built huge run to keep neighbors dog from killing our girls but now have another predator....oyyyy

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by shoregirl68, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. shoregirl68

    shoregirl68 Chirping

    Jul 23, 2013
    My daughter went to check on our 3 remaining girls at 3pm, in their new run that my husband erected after losing 2 of our girls on very cold, snowy day to neighbors dog that entered the coop, girls wouldn't leave because of 6 inches of snow on ground, only to find her favorite New Hamp. Red with it's throat ripped open, no feathers on her breast, thinking it was a hawk. Racoons are nocturnal, foxes would have had to dig under to get in and usually hunt at dusk, eagles would have likely carried whole bird off, owls also nocturnal but usually go for head, leaving body and no way was dog.

    Long story short we used 7ft tall welded wire fencing, almost 200ft of it in a L-shaped configuration around several cedar tress, my husband's work shed.

    We've never had a problem with any other predator except the neighbors dog. We spent a lot of time and money getting it up, not to mention the crazy weather we've been dealing with, one day ground frozen, next day swamp. Thinking hawk possibly entered coop and grabbed her while she was laying, feathers all over coop floor and her body right outside of door.

    So what do we do now for deterrent for the hawks.

    Read about the dangling CD's, fake owl, scarecrow but thinking going to have to resort to nylon netting. Has anyone had experience with this and it being effective for large runs, with trees. It looks really heavy and would likely have to be cut to suit shape of our run and trees.

    My husband wants to try crisscrossing wire over the top of the entire run, if we did that what is the largest the openings can be to keep hawk out, from videos I've seen it looks like they can get thru small openings. The netting is $45 for 50ft by 50ft on Amazon.

    Any advice at all is appreciated. Below is netting would be purchasing and would likely have to supplement with deer netting and crisscross wires.

    Anyone use crisscross wire technique successfully?


    Thanks so much for any advice. RIP Lucy girl, an aptly named crazy beloved, red-head


  2. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I call it the mother nature tax. If its not coons, its hawks. I've killed every coon within a mile of my place, but I just let the hawks have one every now & then.

    I tried the netting, but the first snow & it was all down on the ground.

    Do you have a rooster? Roosters try to keep an eye out for hawks & will sound the alarm when he see's one.

    Unfortunately we have to deal with predators - EVERYTHING eats chicken.
  3. 4 the Birds

    4 the Birds Songster

    Oct 15, 2010
    Westfield, Indiana
    I have a couple decoy owls on the coop as well as hanging CD's. They may scare off hawks but it does not do much to keep away raiding sparrows and sterling from my coop feed. I think the netting over the run will work fine as long you have it draped high enough and with ample braces to keep it from sagging (especially if you live up north with heavy snows!). If your run is large, I would recommend a portion of the run with some type of solid roofing or boards for shade and the rest with the "crisscross wires and deer net". My run has a solid board roof (great for shade and to keep most snow/rain out) and the chickens get out to free range as well. Hope this helps!

  4. smarsh

    smarsh Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    lexington, KY
    Nothing like covering with the same fencing.
    bad weather can bring the noctrinal out in the day.

  5. themenagerie

    themenagerie Songster

    Jun 8, 2011
    I lost two to hawks before I figured it out. The first was an 8 week old pullet, just disappeared one day. The 2nd one was obvious..perfectly fine and healthy in the am, dead in the run later in the day. I was at a loss because I have a 20 x 30 pen, had tried avian netting the first year I got chickens, but had to pull it down since the snow destroyed it. I came upon a rather unsightly (but cheap and effective) solution. Baling twine! I have horses and get a round bale once a week to feed them. I used baling twine (lots and lots of it) to create a lattice across the top of the chain link run. That deterred that particular hawk but a couple months later I had a different/braver hawk come through the makeshift netting, we caught him in the act, but the hen was dead. :( I had to make my spaces on the lattice smaller. I think they're about 1' x 1' now and so far, so good. I am disappointed though, I have 2 Roosters and they did nothing to stop the hawk either time
  6. falconertomt

    falconertomt In the Brooder

    Feb 18, 2014
    Nothing short of additional fencing will stop a determined hawk They can fit, at speed, though relativley small places. If you employ wire, you want to make it look hard to get through. Luckily hawks are by nature lazy, and will pass up a meal if it looks too hard to get to. If cases of bad weather, or food shortages, they can get pretty ballsy. If you do a rope/wire top, add a few streamers or flashers to help spook them away, and you will stand a higher success rate. But the only way to be 100% sure is to make it physically impossible to get in. Even then I have seen hawks bodily slam my starling traps trying to get at the birds on the inside.

    As a note, roosters are at best a warning system. Some will tangle with a hawk, but they are likely going to get eaten if they try.
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2014
  7. Hi - Here where I live we have daily threats of sea eagles/golden eagle/buzzards/mink and otters.
    Touch wood, we have lost no birds to any predators but many neighbours who live nearby were wiped out/had hens killed.
    We have many trees around our land, this gives quite good cover/protection from the birds of prey - we also have Rhododendrum bushes etc which means the hens can hide under them.
    We built compounds on our land and our Pekin Bantams are housed inside all the time. Our Blue Pekins were allowed out to roam but my Husband put Salmon netting over the top, tied to trees.
    As someone mentioned, snow can make this cave in. Although should you go for the criss cross mesh/wire then you may get around that problem.
    I also have no idea whether you get much snow where you live. So may be an occasional problem that you can work around.
    To stop dogs, we put large logs outside and inside the compounds running the perimeter of fence. Our land is pretty secure as far as dogs go, although one day I forgot to shut the gate and 2 dogs dug under the fence (before we put logs down) and we came within a whisker of losing our hens.
    In Scotland, under the law - if a dog comes onto your land then you have a right to shoot it, if it is worrying your stock.
    Going back to our Pekins, they are now housed with wire mesh instead of windows - mink cannot enter through. Otters may get into the actual compound but I doubt they'll get into our Pekins.
    So I wish you Good Luck with protecting your Flock.

  8. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Songster

    Feb 16, 2014
    Sounds like a hawk attack. Sorry about your lost. In the past year I have lost two birds to predators, both were hawks. [​IMG]they were free ranging when it happened but in my runs we cover them with deer netting. Also, I hang niteguard tape on posts when they free range. Hope this helps.
  9. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Crossing the Road 10 Years

    Jan 18, 2008
    I second the Nite Guard suggestion, heard nothing but good things. You should get te lights, may help with the dogs, but as suggested, they also make tape for better protection against hawks and stuff. They're like streamers you hang.

  10. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Songster

    Feb 16, 2014

    It comes in a roll like this and you hang it on a tree or fence. It works, trust me.
    1 person likes this.

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