Cooper's Hawk

Trish1974

Araucana enthusiast
5 Years
Mar 16, 2016
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North Central IN
My Coop
My Coop
I was out tending to the chicks when I heard all cockbirds alarm call, as I looked up I saw an adult Cooper's hawk come out of a failed attempt to snatch a bird off my bird feeder some 50 yards away. Then I remembered it is mid-August, and I usually have problems with Cooper's hawks at my bird feeder this time of year. I usually take the bird feeder down for a week or two, and problem solved.

But,
this is the first year I am raising chicks. I have two pens of chicks roughly 50-60 yards away from my back deck where the Coopers hunt. I'm afraid if I take my bird feeder down they will turn their attention to my chicks. There is the flimsy-style bird netting over their pen, but there are some gaps along the perimeter where it attaches to the fence. The chicks are in a family unit; each with their mother hen, an extra hen, and a very predator savvy cockbird.

Should I leave the feeder up and sacrifice the songbirds (as horrible as it sounds) and keep attention away from my chicks?
 
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The hawk is likely to at least try going after a chicken at some point. This year I see little Cooper's Hawk action, but in the past they have come into barn a lot, like multiple times per day. One year I had three I could discern. Two where going after songbirds and even perching in barn within a few feet of adult chickens that payed them no mind. Another individual was going after a group of young chickens that were about 8 weeks old. To stop I released an adult rooster that clearly wanted to get at hawk, but hawk seemed not to want to hunt near large chickens in general. The latter hawk was an immature male. Year prior an adult female took out a couple cockerels before remaining chickens began staying in tight with larger rooster.

The bird going after the chicks was also willing to squeeze through 2 x 4 inch welded wire that it's targets could not get through. Since I have also begun using deer or bird netting over the welded wire when a Coopers tries to mess with penned chicks. The hawks stop immediately.
 
Close the gaps in the bird netting. The Hawk would rather have a chicken than a Tweety bird.
If it discovers the gaps in the bird netting!
I have Cooper Hawks here too. I covered my new pen with deer netting. It works fine during warm weather, but won't hold up to wet snow or freezing rain. 20190529_092900.jpg .
I'm gonna have to cover with something stronger before winter.
My older pen has a large deciduous tree in the middle. My Golden Comets were attacked in November after the leaves fell. They were only 7 months old at the time. I heard the commotion and rushed out to see feathers everywhere and the Hawk in a tree. The pullet survived.
My new pen is in the open so I had to cover for my Barred Rock pullets. GC
 
I had an owl get in an area where my netting was a little short, a relatively small space. Luckily I didn't have any birds in that pen at the time. I got the owl out and put new netting across that area.
 
The deer netting I have been using has held up for 4 years and could hold nearly a foot of snow so long as supports are not too far apart, which means less than 4 feet. It does not handle rain falling on top of snow.
 
Thanks everyone. I will keep them locked up tomorrow, and dedicate Friday to redoing their run.

@GC-Raptor on top of my original runs I use Tenax deer fence, the heavy duty stuff. Its going into its 4th year and holding up well. I get a lot of snow here and so far it has also held up to light glazes of freezing rain. What I don't like about it is sparrows can squeeze through the squares (1" openings) and get in with the chickens. But the 1" openings let the snow fall through. I'm all out, or I would use it on the chick pens. Its expensive, I believe my 100' roll was around $200. www.deerbusters.com
 
GC-Raptor on top of my original runs I use Tenax deer fence, the heavy duty stuff. Its going into its 4th year and holding up well. I get a lot of snow here and so far it has also held up to light glazes of freezing rain. What I don't like about it is sparrows can squeeze through the squares (1" openings) and get in with the chickens. But the 1" openings let the snow fall through. I'm all out, or I would use it on the chick pens. Its expensive, I believe my 100' roll was around $200. www.deerbusters.com
Thank you. GC
 
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