Hawk eyeing my chicks again ...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by cookiesdaddy, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    This afternoon we let the 4 chicks roam the yard again, with me and my son standing right there with them. For a while, I kept watching the sky for any sign of hawk. Feeling all is safe, I began working on the coop (same area) for about 5-10 minutes, when my son yelled "hawk hawk". I jumped and danced and yelled and chased it away. Apparently a hawk had landed on a tree in our yard, watching for a clear sight to the chicks. That was a close call! I'm amazed how brave the hawk was, with both my son and me only a few yards from the chicks.

    Hmm ... does that mean my chicks can never free-range, even when they're grown up? :mad: Will hawk be less a problem when the chickens are fully grown?
  2. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    I have lost more chickens to hawks and owls than anything else you can think of combined. There's nothing you can do short of killing them which I am not condoning, but check with local game and fish because I think it's illegal. An old timer told me in the old days they erected some tall pole in the middle of the pasture, yard etc... and put a steel trap on top. When they lit, bam, no more hawk. Never tried it though.
  3. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    Oh yeah... Those hawks and owls will pick up a full grown chicken and take off with it. Be careful because that hawk now knows where it can find a potential meal.
    I know in the state of Ca, it is illegal to trap or kill a bird of prey.
  4. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    No I'm not planning to trap any hawk. They look pretty scary I wouldn't want to come near it. It's a bummer that I can't let the chicken free range in my yard though! :mad:
  5. jstudy

    jstudy In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2007
    Chicks will be a free meal to a hawk. Depending on the species it may not go after a full grown bird. Just put some wire or string above the area the birds are at, or cover a run for them. The hawks have plenty of other food sources and won't want to work hard for it once they find that they can't swoop down on it.

    It amazes me that people would even suggest killing a bird protected by federal law, if someone loses a bird to a predator they are to blame not it!
  6. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    Maybe you could build them a little chicken-tractor that was just for day use. It probably would be inexpensive and you could let them range around via the tractor in full safety from the hawks.

  7. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Songster

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    I have seen hawks in our backyard and I put some pie pans tied to string that blow and reflect in the wind and haven't had any problems so far.
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Several management options can be used to help limit losses to hawks. Larger chickens with rooster(s) in mix can make going after chickens more risky. Making certain chickens have cover (vegetation) they can retreat to where hawk cannot fly helps as well. Some roosters will actively drive off a hawk that lands on ground. Mine do. Having a dog that is vigilant can be a very effective deterrent. I use all of above and losses minimal even though red-tailed hawks have a nest within sight of my yard and they do have an appetite for chicken. My chickens and I say bring it on, punk!

    I am not a proponent of the CD method since I have not tried it myself.
  9. colby318

    colby318 got 'dottes?

    Jul 14, 2008
    Stamping Ground, KY
    I have flight netting on my runs for the owls at night. I haven't lost any full grown large fowl chickens to the hawks, but those red tail hawks picked off my bantams and teenage birds left and right. [​IMG] All raptors are protected by federal law. This means fines and jail time for anyone busted killing a hawk. [​IMG]
  10. chickortreat

    chickortreat Songster

    May 26, 2009
    Quote:And does this same logic apply to victims of heinous crimes? If someone's home is burglarized, they should have taken better steps to prevent it......If someone's car is stolen, they should have tried harder to prevent it.....what's wrong with this picture? I have the "right" to leave my wallet lying on the doorstep if I so desire, and no one has the "right" to steal it. I don't try to tempt criminals, but I sure ain't gonna accept that it was my fault if some predatory fool decides to break into my house. Funny thing is, defending one's home against intruders is justifiable, while defending one's flock of lowly chickens is not.

    And if the hawk loses the fight with the chicken, whose fault is that? Where do condemned chickens go? Chik-a-traz?

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