our place, but they have never been interested in our flock until now. Within the past two weeks, the amount of them has nearly doubled, and two days ago I saw two of them perched in a tree eyeing up our flock.
We do free range our chickens, and we don't want to give up on it just yet. However, I cant just sit idly by as the hawks rip my flock to shreds. Currently, I am planning to keep our flock in their coop and let them out at the end of the day when I can watch them. But I fell like this just isn't the right thing to do.

So im asking for all advise.

I have heard that scarecrows do more harm than good. I have also heard that crows and small birds are excellent ways to keep the raptors away. If that is the case, how can I draw in crows? With this, would a few plastic owls work? I can rotate the decoys every 2-3 days, so that wouldn't be a bad solution. I have also heard that wildlife agencies can help in some way. I only heard this in passing, is there any truth to this and how could they help?

Our flock tends to stay under tree cover or in our bushes, but as we discovered yesterday that simply is not going to cut it. We don't want to switch from free ranging, because we would have to make a whole new add on to our coop, but we love these birds to death and I want to protect them as best as I can. We can't watch over them all the time, and as I have learned attacks will happen when your just not there. I just need some solution that is legal and ethical.

These hawks are putting me in a weird position. With cats, we can trap them and relocate. Raccoons / possums, we can do the same. Snakes, no one will miss them. Every other predator I can think of has some sort of way to prevent them, except for hawks. With every other chicken we have lost to a predator, I have been able to eliminate the problem in one way or another, but i'm clueless as to what to do with hawks.

Thanks in advance for any advice! Over and out.
I don't know if this will work, but years ago we had a small kitten and a very interested hawk. We discouraged him by flying a kite over the yard. Obviously if you have a lot of trees this is difficult. I tied the kite string to a bench and checked on it every so often. This also works on barn swallows. We had 9 pairs try to move in one spring. Good luck!
 

Dr Pickens

In the Brooder
Sep 4, 2020
5
16
18
Lincoln, Nebraska
I live in Nebraska and have not had problems yet. I let my Pullets free range under our watchful eye. We are required to keep our flock in a location with a hard surface.

Due to the cold weather we cover our coop and run with a greenhouse. They are closed in the coop and greenhouse at night. I am terrified a predator will get in and kill my girls. I think our privacy fence helps a bit but when they come from the sky that’s challenging to combat.
 

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