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Free range setup to deter hawks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fiddlebanshee, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    I have a fully enclosed run and coop with hardware cloth and now also an electric fence around it. I bought enough of the electric fence to make a larger enclosure eventually in which the chickens could explore more than just the 20x32 ft run. I have 14 chickens, the run is bare.

    So I can make a narrow 15x60 feet swath behind the run but I'm concerned about hawks. We live in a fully wooded area and I see redtails and other hawks and owls frequently. So what is the best way to keep these flying predators out?

    The tentative plan I have is to build a hoop frame or other low but light enclosure inside the electric fence and cover that with bird netting. This way I would also prevent the chickens being zapped by the electric fence. I don't want to build another fort knox.

    If I would not enclose the sides of this and just put netting on top close to the electric fence what is the chance that hawks would get into it? How do hawks hunt? Do they have to be able to do a flying attack or can they work their way in and then attack? I want to find the easiest way to do this without spending another fortune.

    Your advice as always appreciated.
     
  2. jruhle

    jruhle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2012
    I covered my run the first time a hawk got one of my hens but another big goshawk flew in through the gaps and waited for someone to poke thier head out the door and grabbed her! I had to fix every dang hole and gap to keep the hawk out. The hawk came back and looked everywhere for a way in!! He practically knocked on the door and said "Let me in!" He never did get back in but I pretty much had to keep the web pretty tight over the entire run. I've only had problems with hawks in the fall when they are migrating. Local hawks don't seem to bother us. I use gillnet because its very light and snow passes through it and if a hawk gets in it'll be in a tangled mess when it tries to get out! I also have a lot of eagles around but they don't care for chickens, they prefer ducks! My ducks are in a covered chainlink fortress of thier own. Hope I didn't worry you too much, here in alaska we have some pretty hungry predators on the prowl all the time! Good luck with your chickens!
     
  3. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
    Frederick, MD
    gillnet is a fishing net, correct?

    Thanks for sharing your experiences.
     

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