Hawk!!! Close call...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by blueheaven, Oct 2, 2009.

  1. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Central Indiana
    so - i always let my chixs roam in the pasture when i am outside. however, when i cannot be out there, i put them in the fenced in backyard. they love it there. lots of fun things to eat and dig.

    today, i went outside to leave and noticed a brown spotted hawk (d*** thing!) on the ground. i got sooo nervous and shewed him away. i saw 5 out of my 8 (24 week old) chixs in the shed and started counting for the others. all were there. close call.

    i cannot believe the hawk landed in the backyard. i have never seen a hawk on our 3.3 acres. so - guess i will either NOT them free range, but they will hate that...or just have to stay outside wiht them 24/7
     
  2. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    Or put up some anti-hawk devices; hanging CDs, string grid around/over a specific area. Maybe not foolproof but two hawks living 700 feet from our coop have not returned to visit our girls since putting this stuff up. And we see them fly over all the time on their way to and from their home.
     
  3. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Central Indiana
    where/how high should i hang them?
    their run/coop is completely covered. i have 3 acres of just lawn behind my house they roam. in the fenced in back yard i have a small shed a tress and a swingset for shelter.
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I know...my chicks are just babies! Had them out in the (covered) run today for a few minutes when the sun finally came out...trying to get them used to the outdoors a little. And who should float down, pretty low over the run but a hawk!! I guess he/she was checking out the new additions. I want to be able to let my ladies out to free range a little next spring when they're older, but it will have to be under supervision only, and I will have to try the cd/fishing line thing (although it looks so tacky:p and I'm sure I'll be made fun of...lol ). Glad I built a large run, because I think they will be spending a LOT of time in it...
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  5. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    I used 12' and 16' long 2x4s which I attached by wire to steel T posts (no digging or wood rot that way). I inserted large eye screws near the top of the posts and ran mason twine between the posts. I hung a length of twine every 6 feet or so (about 6' long) and attached 8 CDs total to a a few of them. I can walk under the whole thing. The CDs put on quite a light show in the sun and I suspect it does not look that inviting from the air with hanging cords. Couple of pics on my website.

    I have 6 acres but I put this around a 10,000 sq ft area by the coop/run.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2009
  6. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    Not too expensive and took about 3 hours to set up. So far, so good.
     
  7. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    It only looks "tacky" at first. Then looks like "protection" (a deterrent that works). And after a while, it just is not noticed...as long as you can walk under. My CDs are about 8-10 feet above ground level.

    My nearest neighbor thinks it is pretty neat. Of course, he gets eggs every now and then. [​IMG]
     
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Actually, I don't think it looks tacky at all. I was worried about the aesthetics of the whole thing too, but it actually looks kind of neat. I had a huge stack of old CD's to work with so I used 2 together so that all you can see are the shiny sides and the printed sides are hidden. I also have some CD's pierced by the branches of my pines that look almost like Christmas decorations. The whole thing looks... shiny. [​IMG]

    My 4 y.o. loves it. And no hawks attacks lately.
     
  9. Stephanie-n-Hayden

    Stephanie-n-Hayden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 15, 2009
    I have three hens born in April with a Rooster also born in April. I have done alot of research about how to properly care for them. They have become part of our family. We got them for pets and have become very attached to them. We built them a predetor-proof coop and attached an extra large dog kennel to it for them to spend time in. Over the summer, I started letting them have some free-range roaming time out on our 12 acre land. They LOVED it! Over time, I didn't see any signs of preditors, saw no hawks or anything, and started feeling more comfortable with letting them have more and more time outside of the "chicken yard". They enjoyed it so much and were so happy I couldn't make myself take their daily freedom away from them. Everything was just great. Until Tuesday. We got home from work and didn't see the flock, but that was not abnormal, they had a lot of yard space to roam. We ate quickly and rushed out for football practice. When we got home, it started getting dark so I went out to gather eggs from the coop and lock them up for the night. When I opened the door, the 3 hens were there bedding down for the night, but Ricky Roo (our beloved, kind-hearted banty rooster) was not there. I freaked out because he never left his girls. I called my husband in hopes that maybe he had gone into the shop and Ricky might have followed him in there and got shut up in there, but nothing. I called and called for him listening for his crow, knowing it was a lost cause, and nothing. We have searched the area for any sign of him, even for a scattered pile of feathers from an animal attack, but have found nothing. He has just vanished. I can only assume that he was taken by a hawk. I am absolutely devistated! I have cried for 2 days staight. I am able to talk about it breifly now without crying, but if I think about it alot, I start crying again. I miss him so very much and kick myself for not being more careful. Needless to say, the girls are staying inside the chicken run (fenced area) and are no longer aloud to run free for their own safety. The wierd thing is that they seem to be depressed too. I don't know if I am just reading it into their behavior because I am. They are being very quiet, maybe they miss Ricky too or maybe they just are not happy about being locked up again with little freedom to go where they please.

    Ricky was the best little rooster. He licked to climb un onto my shoulder and rub his head in my hair. He crowed in the morning, during the day, and in the evening, pretty much all the time. It is very quiet here without him now. He was the first rooster I have ever had the privilage of owning and he was the best. My 5 years old son, who loved him as much as I did and has also had a difficult time dealing with the loss, tells me he is up in Heaven know with God and watching us and that we will see him someday.

    One of the hens has been broody for a couple of weeks now. I know that it may be too late in the year to let her hatch them with cooler weather coming, But I am letting her because if they are fertilized, then perhaps one of them will be l little Ricky Jr. and his legacy will live on.
     
  10. blueheaven

    blueheaven Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Central Indiana
    so sorry to hear about your loss. i have not ever seen a hawk on our property. my girls just LOVE to be in our fenced in back yard that is attached to the house and we even have a yellow lab. so the fact that there was a hawk on the ground in our fenced in back yard is amazing.

    my girls too are depressed i am not letting them out. they all come running to the gate. too cold to stay outside all day with them!

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