Dang Hawks......

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Doormantnt, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. Doormantnt

    Doormantnt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2009
    Glen Burnie, MD
    I've got (still got) six assorted breeds, all bout 20 weeks old, of which 4 are laying regular already. Well long story short, I just got in the the "chicken" hobby this year. Picked up the 6 ladies from the local feed store, brooded them in basement (for to long according to wife), them moved them out to their home in the back yard (WAY to much $), but it is nice 6x8 elevated coop with functional windows all around, exterior nest boxes and a 8x20 covered run (2x4 wire over 1/2" hardware cloth) and white fiberglass corragated roof....it is Fort Knox (I'm a fabricator/contractor by trade)....

    So in an act of stupidity on my part I figure well dogs are locked up, so let the girls explore the yard...another chainlink only section of the yard about 30' x 40'....well I go back in the house and come back out about 20 minutes later to check on them after sittin with em for bout hour. When I come back on to the deck (straight sight line to coop) I see a "chicken" sitting on the roof of the run 8' off the ground....so off I go, well it takes of and swoops over the yard, empty taloned and into a large tree in the front yard....IT WAS A BIG HAWK....stood about 22-24 inches....

    I'm in MD, and I have seen a couple eagles around the water, and some falcons, but NEVER a big ol' hawk, and NEVER sitting on MY CHICKEN COOP.......

    All the girls are safe and secure, and I will only let them run when I am working in the yard with them, now thanks to a wake up call, but by grace of God they are all ok.

    Do ya'll think that a big hawk would be "trouble" for 20+ week old chickens????

    I have build in cover in their "play" area out side of run, and in corner of yard, but is there anything else I can do to let them out of the run, without overhead netting? and without standing constant guard??

    if it comes back (and wife not home) I will not have a hawk problem any more, but for now I have to deal to prevent a problem.

    Any insight from ya'll for a possible hawk problem???

    Thanks, and this is a wonderful site/forum because of all the wisdom from a bunch of chicken lovers.....HAHAHA...

    TNT
     
  2. karen71

    karen71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 27, 2008
    Bear, DE
    No solutions have the same issue here- my girls free ranged for a 2 years no problems - then had 2 attacks and 2 missing - they don't free range anymore- they stay locked into the run - which right now is not attached to the coop - I let them out closer to dusk that way they don't go far and I don't usually see hawks closer to dusk -
    just to let you know because someone else will it is a Federal offense if you are caught killing a bird of prey - just thought I'd let you know because the thought has crossed my mind - but not willing to give up 10 years for the darn hawk -
    some people say wind socks help , cds or owl statues moved around-
    maybe use it all
    good luck with the hawk
     
  3. wateboe

    wateboe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Do you keep a rooster? Our roos have been the best protection... well, not physical protection really, but they sound the air-borne predator alarm without fail. We have never lost a chicken to a hawk while our neighbors have lost many. The neighbors only keep hens.
     
  4. Doormantnt

    Doormantnt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2009
    Glen Burnie, MD
    WOW ya'll are quick.....

    Karen71...I'm well aware of the Fed law, but thanks for the re-aware.....Still don't want to lose any of my girls if I can help it. But still not worth 10 yrs..LOL...

    I have seen THEM....smaller one, and the larger one on 3 ocassions now, and always at dawn, never dusk.

    Thanks for the info.

    and wateboe...no rooster here....didn't want the "hassles" of one, but that may change.
     
  5. ~*Sweet Cheeks*~

    ~*Sweet Cheeks*~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    Olympia Washington
    Even if you got rid of that hawk another one would/could step into that ones territory or it's mate is in the same area.

    I think there is ALWAYS going to be preditors after our chickens and it's up to us to protect them or not.

    I don't free range unless I'm out there watching close by due to red tail, bald eagle and coyote that visit my 4 acres.

    I am planning a cattle panel tractor so I can let the girls eat fresh grass and bugs. For now, twice a day I bring them chunks of sod, fallen fruit, and sprinkle a mixture of cracked corn, oatmeal, and black oiled sunflower seeds in their run.

    They are big, fat, and happy fluffy butts.

    Good luck with yours.
     
