1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Close call with a hawk today! Do goats offer any protection?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by petesgirl, May 31, 2010.

  1. petesgirl

    petesgirl In the Brooder

    May 28, 2010
    We have not finished our secure run yet so I have been letting the chickens out of the coop only while I am right there with them. The weather seemed ok, and then all of a sudden a strong wind came up. Just as it got windy I heard a hawk, then 2 hawks, They were soaring right above us! I was panicked, trying to get all 13 of the chicks back into the coop. Then it started pouring down rain! All the chicks except one ran for the coop. I looked all over for the missing chick, nowhere to be seen. There I was in the pouring rain with my 2 chicken friendly dogs searching for my little white crested polish baby. Finally she came out from hiding!

    We have 6 goats that hang out with the chickens when I have them out of their coop. I thought the goats might help keep predators away. Any thoughts on this? The hawks did not swoop down, just soared above us. Will a hawk or owl attack when I am right there? Also, I thought owls only attacked at night? A few days ago I was out with my chicks and heard an owl! It was about 2 in the afternoon! I have heard them at night many times, but never in the day.

    We have predators all around us, coyotes, hawks, owls, neighbor dogs, raccoons. Not sure about weasels? Is there any way we are going to make our run safe enough? I think our coop is good, with a solid floor, metal flashing all around the bottom to close all gaps, half inch hardware cloth covering the air vents.
    I know, I am a worried chicken mamma! Has anybody that has kept chickens for awhile not lost any chickens to predators? Is it just inevitable?
  2. Stonerowfarm

    Stonerowfarm Songster

    Sep 16, 2008
    Cheshire, MA
    Goats offer absolutely no protection or deterrents to hawks. And, if you have any very young kids (younger than a week), the hawks will actually try to carry them off as well.

    We use deer netting over the top of all of our chicken runs. We only free-range when we are in the yard. Even then there has been a few times when the hawks have come circling around and the roosters warn the girls who come running from all corners. Depending on how hungry/desparate a hawk is, he might swoop with you near by.
  3. petesgirl

    petesgirl In the Brooder

    May 28, 2010
    Thank you for your answer! You said what I guessed, no protection. All my goats are older and not small, so I am not too worried about them with hawks, but definately coyotes!
    I would love to have my chicks free range, but not going to happen. Too many predators. We just are not finished with their outdoor run yet, so I stand right with them when I let them out, as they love to be out of the coop. I keep an eye out for predators, but was amazed how close the hawks were with me right there! The chicks stay pretty close to me, I also have an Aussie/border collie mix that likes to keep them close! He actually lets the chicks jump on his back!

    Does the deer netting keep most predators out during the day? I am not sure what we will be doing to cover the run. We might just do a 4 ft hardware cloth fence with chickenwire on top. We have to decide soon, as we are building this weekend. I need to browse pics for ideas...
  4. Cynthia12

    Cynthia12 Always Grateful Premium Member 8 Years

    Apr 11, 2010
    Quote:We have our chicken area closed in as well. We actually had a hawk get stuck in the top of the wiring one day. Glad we had it up! Plus, I put my chicks in the coop every night..we also have racoons and weasels, neighborhood cats....
  5. Oopoo

    Oopoo In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2009
    my area has hawks too, but my girls are in a pen made of snowfence (I only let them out when I can watch) Dumb hawk was sitting on the kids clubhouse trying to figure out if he could swoop in and swoop out with a full load--I think the overhanging evergreens and not so open pen area detered him.. Try giving your girls stuff they can hide under and putting up things that make the hawks think there's not enough room like streamers from a stick, deer/bird netting over an area. good luck

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: