Any options for deterring a Red Tailed Hawk?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LegginMF12, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. LegginMF12

    LegginMF12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am Ca. and all Raptors are protected. I have 5 acres and like to let my chickens free range. I have a Red Tailed hawk that is picking off around a chicken a week. He has got 3 in the last 9 days. I tried keeping my chickens cooped for a couple of weeks and that worked for a couple of months. But he's back now and I don't know of any way to deter him from preying on my younger (2-6 month old) chicks. So far I have been lucky because I am The Rooster Queen and out of 13 eggs hatched in Dec., 10 were roos and the hawk has only gotten roos. I hate to keep my chickens locked in a pen all day! Any suggestions?
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Preferential targeting of cockerels I can relate to. Your birds are juvenile so will not muster their own defense. You can make hawks job more difficult by providing more cover or placing feeder near existing cover. That makes it easier for juveniles to escape but is not perfect, some will still be lossed although rate may be reduced. In my situation I have two other tricks. Roosters I use as harem masters (fully adult and leading a group of hens and their offspring) can detour, although not always a hawk from attacking. I also have a dog that is even more effective and he is not picky about what chickens he is protecting, he simply wants a peice of hawk. Dog is handily most effective option for me although added cover and adult roosters help. Otherwise confinement of flock is option I recommend, unless you are out with them and willing to drive off hawk yourself. Not generally a practical situation unless done at end of day and you are otherwised committed to yardwork. The chickens do not need to be out all day to get most of the benefits if free-range activities.

    I can not advocate "scarecrow" tactics unless you move them around a lot and the hawk can sometimes learn to ignore such that are not real threats.
     
  3. LegginMF12

    LegginMF12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a dog in the yard all day , an adult too and three adult hens. The six younger ones won't stay near the older chickens they have formed their own little flock. Also have plenty if cover for them to hide under. It's the same hawk coming back, he's missing a tail feather.
     
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    Besides the usual fisihng line,mylar ribbons,and cd's perhaps shooting off some fireworks would help. That or anything that makes a loud noise like starter pistols or horns.Maybe even a whistle. Perhaps the noise would deter it,but it could just be a waste as I am just guessing on this one. I yell when I see one and it leaves for a while.

    Dealing with it myself.Got 3 red shouldered ones living together.Well actually I think each has their own *big* tree,but they like to hang out and fly together.Chicken ownership would be soooooo much easier if we did not have to deal with these darn protected birds.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Could you show arrangement of free-ranging area (positions of cover, feeders, dog etc.) as well as a closeup of cover patches?
     
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    (shrug). You can feed the hawk, or you can keep your birds in a covered run where the hawk can't get them.

    Your choice.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Black and White with no middle ground. Choices abound for open mind and willing to explore options.
     

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