  6. wateboe

    wateboe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2008
    Lebanon, Ohio
    Since we started out with a rooster I don't have any experience without one, but I think that the hassles are worth the benefits of keeping a roo. (Unless you live in an area where the crowing will cause a problem.)

    Our first roo was ( still is, actually!) a Mille Fleur Belgian D'Uccle, a little fellow who is just as sweet as can be. He has never made a move against any human, adult or child. He was kind to all of the "big" girls and bantams alike although he could not manage to fertilize the eggs of the standard hens. He is an excellent watch dog. When we added a huge cochin roo to the standard flock we gave the little guy his own flock of bantam hens along with a Buttercup hen who realy adores him.

    The big cochin fellow is pretty docile as well, although he has tried a couple of sneak attacks on both my husband and I! These have been pecking and biting-style attacks rather than full-out floggings. To be safe, we don't allow children in the coop or field with him, and we let him know who's the alpha when we are in there.

    I adore our roosters. I think that they are well worth the extra care that we take to make sure that they are respecting us. The girls are very happy with them as well! Often you will find people trying to give away roos "to a good home" because they are attached to them and don't want to eat them. Those are likely roos who have been well socialized, so one would be a nice addition to your little flock. Just let them know that you expect to be the "alpha roo!"
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2009
  7. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Yup, they will have no problem going after a 20 week old chicken. I lost my 22 week old sex link to a hawk. (and she was one of my largest) It couldn't carry her off, but it killed her. The hawk came back the next day and tried again, but I saw it and ran out hollering and it flew away.

    Definitely keep them locked up for a while. That hawk will come back as long as it thinks food is there.
     
  8. zowieyellowflame

    zowieyellowflame Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 11, 2009
    Nova Scotia
    Yup, hawks are killers. Just today actually was our first encounter. RIP June brown chick no name # 5. [​IMG]
    It did not carry it away but rather ate every last scrap of meat off of it.
    When my husband came home, it was still eating. A portion of the enclosed netting has bird fence over the top and when the hawk tried to escape it got caught up in the fence 3 times before leaving through the unfenced top portion.
    We are going to keep the chickens locked up for a couple days until we put the fence over the remainder, at a considerable expense but well worth it.
    The rooster did not deter the hawk though he (Elton) was standing near the hawk that was eating, not cowering in the coop like the hens and young ones.
     
  9. Doormantnt

    Doormantnt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2009
    Glen Burnie, MD
    Thank ya'll for the replies.....well I just they just have to stay in the run for a while. I was pretty sure that is what had to be done, I didn't think it could carry them off, but could put a pretty good hurting on them if not kill them. I just can't risk it.

    I probably could have a rooster, but neighbors are close, I'm in a sub-urb....neighbors are only a drive way away. but I only have neighbors on one side, and behind me, so the coop is in the opposite corner of the property.

    Thank ya'll again.
    TNT
     
  10. Phyrst

    Phyrst Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2012
    eastern shore of MD
    Hello out there. I found the survey for predators and was astonished at the results. I used to have chickens, don't right now but trying to find exactly what I want. I live in a rural area and my biggest problem was with hawks. My chicken run is fenced in with black netting over top. I also have a small pond, about 8 x 10, with 3 very large koi and a dozen goldfish. I have dogs too, and inside cats. Raccoons show up here every so often but they seem to scare pretty easy. I think they can smell our dogs. They've tried to get to our fish and they've tried to get to our chickens but never made it. But the hawks were the scariest. We couldn't keep them away. They sat in trees and flew round and round. Sometimes they caught little birds that fed at the outdoor feeders. We had to stop feeding wild birds. Then we would see the hawks fly from tree to tree. In fact, around here they hop around on the ground . I've watched them with binoculars. I don't look up to find them, I look toward the ground or on low branches of the surrounding trees. These hawks winter here, they don't migrate. They're smart, lightning quick and super determined. What can I do? Can't shoot them. Tried all the suggestions from this forum. I want to keep banties and can't have a roo. (bothers the neighbors) I would like to figure this out before I do get my banties Has anyone tried that motion detector for coops? Wondering if that would work....
     

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