Any solution to hawks other than a chicken tractor?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sommrluv, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. sommrluv

    sommrluv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    we have a TERRIBLE amount of hawks, being right next to a working farm. On most clear days I can count 4-7. But they are terribly gutsy. I've had the girls free range the other day, and I just assumed the Kestrals wouldn't come close to a human...I could FEEL the whoosh of air as the hawk swept by me. Little terrifying. They clank into the covered run a couple times, but the dogs scare them off.

    We're restoring a large historic home, and it's just not feasible to start on the chicken tractors now. Any other solutions that don't requite me to babysit a chickens? They really like going out. They come and sit at the door when I walk up to the coop.

    I have three dogs, but the two terriers aren't good with them. One ignores them, one doesn't, but I know both would love a go. My lab has been loose with them (supervised) and is fine, but she gets excited when they walk away from her and flutter their wings and she starts to get the wind up, I have to call her down. So it would be nice to think I could leave the lab out with them, but I just don't think that would be ideal. I'm sure she would LOVE a nice snack. [​IMG]

    Anything temporary for, say, 6 months to 8 months? Because of the way the driveway juts into the property and our property widens, it's like a seven, and I cannot see it all from the house. If that helps for suggestions...I do not think a mounted owl, or even several would work. And my neighbors feed songbirds and I'd hate to interfere with that.
     
  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    I just have to settle on covering runs for mine, I'm sure they would like free ranging, but its the run, or being supper for a hawk.
     
  3. sommrluv

    sommrluv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Thanks, Jen, you are probably right.
     
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    If all you have are kestrels in the area it shouldn't be too much of a problem unless your chickens are small. Kestrels are small raptors that are also know as sparrow hawks. They eat small critters including grasshoppers. If you have larger raptors like red-tailed hawks then you should make sure your chickens are protected.
     
  5. sommrluv

    sommrluv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    We have what I have heard referred to as Kestrels, red tailed hawks, bald eagles, and a hawk I've heard other's call a "chicken" hawk.

    I didn't think we had all that in this area, but I saw a bald eagle last year...SO cool! I live nearly right next to a state park so I'm assuming that's why.
     
  6. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually, having song birds around keep hawks at bay. Feed the songbirds,.......BlueJays especially HATE hawks. So do crows. Encourage these birds. Also try putting up some wind spinning things and hang some tin pans etc all around where your chickens roam. Your best plan is too keep them in a covered run...., but since that isn't feasible for you right now, try feeding the birds. Also, look at the post before yours called "First time my hiney", they had a very inventive way of fighting off hawks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2009
  7. ace6175

    ace6175 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I haven't seen the hawks around my run since I hung old cd's in the trees....
     
  8. pigcoon

    pigcoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was coming here to post the same question.

    We have a goshawk in our area. These are similar in style to kestrels (fast, quick moving, aggressive) but they are large! About 17 inch body size.

    The other day he got one of my hens and somehow she got away into the woodpile but she was pretty beat up and lost a lot of feathers.

    While my daughter was tending to her on the front porch, the goshawk swooped down and tried to get her right from my daughter's lap, with talons extended. My daughter screamed which chased it away, but it went around the corner and tried to get another hen.

    All the hens found hiding places and no one got eaten that day, but they haven't been out to free range since then. I am so upset that they can't be let out to enjoy their yard as they have been doing.

    I suppose we could get someone to shoot it but we don't have any guns.

    Any other suggestions for the OP or for me?
     
  9. hermiesbirdies

    hermiesbirdies Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2009
    Birds of prey are protected under federal law.

    song birds seem to work

    if your not squeemish pick up fresh road kill and leave somewhere else on the property or in a field nearby. the birds of prey are oportunists and will go for fresh road kill. people who catch and train hawks use a rabbit like device and catch the bird that way.

    You might contact the county extension agency to see if there is a falconer that can trap it and relocate it
     
  10. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Make sure your hens have lots of cover scattered around to hide in, shrubs, plywood overhangs, trees etc, hang some CDs wherever possible, if you can, cover your run but if you can't or really want your hens to free range, accept that you may lose some. (yes I know that will not be a popular statement, but I can't help that!)

    You can either build a fort knox, saferoom sort of coop and run, or decide that the hens having the free-range life is worth the risk, or somethng in between. run strings or streamers across your yard to discourage/distract hawks, someone posted some links to mylar balloons that had big eyes on them that hawks are supposed to dislike etc... keeping hens that are darker colors that can be better camouflaged is always good too.

    Hawks are protected in the US and killing one could bring very high fines etc. Hopefully they are mostly migrating and will be gone soon, but killing them is a very bad idea.
     

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