Broad Winged Hawk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by PrplHartJarHead, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. PrplHartJarHead

    PrplHartJarHead In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2014
    A couple of days ago, I posted about losing one of our hens to a mysterious and serious neck wound which caused us to have to cull her. This morning the wife and I were sitting at the dining room table enjoying each others company and our morning cup of java when we heard a hawk's call. At the moment, we weren't sure it was a hawk, but we knew it to be a large bird and close. We looked to to the south of our kitchen and saw a huge bird in a tree overlooking our coop.

    At this point, our hens were ranging freely outside and heard and probably saw the hawk and scattered quickly for cover where ever they could find it. We went outside pretty fast to scare the bird off, which we did. As it took off, I immediately had the thought about our hen wounded earlier in the week.

    This has always been a concern for me, predatory birds, as we usually have a lot of bald eagles around. This year, I haven't seen that many eagles, or hawks for that matter. But the return of this hawk has me a little spooked about free ranging our birds.

    Besides killing the hawk, any recommendations? In my state, I think only the DNR can kill a nuisance hawk and they are not likely to do it for a "hobby" egg producer.
  2. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Crowing

    Jan 27, 2014
    Central Oregon
    Sorry for the loss of your one hen, but sadly it will not be the last as long as you continue to allow your birds to free-range. You have to be willing to lose birds for that reason. Me, personally? I'm not an advocate of free-ranging and thus do not have the problem of flying predators. Do you have a run attached to your coop with a roof?
  3. PrplHartJarHead

    PrplHartJarHead In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2014
    Yes, our run is covered. As we began prepping for chicken raising, we examined the benefits and risks associated with free ranging our birds. Our breed selection, coop/run design and yard space is the result of the information available to us. Still, there are risks, and we accept those risks. Losing animals is always a risk when you are raising them, for a number of reasons.

    For us, we believe that the quality of life of the bird is enhanced by allowing it to be out of the coop as much as they like. (I am making no judgment on your decision your method by the way. We all do what works best for each of us.) Additionally, by letting them run free, they enhance our quality of life by reducing the number of bugs and insects around our home which has the additional benefit of keeping feed costs down.

    I understand we may lose more birds to raptors, we also have fox, skunk, and coyotes in the area. I was just hoping someone maybe had a similar experience and may have had some success with a type of deterrent.

    Thank you.
  4. Howlet

    Howlet Chirping

    Jul 31, 2014
    My Coop
    the only way is to provide ALOT of cover and thats still no guarentee.... and its illegal to kill any predatory bird except maybe vultures in the u.s
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Cover patches combined with a standard sized fully adult rooster or two can cut losses. So can a properly trained dog. I like to use a combination of these approaches. I have also employed shorter periods of free-range foraging where birds are released an our or two before dark which can enable at least one good crop fill.

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