Goshawk Protection?

Winchikn

Chirping
Jan 20, 2020
68
85
89
Slocan Valley, British Columbia
After more than a year with our small flock on our property with no hawk issues, we had one of our big white sussex hens taken down by a hawk in our fenced garden five days ago. Then our neighbour lost a hen today, presumably to the same predator, and another neighbour fended off an attack today and snapped a photo. I think we're dealing with a goshawk.

We let our chickens range in our fenced orchard (summer) and garden (winter) and given incredibly large, wet, heavy snow loads from Nov to March I'm not sure if covering portions of our run is an option. If it is, we might not be able to tackle it properly until spring.

In the interim, I'm wondering what our next best deterrents are. Fake owl above the run? Hanging CDs or reflective tape or 'eyes'? Something else? I've got some bear bangers and flares at the ready but given my neighbour fired four blanks at the bird that had taken his chicken today and barely managed to scare it off, I'm not convinced the bear deterrents are going to do much permanent good.

*Note that I've read a few threads on this and am not open to suggestions to kill the hawk. It's not only illegal, this is simply not an ethical solution for us.
 

PatriciafromCO

Songster
5 Years
Aug 17, 2016
157
227
166
We have livestock guardian dogs. Can you put up a security camera, I have noticed the same individual predator birds return at around the same time. I've not used other deterrents to know if they work.
 

Winchikn

Chirping
Jan 20, 2020
68
85
89
Slocan Valley, British Columbia
Thanks @PatriciafromCO and @cmom.

My malamute cross hangs in the yard next to the run and I think that helps - but we can't leave him out when we're not home.

Until we can figure out netting I think I'm going to try running some strand wire over the run and hang reflective tape off it. And I may buy one of those fake owls and move it around on a pole ... and I will check out the tube man as well.

Here's hoping my neighbour's shots convinced the hawk to start hunting elsewhere yesterday. It looked like a juvenile, maybe scoping out new territory...
 

ChocolateMouse

Free Ranging
7 Years
Jul 29, 2013
5,603
17,987
707
Cleveland OH
Winchikn, do you have the option to get a rooster? A flock that listens to a good rooster and has places to hide is nearly hawk-proof. We VERY rarely have hawk issues when we have an adult rooster in the flock.
 

Winchikn

Chirping
Jan 20, 2020
68
85
89
Slocan Valley, British Columbia
I'll post the pic once I get the photographer's approval.

We do have a rooster - my avatar pic. He's 16 mos old now so maybe still a little green -- and chosen for his very friendly disposition. A 'good' rooster from the perspective that my 7-yr old can handle him easily, but maybe not our best hawk protection. We found him in the coop with two hens after the attack the other day. So maybe he did the best he could...

Seems like every chicken keeper I've talked to around here in the last few days has lost at least one bird to goshawks - and the only real solution is enclosure of some kind. We're in quite a rural, mountainous area with lots of dense forest... and lots of chicken-filled hobby farms in the valley. Goshawk heaven, it seems.
 

Winchikn

Chirping
Jan 20, 2020
68
85
89
Slocan Valley, British Columbia
Here's the hawk - in my neighbour's yard:

Hawkz_Nov2020.jpg
 

nuthatched

Fishin' for Chickens
Nov 9, 2019
6,324
13,041
526
God's Country, Az
Provide lots of cover for your chickens to hide under, table like things, branches, anything chickens can go under or around to get away. As for discouraging the hawk, I don't know, hanging stuff like you said, might help. Maybe scare crows that are moved frequently.
 

bryan99705

Songster
10 Years
May 16, 2011
1,509
43
204
North Pole, Alaska 99705
Winchikn, do you have the option to get a rooster? A flock that listens to a good rooster and has places to hide is nearly hawk-proof. We VERY rarely have hawk issues when we have an adult rooster in the flock.
A good rooster to alarm and a few limb piles to run under worked against bald eagles and ravens. it blocks their line of flight
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom