digahomestead

In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2020
5
14
18
Hi everyone,
I just integrated 6 new chicks into my flock within the week. things seem to be going well. Yesterday a hawk came down and killed (and ate) one of my littles. I understand this is a risk we take. I have lost chickens to fox and coyotes before, but never a prey bird. How are you protecting you flocks against this? I was told string some fishline over the area, and someone else told me netting. Thoughts or ideas would be helpful, our outside area is about 400 SF and we have 14 birds.
Tracy D
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
20,238
25,747
982
Colorado Rockies
Where you live, do you ever see crows and ravens? I have them nesting in the area and I encourage them to hang around by tossing the dead mice to them that I trap. These scavengers are very territorial and they chase hawks out of their range. I and my flock are the beneficiaries.

You really don't want to free range chicks until they reach a good size, at least ten weeks. Smaller chicks are just too tempting for any predator, sky or land, and even crows will take a small chick.
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,097
16,751
766
Holts Summit, Missouri
When chicks not with a hen, then for much of the day I have them in chicken tractors that can be propped up at end of day for an excursion lasting a couple of hours. The chicks go back to tractor to roost so I close it back down. Chicks are promoted to roost away from sides of tractor on or in a plastic milk crate. The chick tractor is setup so chicks can break line of sight with hawk by hinding against a wall made of wood or is covered with cloth.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
21,335
32,418
1,036
southern Michigan
Welcome!
So sorry for your loss, it's hard to loose any of them.
For now, keep everyone in their safe coop and covered run, because this hawk will return! Plan on the flock being inside for two weeks or longer, until this bird leaves. Often the hawk will take another bird every three days or so, don't think it's gone!
Bantams and young birds are most at risk, although sometimes adult standard birds are killed too. It's a risk when free ranging.
Places to get under cover, letting them out at different times of the day, and a covered run, all matter. @cmom has good advice about netting to cover runs, she has big areas covered for her runs.
Mary
 

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