Discouraging Hawks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Heidina, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. Heidina

    Heidina Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2008
    Plymouth, MA
    There are hawks all over the place, and we were lucky for months until yesterday when one got - and thoroughly enjoyed - one of my hens. This morning the flock seems to be on alert and, although they usually free range all day, haven't emerged from the run. Who said chickens are stupid...

    My question is:
    Does anyone have any helpful hints for discouraging raptors?
    How about those windmill thingies? Might they help if I put them around the yard? Any other ideas?

    Last edited: Oct 31, 2008
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    My favorite way of discouraging hawks is to encourage songbirds! They hate hawks. I have bird feeders in my yard and those guys really chase the hawks away! If you can attract blue jays they will really do the job. Good luck!
  3. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    OH SNAP there's hope for me yet. All I need to do to keep 10 Blue jays (I've had as many as 30 in the winter) in my yard all day long is keep my peanut feeder filled.
  4. the simple life

    the simple life Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi there neighbor!
    I am having a tough time with hawks as well and lost one of my favorite chickens to one last week.
    I posted a thread about it and alot of people had some good advice.
    Again, birds will help. I have also heard hanging cds from string around the yard, the reflection of the sun off of them disturbs them.
    Someone else suggested tying string or rope from tree to tree and making kind of a web over the yard.
    I think you should just type in hawk in the search engine of this forum and you will see alot of the threads that have already addressed this.
    Hopefully the end of their migration is near and you will not see them until next spring.
    They say november is when they all finish their migration.
    Although I just read that there is a type of hawk that actually winters here in Massachusetts, so who knows.
    One thing I have noticed is that they are not all that afraid of humans.
    The one that got my hen did it while we were out in the yard.
    He came back again another day and kept swooping down over my head and then landing in the tree over me or on my roof.
    He will sit right on my gutter and watch the yard.
    Good luck with it.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I'm very sorry for your loss. Attacks are so disturbing to the chickens. If your run is covered, I'd keep the chickens locked in temporarily and hope it moves on. Maybe you could give the chickens some extra snacks in the run.

    There are suggestions on all the previous hawk threads you can try. Hanging cds around that flash or giving them extra cover to hide under. Some people have tried fake owls. Having a dog around or any type of livestock right with the chickens usually helps. With a big chicken, it's going to mean more time on the ground to eat the kill. Dogs running around or livestock next to the chicken makes it look like a much higher risk attack. That has worked the best for me. With small chickens that they can take off with, they don't have to be quite as careful.

    Some chickens are better at free ranging than others. Chickens that have their vision obscured by feathers have a terrible time seeing what's coming. Flightier, more nervous birds seem to be a little better at it than heavy, calmer birds. Birds that have been attacked or seen their flock mates killed are usually more careful than birds that have never experienced it. Roosters often are better at keeping watch than hens and can give an early warning call. Hens are very intent little foragers, that can lose track of what's going on in their environment.

    Some people have said that over time, they have developed a flock that was more successful free ranging. The birds that can learn and adapt live and the others don't and are lost. This is a tough way to go if you love your chickens. It does mean yours may be more careful now, watch a little more or stay under cover a little more.

    Until you figure out what you want to do, at least your chickens would be safe in the run. Once a hawk targets your chickens, you often have further losses right away.
  6. Heidina

    Heidina Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2008
    Plymouth, MA
    Thanks for all of your responses. I had searched "hawks" and seems the owl and CD suggestions are most abundant. He was back yesterday at 2:30, and I scared him away. He's a gorgeous bird and very big, red tail, I think. Put everybody in the run to keep them safe. Seems hawks stick around here for the winter, so maybe I'll try the CD thing. Also thinking some of those whirligigs or pinwheels around the yard might help. [​IMG]

    P.S. - My neighborhood is rife with blue jays and gazillions of birds.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2008
  7. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    Try to attract a flock of crows. They're GREAT at running off hawks!
  8. Kathy1

    Kathy1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Crows for sure, I was in the yard at 4pm and had the girls free ranging and heard this god awful noise, it was a crow circling a hawk and trying to chase it away. It went on for about 5 minutes then the hawk flew away and for good measure the crow followed it !!!
  9. Heidina

    Heidina Out Of The Brooder

    May 5, 2008
    Plymouth, MA
    Today I saw 3 crows chasing, dive bombing a raptor, not sure if it was Our Hawk. We've got plenty of testy jays and crows around, but still Mr. Big had his way with Agnes? Beatrice? Clementine? Delores? Ethel? Francine? Whomever...
  10. I have WHAT in my yard?

    I have WHAT in my yard? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 24, 2008
    Eggberg, PA
    We had a hawk loss this past week, and I was worried about when the hawk might move on.... We have tons and tons of crows and the like, but....

    Today I found a big pile of feathers in front of the barn. I have been keeping our birds locked up so it wasn't mine. I don't know what died the hawk or something else!

    Do hawks just get more aggressive when it gets cold and the little critters they usually eat hibernate?

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