Anyone with large breeds still having hawk problems?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by FarmerWife, Oct 18, 2014.

  1. FarmerWife

    FarmerWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone,
    I have a question. Lately I've been having a whole lot of hawks trying to swoop down on my chickens, luckily we've been fortunate, so far no losses this year. Last year we lost two hens to hawks. I hate them. I know they serve a purpose in controlling rodents, etc. BUT , I draw the line when they take my chickens. So I've been thinking, maybe if I get large breed chickens, they won't be such a target?? They seem to be targeting my smaller girls, I have a bantam, and some cornish rock hens, and a few reds. Those are the targets so far, they don't seem to be bothering my jersey giants, or buff orpingtons. I'm wanting to bring brahma's into the flock, so I'm trying to find eggs. Do any of you who have large breed chickens still have hawk problems? I lock up my chickens at night, we have too many skunks and coyotes here, and great horned owls, so the coop is more like a chicken bunker :) lol, no animals have made it in yet. Anyway, was just curious about the large breeds, and what luck y'all are having with them. Let me know, thanks!!

    Dianna
     
  2. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hawks have been a problem around here, too. A hawk will go for a smaller bird first because it reduces the hawk's chance for injury. But they will kill larger chickens, too. They can't carry them off though. They have to eat them there on the ground. [​IMG]
     
  3. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have the same problems with my bantams. The hawks love to swoop at them. Either the banties are too quick for them, or the hawks need to practice their accuracy more, because we have yet to lose on as well. Earlier in the year, a small hawk got one of my young Dorking hens. This hawk seemed to be very small and I was surprised that it even tried to go after her. If she was full grown, the hawk may or may not have of left her alone. We are mostly dealing with Harriers and the very small kind (I don't know what kind they are, maybe a Cooper's Hawk or something.) but it wouldn't surprise me if a bigger kind, like a Red Tail, would try to go after a larger breed. But, predators are tricky and may try anything, so keep your eye on the sky (and the ground, for that matter!) So far the only threat to our large fowl have been foxes and coyotes. No hawks, YET.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  4. FarmerWife

    FarmerWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I'm almost always here, and usually I don't let the girls and boys out unless I'm going to be here. They hang out pretty close to the house, so we're within close hearing range if they try to take down a large one. We had one come dangerously close to taking a hen today, but she ran like crazy, and made so much noise that she alerted us and we ran out. She ran under a huge ice berg rose bush we have out back, and the stupid hawk flew into the bush and was stuck for a minute. I wouldn't kill it, but I can't say I felt sorry for it. [​IMG] Maybe I'll just start bringing in the larger breeds, brahma and jersey giants, etc. Make it a little harder for them. Thanks for the reply, have a great rest of the weekend!!

    Dianna
     
  5. FarmerWife

    FarmerWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I read somewhere that guinea hens alert the flock when there's a hawk. Anyone know about that? I know a lady here in town who has them, I just haven't talked to her about it, I don't know her well enough. But if that helps, I'll go talk to her and see about buying a couple. Hmmm.
     
  6. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They do make good watch dogs. I have two with my flock. You will hear them, trust me. They will start "raising h*ll", as my grandpa would say, when something they view as strange or threatening is near. They also help control ticks (mine even got a snake last year!) My roosters also do a good job of watching the skies. I say go and talk to that lady. We can offer you advice and tips here, but learning first hand and experiencing first hand what they are like is the best way to see if you would be interested in owning any type of animal, in my opinion. I take care of them the same way as I do the rest of the flock. They're handy to have around, that's for sure.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  7. FarmerWife

    FarmerWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh that's wonderful, thank you !! I will definitely go talk to her!! My roo's make a racket, but usually by the time they start making noise, the hawk is right over one of the flock , and trying to catch them. I hope this lady will be willing to sell me at least a couple, if I can get a pair, I can put some eggs in the bator and hatch more. We're extending our coop (bunker) :) so there will be plenty of room. Thanks so much for that !!

    Dianna
     
  8. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're more than welcome! If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask. Sounds like you've got a plan of action. Best of luck!
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I lived in your area for 10 years in and around Carbondale. Hawks you are up against are Red-Tailed hawk and Coopers Hawk Most likely the smaller hawk is male Coopers although very similar looking Sharp-shinned Hawks may also be chasing small birds in your filed of view..
     
  10. Tenneesse

    Tenneesse Out Of The Brooder

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    Its a tough one short term. I have cooper hawks and have a few attacks but no loses yet. Here's what I know crows hate hawks entering their territory so I provide scratch to also attract the families of crows who will chase them out of the area. They do reappear on occasion but the crows greet them and you can watch the chaos in the sky. Its not a solution to the problem but does deter. I range my birds and lose most to stray dogs which usually meet their maker with some assistance from my 12 ga. Just this summer I have been plagued with what turned out to be a Bobcat and he's history now and will soon be a throw on my recliner. Living very rurally I have all the predators. Im thinking also of bringing home a Great Pyrenees who are wonderful protectors from ground preds but I havent talked my wife into that one yet. research crows and how to attract them also put out Owl decoys I have them on a pole so the wind can make them move and hang a pie pan from the pole and the racket as it bang the pole is annoying to hawks. The slightest wind can bang a pie pan all day or night.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014

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