Hawk almost got my chickens!

CHICKEN CAPTAIN

In the Brooder
Nov 5, 2018
10
6
17
Hello,
Just a few hours ago, I was in the kitchen making dinner when I heard a commotion outside. I heard one of my chickens screaming and what looked like a hawk. I ran outside and saw a cluster of feathers fly up and a peregrine falcon (looked like a female) fly up through the trees. I have had my flock of four for a year now and have only had problems with possums and squirrels. This is the first time I had seen a raptor bird attack my girls. I went looking everywhere for my chickens and only saw one who had retreated to her coop. The other three were missing and I looked all through my yard and the neighbor's yard thinking the falcon may had dropped one over the fence. I found them all unharmed under the grill. One of them was missing some feathers, but was otherwise fine.

Anyway, is there a way to keep hawks out of my run? The run is far too big to cover (about 150 square feet). I have heard of cd's strung along fishing line? Does this work? Please let me know soon as the coop its self is too small for to live in full time.

Thank y'all,
Chicken Captain
 

ChickenLeg

Crowing
9 Years
Feb 15, 2012
1,399
1,596
297
Ive seen fake owls placed around the locks at dams to keep birds away. I think it helps, because other dams without the owls are usually covered with birds. Maybe you can try this for your home, fake owls arent cheap though.

They also had sensors at one lock so when a bird flew in range a dying seagull cry was played very loudly, that kept birds away too!

And 150sq feet is nothing, 10ft x 15ft or something similar? You can find thick 1x1in 2x2in ect.. nylon netting on ebay very fairly priced to cover that area. Add a few post around to keep it up and you'll be set!

Then theres the shotgun method... once hawks come around they wont stop unless the birds are unavailable for a prolonged period. I had them come back day after day taking 1 or 2 chickens a day until I locked them all up for weeks and they still returned once I started free ranging again..
 

CHICKEN CAPTAIN

In the Brooder
Nov 5, 2018
10
6
17
I measured the run, it’s actually about 400-500 sq feet. I really can’t cover it. Maybe the owls will work?
 

paneubert

Songster
Nov 20, 2015
1,963
2,767
241
Snohomish County, Washington State
My Coop
My Coop
I measured the run, it’s actually about 400-500 sq feet. I really can’t cover it. Maybe the owls will work?
Hate to be the wet blanket, but if they work, it will be temporary (most likely). A photo that is often posted when people talk about fake owls is this one...
6791173

Of course that might just be one that is smarter than the thousands of other hawks that DO fall for the fake decoy, but....who knows. Doesn't look good. Haha.

Here is a thread about using decoys.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/owl-or-crow-decoys-to-deter-hawks.960975/
 

paneubert

Songster
Nov 20, 2015
1,963
2,767
241
Snohomish County, Washington State
My Coop
My Coop
So that I am not just sounding like a wet blanket, why not try something relatively cheap to see it it helps? Buy something like "Deer X" or another thin netting intended to cover fruit trees to protect from small birds and deer. Like this stuff. I bought the 7 foot by 100 foot version, but I have seen different dimensions. All less than $20.

Link: http://a.co/d/3aaXpjD

Then you just need to figure out (based on the dimensions of your run) if you need to put a couple "tent" pole supports in the middle of your run to hold up the netting so that you can still walk under it. The stuff is super light, so it doesn't take any sort of massive poles to hold it up. Just something to keep it from sagging in the middle.

It is in no way meant to be predator proof against chewing, but would keep out flying predators.
 

CHICKEN CAPTAIN

In the Brooder
Nov 5, 2018
10
6
17
Hmm... I saw talked with a guy who had lost his silkie to a hawk and had lined the top of his run with fishing line. On the fishing line we’re a bunch of cd’s. He said the reflection from the cd’s had detered hawks ever since. Anyone have any experience with this?
 

JDGreene

Songster
Oct 18, 2018
163
290
133
Tennessee
I was deer hunting one time in a tree stand inside of the woods, not on the edge of a field or something. I saw a hawk fly though the woods underneath me and continue through the woods without hitting anything. It amazed me.

I also have a hawk stalking my chickens. The chickens run into the coop with every little thing that happens. I have cd's and an owl and scarecrow that I move around everyday. It hasn't attacked my chickens yet, but it's only a matter of time I'm afraid. I have caught the hawk twice perched up in a tree yards from the coop.
 

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