Anyone use other birds to deter hawks? Turkeys, peacocks, etc?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lisahaschickens, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    As you may have seen in my other posts over the last two days, a hawk attacked my favorite pullet day before yesterday. I was about 100' away, didn't see or hear him until he was on the ground and he was so sneaky that none of the other chickens even noticed and they just kept on free ranging like nothing was happening. Normally, my birds run for the cover of the coop whenever anything flies overhead - hawk, airplane, geese, whatever. But this was a totally silent ambush out of nowhere.

    I have a totally secure run for my birds, with 1/2 inch hardware cloth over the top and walls and concrete sunk into the ground all around. However, they LOVE to free range and I really really want them to. So far, I have only been letting them out when I can be with them (they are now 7 weeks old). When the attack happened, I walked away and was in the house, watching them out the window for a couple of minutes, and then I was back outside and walking toward them when it actually attacked, so I don't know if that counts as my being gone. Well, suffice it to say, I won't walk away ever again, but they still like to spread out and I now fear that hawk will attack even if I'm right with them. I'm trying to figure out how to solve this problem.

    I know having a guard dog like a Great Pyrenees or even a herding dog like a Border Collie would probably do the trick, but I already have two dogs and can't get another right now, plus my current two dogs would rather eat the chickens than protect them, and so they have to be kept separately.

    So, I am looking for an alternative hawk deterrent to hang out with the chickies when they free range, even if it's still just when I'm around. I read one post on here about a large tom turkey that seemed to do the trick. Has anyone else had success with that or, conversely, had a big tom turkey and still had hawk attacks? Someone else mentioned peacocks - has anyone had success with that? I could get another large bird to live with them, I believe, but I won't go to all that trouble if it probably won't work. I know nothing is guaranteed, but I'd like to know if it has really helped many people, or if it just a couple of individuals have been lucky...

    You experiences with this would be greatly appreciated. I suppose I could also consider something like a goat, though it would be harder for me to do...
     
  2. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've never had one, but I have heard that Chinese geese are GREAT guard dogs. They have been known to occassionally go after people however they are partial to making alot of noise if they are disrupted or hear something worrying. I'm not really going to suggest keeping a goose with the chickens right away because they do have an aggression habit. If someone else notices otherwise or has good experience with geese and chickens co-existing, please feel free to correct me. I have ducks with my chickens and they will grab onto a whole handful of feathers of a passer-by hen and hang on for dear life. [​IMG]

    Hawks won't go after anything that is too big for them to take down. Keep this in mind.
     
  3. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 1, 2007
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    I have loud, aggravating geese and lots of peafowl (15 I think). And still I have hawks.

    I'll be checking back to see if anyone has an answer for ya!
     
  4. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let me add that I have White Chinese Geese that free range. They live on the same property as my chickens but I can't imagine them being 'cooped' up together.

    I have a friend that has hawks as well. And her chickens are with the turkeys.
     
  5. farmgirlie1031

    farmgirlie1031 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2008
    IA
    I have 2 geese and knock on wood they seem to do the trick. I did loose a one-eyed cross-beak chick (hatchery bird not something born in my own flock) that was 12 weeks old to a Red-Tail hawk but I think that was because it was blind in one eye and weak. It flew right through the barn door targeting that chick while I was down in the barn.
     
  6. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Yup, my 2 extra male toulouse geese. They do a great job at keeping hawks away.
     
  7. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    serendipity22 -

    When you say that you and your friend have all those different bird and also "have hawks" - does that mean you still have hawk problems or you have hawks in the area but the big birds you have do the trick? I was just unclear on what you were saying.

    Thanks to everyone for the great feedback so far... Sounds like geese might be something to consider...
     
  8. serendipity22

    serendipity22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sorry, that wasn't clear was it?

    I have a hawk on my property every day. But I've never seen them target my chickens. The hawks tend to stay at the tree line. Maybe looking for mice? But if I had a chicken missing, I might not notice right away either. **But I don't let young chickens free range. They have to be at least 4 months old before I turn them loose.

    My friend that has turkeys with her chickens... she saw a hawk take off one of her full grown black stars. Talk about a hungry hawk!

    **I was watching a big ole' buzzard dive bombing my goose and goslings earlier today. Don't know what that thing's goal was, but it sure was a big bird. That goose was highly ticked.
     
  9. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    hmmmm. interesting... well, it sounds like geese might not be perfect. but they might help.

    thanks so much again for all the good info!
     
  10. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My big ole Tom Turkey does the trick.
     

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