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Any ideas for in-pasture protection?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by wateboe, Jan 27, 2010.

  1. wateboe

    wateboe Songster

    Sep 8, 2008
    Lebanon, Ohio
    I'm getting tired of losing birds to hawks! So far, we have lost bantams and young standard birds and that is hard enough to accept, but I want to try some deterents before the big girls are targeted as well.

    My flock free-ranges during daylight hours. They have access to the coop (a large barn) as well as the protection of an large electric poultry fence. We move the fence frequently, so I am disinclined to build a roof of any kind over the entire fenced area, but I need to add some in-pasture shelters to this arrangement. I would prefer shelters that are low-profile and easily moved by one smallish human adult! Our roosters do a good job of alerting the flock, but I can see that the birds need some alternatives to running all the way back to the barn and all trying to cram themselves into the pop-door all at the same time!

    I would love to hear and see how other may have addressed this problem... anybody have any pasture-shelter pics to share?

  2. ConchRepublic

    ConchRepublic Looking For My Marbles

    Jan 22, 2010
    Dunnellon, Fl
    Attract crows? Although they can be an annoyance themselves and I have plenty of crows and still get the occasional hawk and we have a nesting owl family so we don't let them out to much.
  3. joedie

    joedie Songster

    Mar 17, 2009
    SW Indiana
    I attended a lecture on Saturday by Joel Salatin and someone asked him the same question. His poultry are pastured with the electric fence and most predators won't come through that but aerial attacks can't be stopped. His suggestion was to put a few guard geese in with them. He also has LGD with them but said the geese do a pretty good job keeping the hawks away.
  4. Skippin' Sammi

    Skippin' Sammi In the Brooder

    Jan 19, 2010
    Quote:Hi! I am new to chickens so read your post with interest as I may have the same problem with Redtail Hawks here when I get mine this Spring. You might try rigging some type of tent out of a tarp. Open at both ends so they could run inside. Should be easy enough to move day to day and might just scare the hawk into thinking it is some type of trap. (Hopefully) I would also make a scarecrow......but then again....I just love scarecrows. :0)
    Good luck and hope you find a solution. I never realized that there were so many dangers to chickens.
  5. Airilith

    Airilith Songster

    Sep 28, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    What about those small plastic doghouses? They're fairly light and you can usually find them used on CL. Put them in a few strategic places and they'd have a few places to hide.

    The only thing is you need to make sure to cut ventilation holes in them, as they can heat up fast in the summer.
  6. norcal

    norcal Songster

    Apr 10, 2009
    Northern California
    I am thinking of turning an old shelter into another coop & getting some more chickens and trying them free-range. I have a lot of predators here though. Coyotes (sometimes in broad day light), foxes, skunks, etc. But, my biggest concern would be stray dogs & hawks. I have a secure coop & run already. So, if I do this, it will be experimental. See how many we can manage to keep. *shrugs*
  7. The Sheriff

    The Sheriff Crowing

    Jun 17, 2009
    Northern CA
    Will you be asking for volunteers? [​IMG]

  8. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    If you can attract crows that will help. You can plant corn for them, but then coons will come to it too! [​IMG]I would figure on building a lot of small shelters that they can get under quickly. Another thing to do is to criss-cross the pasture with orange polypropylene twine . The hawks will then have to be comfortable enough to settle down and land and walk to kill a chook. They prefer to snatch and grab on the fly if possible. No way to stop them completely outside of a full time net overhead. They will still drop in and walk up to a chook and kill it and eat it there on the spot at times from all of the posts I have read on here. [​IMG]
  9. coltsdad

    coltsdad In the Brooder

    Nov 26, 2009
    Ward Arkansas
    There is nothing better than a good dog , I have an anatolian sheperd and he keeps everything under control . He even watches for hawks !! The only thing is you have to get a pup or buy a started dog which could be pricey. I f you get a pup you have to keep an eye on them and correct them if they get rough with the stock . Try to avoid making a pet out of them so they bond with their stock . Although a livestock guard dog is best any dog that dont kill chickens is ok , I used to have a pit bull that kept a good eye on everything too !!
  10. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    I've heard that a large owl figurine at the coop will keep hawks away. Haven't tried it though.

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