Free Ranging Chickens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by rrcommander, May 13, 2008.

  1. rrcommander

    rrcommander In the Brooder

    May 1, 2008
    I live where I can free range my flock. I can seen a number of hawks around the area. What can I do in my yard to ward off hawks? I was thinking of a large breed bird like a turkey or peafowl.[​IMG]
  2. yellowdragon

    yellowdragon Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Springville, Indiana
    Ifree range chickens and they have to have a bush, or brush, or a shelter they can bolt to in a seconds notice. It needs to be big enough for them, but not big enough that a hawk can swoop under it. I have no idea about big poultry. They maybe safe????? I have no idea about the warding off of hawks. They don't stick around very long here.... I think they move on to my mom's house( 5 mins through the woods) because she has frequent hawk attacks [​IMG] .
  3. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    A Red Tailed Hawk can kill up to a 10 pound animal...There was one on GMA this morning and that what her handler said.

    Even if you DO have big girls, they might be able to kill it, but not be able to take off with it...
  4. yellowdragon

    yellowdragon Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Springville, Indiana
    It had to happen after I posted.... A hawk attack yesterday [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] My daisy( polish Frizzle). It broke her leg and she has a smal wound too.
  5. Bi0sC0mp

    Bi0sC0mp Songster

    Apr 21, 2008
    i would not take the chance free rangeing if there are hawks around cause you will lose a few in due time to just not worth it to me..
  6. Carolyn

    Carolyn Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    I'd love to free range too and thought it might be possible when they are grown and if I get a good roo out of my 80% roo flock!
    My DH said it wouldn't ever work here in the woods where we live so he built a nice sturdy run including a hawk proof cover.
    Today at "High Noon" a racoon decided to see just how prediator proof it is. You know the story: man with gun, one shot fired. I am so glad we were home.
    Oddly enough the chickens never even squawked until the gun was fired.
    Anyway I guess I'll just keep pulling grass and weeds; my flower beds seem to have an endless supply.
  7. Kentucky

    Kentucky In the Brooder

    Apr 16, 2008
    When I was younger I used to do a "lot", maybe I should say a "whole lot" of hunting; dove, quail, pheasant, duck, goose, rabbit, coyote and deer.

    Needless to say, to be a good shot, a hunter needs constant practice.

    When the wife's chicken get old enough to free range, I think that protecting them will provide considerable shooting practice.

    Until that time their electrically guarded fortress seems to be providing more than adequate protection, however the guns are loaded.

  8. nautical_bouy

    nautical_bouy Songster

    Mar 23, 2008
    Beaver PA
    Living in western PA I've been fortunate to see many presentations by Master Falconer, Earl Schriver.

    A few things he has stated about birds of prey were,
    They can kill an animal weighing 8-10 times their weight, they may not be able to fly off with it but they can and will kill much larger animals if hungry enough.
    Think about what a 3lb falcon or 5lb hawk or owl can do?

    If you have Golden Eagles in your area, you can have problems, they are such an amazing, efficient, predator.

    One of the laws in falconry is no Golden can be free flown east of the Mississippi, beacuse if it's hungry, something big is going to die.
    The female Golden he owns killed a full grown male German Shepard that killed a small falcon in the previous owners yard.
    In times gone by, Golden Eagles were used to hunt wolves, one on one, their talons can crush a mans bones in the fore arm.

    To actually see falcons, hawks, owls, and eagles up close gives a true respect for what they can do. The beaks and talons are truley scary, I've seen them, it's one of the reasons I didn't try and save my Barred Rock from a Great horned Owl a few days ago.
    I knew she was dead when the owl landed, even at 6'2'' 240,,, I'm not fighting a wild box of razor blades.

    Actually it was oddly beautiful and amazing at the silence and speed of how nature can work watching it from less than 20 yards away.
  9. Here, the raptors are protected by law.
    Oh and the chickens that bolt into a bush may find Mrs. fox or Mr. coyote there...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: