Hawk got 7 week old chick...so mad at myself. Bushes?

sahmhomesteader

Chirping
6 Years
Nov 3, 2013
271
14
93
SW Ohio
I am fairly new to raising a backyard flock. I bought my hens last November, and then I bought 12 chicks about 7 weeks ago. Today, I had put my chicks out to range with the big girls like I have been for the past week. I was out with them for a while then had to get my two toddlers ready. I kept checking on the chicks every 10 minutes or so. The last time I went to check I could no longer see them so I ran outside. Counted them all huddled together in the playhouse and there were only 11. I searched for the other when I heard a hawk. Saw one overhead at the back of the property and one on the ground. I ran that way, and the hawk took off. Sure enough, it had killed the baby chick. I am so mad at myself. That poor chick must have been terrified. I moved them all back inside and have now been watching my adult hens very closely.

I am hoping to go to a nursery today and get some bushes for the chickens to hide in. Any ideas about a good fast growing bush that I can put in the middle of the yard?
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
20
113
That's not really a viable option since it takes one getting hit by a hawk to startle the others into hiding. Eventually you would run out of warnings for the others to hide.
The most effective way is to get rid of the hawks. I have ducks that lay wherever they wish with no rhyme or reason. No particular spot, just wherever they happen to be at the moment. Every morning at daylight the crows come to eat the eggs. Crows hate owls and hawks. They chase them out of the areas they chose to live. Just offer up eggs in the yard to them. Eventually they will find them and do the rest. The other solutions would be a covered run, chicken tractors or killing the hawks. I'm assuming killing them is out of the question or you wouldn't be asking about bushes? Federal law dictates they can be killed for killing livestock but local laws may not allow firing a firearm in certain areas.
Good luck, have a good day.
 

sahmhomesteader

Chirping
6 Years
Nov 3, 2013
271
14
93
SW Ohio
That's not really a viable option since it takes one getting hit by a hawk to startle the others into hiding. Eventually you would run out of warnings for the others to hide.
The most effective way is to get rid of the hawks. I have ducks that lay wherever they wish with no rhyme or reason. No particular spot, just wherever they happen to be at the moment. Every morning at daylight the crows come to eat the eggs. Crows hate owls and hawks. They chase them out of the areas they chose to live. Just offer up eggs in the yard to them. Eventually they will find them and do the rest. The other solutions would be a covered run, chicken tractors or killing the hawks. I'm assuming killing them is out of the question or you wouldn't be asking about bushes? Federal law dictates they can be killed for killing livestock but local laws may not allow firing a firearm in certain areas.
Good luck, have a good day.

Killing the hawks is definitely out of the question. I was thinking shrubbery for cover as the huge lilac bush we have is a favorite here but we only have one. I prefer to free range. I was also trying to avoid a roo since I have a 3 year old boy and a 1 year old boy who play in the yard every day and enjoy petting the chickens and picking up the chicks. But maybe that is a better option? Idk...
 

keesmom

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
9,705
3,189
441
MA
Killing the hawk is out of the question because they are protected by federal law. It is illegal to kill one even if it has preyed on livestock.

You can try shrubbery for some cover. It will help but it won't guarantee their safety. A really hungry hawk is a really determined hawk.
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
20
113
Keesmom I believe you have made an incorrect assumption. You contact the USFWS for a permit if any species protected by 16 USC, 703-711 is killing livestock or damaging property. Permits may be issued in advance as well if the person believes more than one protected animal is killing livestock or damaging property. This applies to any of the dozen or so acts for federally protected animals, not just those covered under the migratory bird act.
not trying to be cross by the way.
Have a good day.
 

keesmom

Crowing
11 Years
Jul 28, 2008
9,705
3,189
441
MA
Keesmom I believe you have made an incorrect assumption. You contact the USFWS for a permit if any species protected by 16 USC, 703-711 is killing livestock or damaging property. Permits may be issued in advance as well if the person believes more than one protected animal is killing livestock or damaging property. This applies to any of the dozen or so acts for federally protected animals, not just those covered under the migratory bird act. 
not trying to be cross by the way.
Have a good day.

Yes you can apply for a permit, which you did not mention in your original post. Doesn't mean you will get one. Probably easier to get in some parts of the US. I live in MA where they don't want you shooting ANYTHING.

I live in such a predator heavy area I just leave mine in a covered run.
 

bugflipper

Songster
9 Years
Apr 9, 2010
228
20
113
I didn't know it was required for me to teach you the law or processes in fallowing the law on the matter. Then for you to speculate on how that particular process works, when you incorrectly said it was illegal just previous to that. And further add speculation to your particular state based solely on opinion once again without even looking the law up, boy what a spin.
Sorry, not generally argumentative but you wanted to act like a know it all when you haven't a clue as to what you are talking about. May as well get called out on it. I do realize you will need the last word so I'll just post no further on this thread to allow your piece of mind. feel free to pm me if you want to discuss it further.

My apologies sahm.
 

101chickencrazy

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 25, 2014
5
0
7
That is horrible!!! I am so sorry that happened to your little chick. I am afraid of hawks too. I see at least three a day. They can hear all my babies but can't find them. My chicks are on lock down until there are pretty big. But I just want to say law or no law I would shoot and kill those hawks if they ever got a baby. And if you can't shoot a shot gun I would get a real powerful BB gun and at least try to scare them off. Good luck :) I hope your babies stay safe!
 

nab58

Songster
6 Years
Mar 28, 2013
948
73
151
CT
My chickens like to hide under the forsythia bushes. They grow up and out and form a sort of umbrella with space to scratch around and dust bathe underneath.
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium member
10 Years
May 3, 2009
94,080
177,439
1,837
New Jersey
keesmom is right on the money. Yes, purportedly permits for removing raptors can be obtained, but I have NEVER heard of one being issued. On any number of posts, I have asked for someone who has gotten a permit to contact me - that has never happened.
 
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