Hawk deterrant?

shoezanne

Songster
May 28, 2015
25
62
109
San Diego, CA
So my babies are 4 weeks old yesterday! We live within the city limits of San Diego, with canyons all around... and hawks are not uncommon. Is there some big plastic owl or something I can put on my roof to scare them away when I can safely let my girls out to free range?
2nd question, we normally feed backyard birds, finches, etc. but there's always a mess of thistle seed on the ground, I have read that wild birds can carry diseases not safe for chickens, also worried about the chickens eating the thistle seed on the ground. Any advice, expert friends?
Lastly (for today) Have you had any incidents of your chickens falling into a pond? Our pond is small but the chickens would be able to find it. :-(
Thank you so much in advance!
 

imneva

Songster
Apr 9, 2018
300
824
207
north central Wv
I have hawks where I live I have pin wheels on top at the corners of the run and that red plastic ribbon/tape(non sticky) criss crossed across the top of the run x's and straight lines so far no issues also I feed crows on my property my chickens cannot go to where I feed the crows because of diseases they may catch
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
8,993
12,769
967
The Big Island/Hawaii
I've lived in San Diego & know those canyons. Have no clue how effective those plastic Owls are. You also have snakes, owls, coyotes, skunks, rodents & other predators .... Suggestion, you could build your coop/run big enough that they remain safe in their enclosure.

Yes, wild birds carry disease and mites/lice ... Scattering seeds also attract mice that attract hawks & other critters. We never think of things like this until it becomes a problem. You could rake up the thistle seeds or just leave them, they may sprout.

I've read of chickens getting into ponds & not get out, and I've read they can swim. How deep is the pond? If they're able to stand, the problem would be they may get chilled.
 

ChickNanny13

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Jun 23, 2013
8,993
12,769
967
The Big Island/Hawaii
I've used pin wheels to keep my chickens away from my plants :fl Worked for bit but guess they're smarter than we give them credit for. When there's no wind, the pinwheels don't spin :rolleyes: My Mom used some to keep birds off her clothes line, my sister uses them to keep birds from a vacant area in her carport.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,975
37,545
1,096
southern Michigan
Welcome! Having a predator proof coop and run will protect your birds, and will be money well spent. Lights and flashing objects, and cute statues won't discourage interested predators for long!
It's best to feed wild birds far from your chickens, to protect them from the mites, lice, and sometimes diseases that those wrens and finches can carry.
Chickens really don't swim well, or at all. They will also poop at the pond, making more of a mess than you likely want there. Both dogs and chickens will rearrange your landscaping, not in good ways.
Mary
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,190
29,026
1,002
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
So my babies are 4 weeks old yesterday! We live within the city limits of San Diego, with canyons all around... and hawks are not uncommon. Is there some big plastic owl or something I can put on my roof to scare them away when I can safely let my girls out to free range?
2nd question, we normally feed backyard birds, finches, etc. but there's always a mess of thistle seed on the ground, I have read that wild birds can carry diseases not safe for chickens, also worried about the chickens eating the thistle seed on the ground. Any advice, expert friends?
Lastly (for today) Have you had any incidents of your chickens falling into a pond? Our pond is small but the chickens would be able to find it. :-(
Thank you so much in advance!

1) I think the only true protection from aerial predators is a secure run or a good working dog.

2) I feed wild birds as well, mostly BOSS (and my chickens help themselves to any fallen seeds). I've never had an issue but yes there's always a chance of some disease being passed on. My property attracts a lot of wild animals and birds so regardless if I feed the birds or not, they'll still be there, that's how I figure it.

3) I have a pond and a creek but I don't free range much. One of my hens actually walked out onto the pond thanks to some thick pond weeds! I used treats to call her back to me. Haven't had any other issue with the water, mine don't seem to have any real interest in it.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,975
37,545
1,096
southern Michigan
I have seen a sick wren here twice in over 25 years; they can get a fatal respiratory infection, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, which is very bad for chickens too. Both times I eliminated the one sick wren, removed and cleaned out the bird feeders, and warned the neighbors to also stop feeding the wild birds for a while. No more sick wrens appeared, and my chickens weren't infected. Scary!!!
We fight mites, and once lice, in our chickens, from the birds who visit the coop.
Wild bird feeders also attract raccoons, opossums, and rats, and that's not good either. Did I mention skunks too?
I still have bird feeders outside sometimes, but not all year, and not near the chickens.
Mary
 

shoezanne

Songster
May 28, 2015
25
62
109
San Diego, CA
I REALLY appreciate the feedback! What a tremendous resource you all are, to help new chicken parents avoid heartbreaking (and sometimes costly!) mistakes! Many thanks! We already love these chicks so so much, I hope to do everything I can to keep them healthy and safe. <3
 

shoezanne

Songster
May 28, 2015
25
62
109
San Diego, CA
1) I think the only true protection from aerial predators is a secure run or a good working dog.

2) I feed wild birds as well, mostly BOSS (and my chickens help themselves to any fallen seeds). I've never had an issue but yes there's always a chance of some disease being passed on. My property attracts a lot of wild animals and birds so regardless if I feed the birds or not, they'll still be there, that's how I figure it.

3) I have a pond and a creek but I don't free range much. One of my hens actually walked out onto the pond thanks to some thick pond weeds! I used treats to call her back to me. Haven't had any other issue with the water, mine don't seem to have any real interest in it.

I'm sincerely hoping my herding dogs become protective instead of the current "fixation" stare... The Aussie ignores them, the Border Collie can't look at them and breathe at the same time, lol.
 

Ghosty

Crowing
Jun 26, 2018
671
1,083
251
SW Missouri
I'm sincerely hoping my herding dogs become protective instead of the current "fixation" stare... The Aussie ignores them, the Border Collie can't look at them and breathe at the same time, lol.
I have 2 border collie/pyrenees crosses. The female acts and looks more border collie (my avatar). I had to sit out in the yard with her and the chickens every day for a couple weeks when she was a puppy. It was hard for her to not lay the stare on them and chase. She did learn restraint. Even if the pups aren't exactly members of the flock, they will still love to get after the varmints. Oh, I vote Leige Fighter rooster to keep away the hawks, cuz I just want one.
 

MANNA-PRO

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