We've been losing chickens to hawks recently, and I've been in a lather trying to figure out how to stop them without breaking the law. Our chickens range over about two acres fenced, so putting up strings and wires is not feasible. I looked a getting geese, turkeys, and guineas, but ultimately didn't. Last weekend, on the way home from looking at the aforementioned poultry, we picked up a local classified ad and found something promising: Great Pyrenees pups (4-months) for only $50. I figured they were going to be mongrels, but called the guy to check. Both parents were Pyrs, and the pups had been living with goats, sheep...and chickens. I hemmed and hawed, because we're not really "dog" people (10 cats here!) and I worried about taking on new ones. Then, last Sunday morning, I had to spend several minutes trying to run off a persistent hawk that was just flying from tree to tree on our property. Even firing the .22 into the ground didn't scare it off until I kept doing it. That pretty much settled it, and I called the guy with the pups. We picked up a pair yesterday, brother and sister. We're calling them George and Gracie: They took to us right away, perhaps because they were bottle-raised and grew up very dependent on people. After spending the afternoon with them yesterday, I concluded: - Gracie definitely herds groups of chickens that get separated from the flock...if I go over near them. She ignores them otherwise, but if I'm walking that way, she goes over and around them, moving them back towards the flock. Once they're headed back for the flock, she stops, watches, and then ignores them again. She did this three times that I saw. - George seems to be the more laid back one. He's not jumpy-uppy, just content to stay near me when I'm out there. He's less prone to bark than Gracie, who likes to bark at our black cats (and no others, apparently). - They watched the skies. A helicopter went by and they both stopped frolicking to keep an eye on it for several seconds. Then they decided it wasn't a threat (I guess; hopefully I'm not anthromorphizing them) and resumed their play. - One of them growled at me when I went out there after dark, and both of them were very alert (I could see them dimly). As soon as I spoke, they both turned into their normal doofy selves. I like that I got growled at when they didn't know it was me. - They're respecting the fence so far, which is good, because it's only poultry wire. That's my biggest worry. I ran an electrified line, and Gracie got shocked twice, so I'm hoping that'll help keep her back. She's the more bullheaded, it seems. - Gracie discovered the eggs in the coop, and ate 4 or 5. I criss-crossed pieces of wood across the doorway, so the chickens can still get in and out and the dogs can't fit. So far, so good. - As soon as I leave the fenced area they settle down and snooze. - They love belly rubs. But this morning, I witnessed something that thrilled me to my core. I was out walking the perimeter with the dogs about an hour ago, and a hawk swooped down into the chicken yard. Without a second's hesitation, Gracie took out after it as soon as she spotted it, barking to beat the band. George stayed with me for about 5 seconds, then went after her, but he didn't bark. The hawk LEFT THE PREMISES IMMEDIATELY, and didn't just stop at one of the perimeter trees like they do when I'm trying to shoo them away. They got a big bowl of scrambled eggs and cheese, which they more than deserved. As someone who thinks of himself as not a "dog person," I'm just blown away after one day with these two. If anyone's in the Alabama/Tennessee area, there's a third pup (female) available. Drop me a PM and I'll give you the guy's number.