At my wits end...and really fired up, too!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by blueegger, Sep 23, 2010.

  1. blueegger

    blueegger New Egg

    Jan 28, 2009
    What in the world can I do to get Red Shouldered Hawks to quit eating my chickens? I have lost a rooster, a 4 week old chick, a silkie hen and 5 adult layers, not to mention one 4 week old chick that was killed in the panic that ensued after one attack, and one hen who was attacked but I scared away the hawk before it could kill her. Our chickens are in electric poultry netting and there is a chicken tractor(s) inside that. We have been told to put a goat in with them to scare away hawks, which we did for our broilers and it works ok, unless a chick gets scared and lets out a distress call...that's just too much for the hawks to handle and they come eat the chick in spite of the goat. We hung CDs in the pen, and the hawk struck again in less than an hour. Today after a failed attack on a hen, I closed the tractor up pretty tight, only leaving a little space in door for the chickens to get in (I was running late picking my child up at school and could not catch the rooster, who was freaking out, of course, and he would not have been able to get water with the door closed). When I got home a little while later, I found a hen dead, and this time the hawk had gone in and eaten the chicken right there in the coop! It is not scared at all. If it were a mammal, I would swear it was rabid. There are 3 Red Shoulders that I see regularly, but I'm pretty sure it's one that's really been the culprit. It is, of course illegal to shoot or trap them, and YES someone would know if we did, (and we don't want to anyway) but does anyone have any ideas on how to scare a hawk that has laughed at our every attempt to save our chickens? thanks!
  2. lovemelovemybirds

    lovemelovemybirds Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 28, 2010
    Grand Junction
    Wow. Other than netting a secure coop/run, how bout getting the DOW involved? I mean if you can't and don't want to get rid of it yourself....I know OUR local DOW did nothing, but that was regarding foxes...we could deal with that ourselves. Good luck...I'll be watching your progress here as I am very interested on a solution. We have hawks...but I always thought the grown hens are too big for them...apparently once a hawk eats a chicken they're all fair game?
  3. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    You really have a problem with red souldered hawks? I mean birds 15 weeks and under, of course, but I would have never thought a red-shouldered would take on a chicken over 3 pounds. Mine were attacked by one at 7 weeks though with no casualties. But since week 20 passed the red-shouldered hawks pay no attention to my standard sized hens even when flying feet away.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    How is the hawk getting in? Is your run covered? If not, you might need to find a way to do that. Do you have pictures of your setup? That might help us give you ideas on how to secure it better.
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Yes, a pic would help.

    These can be either mounted on poles (finishing nail and spring from ballpoint to make them quiver), or something like this:

    have Red Tails and the occasional Barred Owl. They spend a lot of time examining the runs from branches above the runs, but they've never stooped into the runs. YMMV.

    Last edited: Sep 23, 2010
  6. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    From reading the original post, it sounds like the chickens free-range inside a pen with no cover or netting over the top. There is a tractor they can take refuge in, but the chickens can enter and exit it at will. At least that it what I take from reading it.

    Best thing to do is cover the pen with netting, shade cloth or even a real roof. Until you can do so, do not let your birds out of thier tractor. Most birds would prefer a few days penned into the tractor and a long life over free ranging and being eaten the next day if they could wisely make a choice.
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    It is not illegal to hunt hawks so long as you have a permit to do so, but permits are difficult to get, expensive, and you have to have exhausted all other avenues. I was looking at the permits and one of the requirements is that you have to have tried to drive the hawks away without success. The method mentioned was using fireworks. I don't know exactly what the machine was, but apparently there is a thing that will boom loudly at random intervals throughout the day. It is supposed to drive hawks away, but I figured it would also drive my neighbors batty. I can't use something like that where I live, but maybe it is an option where you live?
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Harrassment of migratory birds (which include all raptors) is also illegal.
  9. theFox

    theFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    The thing is a gas cannon.
  10. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Quote:Thank you! I could not remember it for the life of me.

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