Doves eating food and giving chickens lice. Scarecrow? Live caged Hawk? Lion on a leash?


7 Years
I live in the beautiful wet tropics of North Queensland Australia. Our native fauna include; goannas, snakes(big ones), eagles/hawks and CHICKENS! The only animal I'm annoyed with however is those bloody Turtle Doves! They were pretty cool at first, there was a male and a female that would come every morning and take a small nibble out of the feeder and be on their way. Now however there's eleven. I have to de-lice my chickens 1-2 times a month. I'm spending a fortune on food and they keep lowering the water level in the waterer dangerously low. Any ideas on how to scare them? Should I make a scarecrow? I tried putting a fake owl up but that just made me feel like an idiot. Suggestions?
I have no idea how to scare the doves away. I add poultry/sevin dust and DE to the favorite dust bathing areas and let the chickens dust themselves for lice/mites. Depending on the number of chickens in your flock, you can put dog flea/tick drops on your chickens once a month to keep the mites/lice at bay. I put a drop of it on back of their neck and a drop just at the base of the tail. Some folks but a drop under each wing. You will most likely not be able to keep all lice off your birds as long as they get to free range.
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Yeah, forgot to mention I only have three hens. The treatment in the dustbathing area sounds good. I would get a rooster but I live in a small neighbourhood and my parents/neighbours would kill me (because of the noise). Would a rooster keep doves away?

Rooster did not keep doves away (similar circumstances they even would get into the coop and they pooped little poops everywhere)- but what did was my house cat learning to come out and sit in the tree in the chicken yard- Bye bye doves (cat wears a bell so he is yet to actually catch anything but he is a nuisance bird deterrent)...
When I built my coop/run I put chicken wire over the top and stiched it together. This was mainly to stop hawks, animals that climbs, chicks from flying away and food bandits. Oh and big snakes.
Sounds like you might not have a coop or run?
What is your setup like? The best way to stop pests is to take away their ability to get at the chicken feed. If you have an enclosure for your hens, consider putting the feed inside only. They are smart enough to go in and out to get a bite to eat when they aren't ranging.
For a little more effort, you can also consider a treadle feeder. There are many good plans here on BYC if you search "treadle feeder".
We live on a hill right next to rainforest and canefields. The coop sits overlooking the suburb. It's protected from Hawks an stuff but the cunning little birds will scuttle right inside the coop. I'm not over the top P'd off with them, I just thought there might be a way around it. Here's the coop. It's covered by passionfruit vines and to the left of it is the drop-down to the neighbours.
How beautiful!

I would suggest putting in a door only for the chickens and leave that one open during the day instead of the people-door-- doves and other birds seem less inclined to enter through small doorways if they think that they can't leave again in a hurry... but your coop looks so lovingly made that I would hate to suggest you alter it!

Do you ever have parrots?
Yeah, we used to get Cockatoos comming in and eating the passionfruit but now instead of letting the vine climb up the big tree we kept it above the coop and covered in bird netting. Now we get tonnes of passionfruit and the chickens love it as well. The cool thing is it provides shelter from rain. If it showers for less than half an hour the ground below it will be completely dry. Anyway, the feeder is just to the right of the big doorway because the chickens decide that they will all feed at the same time. I'm not too keen on moving the feeder. I'll attach a couple more pics tomorrow.

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