Hawk/Eagle Protection With Electric Poultry Netting?


7 Years
Mar 28, 2012
Hi everyone!

My plan is to install an automatic door on our coop and enclose a huge area for free ranging using electric poultry netting (I'll be using 300' of netting for the space I have, so over 5000 sq ft of "run" space). This way the chickens (I have 16 of them) can more safely free range when we're not home, and when we're home we'll let them out into the rest of the yard (we're on acreage).

We do have hawks and eagles in the area and, though my property is treed and the chickens will have cover, I know that our chickens will be vulnerable to airborne attacks. Do you think it would work to string fishing line back and forth across the top of the part of the run where there's less cover? I was thinking I could just loop it around the electric netting posts and string it back and forth and that it shouldn't interfere with the operation of the electric poultry netting. It means I won't be able to easily walk through or access that area, but it's worth it to keep them safer.

I have been in this situation when I used to raise pheasants in Scotland. Covering the run wasn’t possible due to the trees in the run. What we used to do was to provide ground cover, in various forms, like tree branches, or natural vegetation, you could also build a structure with corrugated/tin roof, which is 18 inches high. The idea is the birds have to run for cover at the onset of an airborne attack.
I have also seen on here people using fishing line with CDs or DVDs hanging from them, the shiny side reflects in the sun light, and apparently the hawks don’t like that!!!!
We use the CD's on our fruit trees to keep the birds off, and it works well! I'll hang CD's around the chicken run area to deter hawks and eagles, and I'll provide multiple areas of cover throughout. We plan to get a rooster also, which will help with warnings.

I didn't think our yard would be easy for a hawk or eagle to access (lots of trees and other obstructions), but the other day a friend told me that she was late letting her chickens out of their coop and she went outside to find a huge eagle on the ground, just outside the coop door, pacing and waiting for them to come out. Apparently she had had a few birds go missing and couldn't figure out where they went - now she knows!

I always imagined them needing a large field or pasture to swoop down and take off again. I never thought about them landing and then just hopping around on foot!

The electrified run area will be really long and narrow (only 20' wide but 120' long), and is filled with shrubs and small fruit trees, so hopefully that makes it tougher for a hawk or eagle to navigate into without hitting the electric fence.

I guess we just have to try and see what works. Thanks!
I've heard of people using scare crows too. Not sure if that helps with the eagle/hawk situation or just crows.
Also a long narrow run, a rooster, dogs (mine aren't so good with flying predators).

We had a small duck pen covered with netting. The eagle would sit on the corner post trying to figure out how to get in.

Please keep us informed - I'll be trying the same thing later.
Don´t forget. the electric fence will not do anything to a flying bird, that a normal fence will do. Since they are flying, and not standing on the ground, the circuit will not be completed, and they will not receive a shock.

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