Best guard animal against hawks (besides dogs)???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by angidee, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. angidee

    angidee Chillin' With My Peeps

    167
    0
    111
    Feb 26, 2010
    Washington
    I would love to hear any suggestions on the best guard animals for my chickens against hawks and eagles, not including dogs.
    I found a range of ideas in a google search, but want to hear some actual successful suggestions. Some of the google search suggestions are guineas, alpacas, donkeys, llamas, roosters, and geese. I don't know if they will specifically be good for chicken guardians or specifically good against hawks.

    What are your thoughts????
     
  2. NajmoNests

    NajmoNests Chillin' With My Peeps

    135
    5
    111
    Mar 1, 2010
    E. Central, MN
    Turkeys! I had Royal Palm turkeys in my poultry barn. They ranged with chickens and ducks with no problems. The randy tom was forever gobbling and big birds just stayed clear! This kept me free from flying predators for 2 years.
     
  3. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

    11,008
    611
    378
    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    Peafowl. mine will chase anything away they think they can and hawks are first on the list.
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,955
    2,624
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    You may need to qualify question. Do mean most cost effective? Most effective? Most worry free?.


    Hands down you the big ape with you size, smarts, stick or boomstick can lick any and all predators if you invest the effort. This will require you to build quality nocturnal containment for chickens and getting off your butt and reacting when they give alarm calls. Some predators will visit while your are present so be prepared to chase and even use violence to protect flock. Other animal used as livestock guardians will have their own containment issues themselves and most can be vulnerable to at least some predators. Also consider feeding costs and disease exchange between guardian and chickens.

    If you have a small number of birds, then the fort knox strategy will be a relatively worry free option. If you already do have dogs, then put them to work. If they have or you suspect have potential of threatening your birds, then learn how to break them of that bad habit.
     
  5. DCasper

    DCasper Chillin' With My Peeps

    383
    10
    108
    Jan 13, 2012
    Benton, KY
    Has anyone had luck with a goose for a watch dog?
     
  6. angidee

    angidee Chillin' With My Peeps

    167
    0
    111
    Feb 26, 2010
    Washington
    @ Centrarchid The security measures we have already gone to are extensive. They have a secure coop bigger than my college apartment, an enclosed netted run that their automatic door opens up to. We have fishing line running from tree to tree. I am extremely attentive to their squawks. I go up several times a day to collect eggs. They free range on 2 acres, so no matter how fast I can get out there, a hawk's attack is quicker than my running through every area in search of the attack scene.

    My chickens are used to free ranging and being cooped up in their run (which is more than sufficient space but picked clean of any speck of grass) is causing a new set of problems. Feather pecking!
    They need to be out roaming and I need something that will keep a hawk away. Whether it's the sight of a larger animal out with them (my Chihuahuas are not going to be much help and would likely end up as dinner for the hawk), something that is a better alert system than my roosters or something that will chase the hawk off. I am interested in every angle.

    We did have turkeys, but ours picked on the chickens. Maybe we could try those again..
    I have heard about the guineas, but I am not at all familiar with them. Can you house them with chickens?
    Anyone have experience with larger animals with their chickens. Does the sight of a larger animal with them make much of a deterrent?
     
  7. Vamvakas

    Vamvakas Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,090
    54
    168
    Sep 30, 2011
    North Branford, CT
    Turkeys are good, hawks soil there pants when they see an adult turkeys. But the best is us humans, there are so scared of humans.
     
  8. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    43,519
    478
    486
    Dec 22, 2009
    Geese make wonderful watch dogs just not great guard dogs.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,955
    2,624
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    I do not know what your hawk assemblage is made up of but red-tails do not seem to hunt around larger 4-legged critters. Coopers Hawks will do so and actually use you as cover when approaching quarry. Red-tails I deal with very effectively though use of added cover birds can seek when hawk calls, an adult (harem master) game rooster that will enage hawk very effectively from cover although not while in moult, and free-ranging dog that will snap the back of any hawk that stands in ground on catch within dog's reach. Coopers hawks for me target smallest birds in flock (juveniles) that are not tended by adults. Since releasing game rooster to run with my front porch flock, I have not lost any front porch flock juveniles to Coopers hawks even though they buzz through almost daily. The Coopers do use chickens as cover when targeting songbirds. Fishing-line and likely CDs and decoys are not effective. Show a picture of hawk, species does matter.
     
  10. Chic-n-farmer

    Chic-n-farmer Showers of Blessings

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by