1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Hawk hanging over my run! ALL DAY!!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by peterlund, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. peterlund

    peterlund Songster

    Jan 29, 2010
    MA Cranberry Country
    I heard a huge commotion for about 1/2 hour... sounded like egg laying screams but they went on and on... Went out to see what the deal was and the girls were all huddled under a bush that is in their run still screaming... Then all of a sudden I see a hawk fly off the top of the run and perch in a tree a few yards away. Chased him away with a small rock (I missed) and he came back three times.... I have a gut feeling I will need to do something a bit more aggressive to change the hawks desire to hang around. Any tips?

  2. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    The tip is that you might be a little too late. You need to have physical barriers between your chickens and any potential predators. This includes a covered run.

    You can use noise and movement to try to scare the hawk away and maybe it will leave. Almost any other actions that can potentially harm the hawk are most likely illegal.
  3. kickinchicken

    kickinchicken Songster

    Mar 23, 2010
    Rhode Island
    Throw cranberries at him! [​IMG]

    I've heard about people hanging old CDs on string. The hawks aren't too keen on the shiny object thing. [​IMG]
    Everyone has unwanted CDs somewhere. Find 'em, and string 'em up! [​IMG]
  4. xenorph

    xenorph In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2010
    As long as the hawk can't get at the chickens I would just let him be. Just saying I'd rather have a hawk then weasels, rats or mice.
  5. peterlund

    peterlund Songster

    Jan 29, 2010
    MA Cranberry Country
    LOL... I am NOT going to waste perfectly good cranberries on him!

    OK. Coop has a chicken wire top... I do have a couple of Simon and Garfunkle CD's hanging about... Still if he comes back what is my next method of choice? Usually I let the girls roam about the neighborhood, and even with the neighborhood dogs etc, they are all still alive! Just want to minimize the carnage a hawk might bring. As for letting him sit there and stare at the chickens, is that a might bit stressful on the girls? BTW I have a couple Muscovy ducks that were sitting on the rail of my deck the whole time... Either unaware or not appetizing to the hawk....
  6. cobrien

    cobrien Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I'd keep them in for at least a week after the last hawk siting, but even then you'd be taking a risk. Hawk needs to know that s/he can't have chicken for lunch - that's the best way to keep them away. I've read stories here about hawks picking off chickens while their humans were standing close by.
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I would keep them locked up for awhile. The best way to get rid of a hawk is to not feed it. Eventually, it will leave, although it may stop by in the future, to see if any prey has become available. This is a bad time of year for hawk problems in my area.

    Can you put a tarp over part of your run, temporarily? That would give your chickens more visual cover, so they don't feel so exposed.

  8. ChickieBonBon

    ChickieBonBon In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2010
    Inver Grove Heights, MN
    We lost our favorite silkie to a hawk this year...first year with chickens and our first loss. [​IMG] I hear what you are saying though. Even though the hawk can't get to the chickens, once it knows they are there it seems to stalk them. Below is a picture of where our "friendly" hawk was sitting the morning after his first silkie snack. My husband already chased him away (didn't throw cranberries though [​IMG] ) and the hawk didn't seem to care.

    So, what did work? We kept the chickens locked up during the day (typically they free range) for over a week unless we were out there and the hawk wasn't in sight. I also covered the run with a blanket so the hawk couldn't see into the run (like it is doing in the picture). Eventually we didn't see it. However, we do see hawks on occasion and then we keep the chickens locked up.

    My opinion if you care:
    - CDs alone don't keep the hawks away. It is worth a try though. My husband found the hawk eating our silkie 3 feet from the garage door. The next day I watched the hawk circle, sit on our hammock, and "relax" on top of the coop. A covered run is the best bet. Maybe CDs on top of the covered run?? [​IMG]

    - I was really upset after our silkie died, but I just kept reminding myself that everything needs to eat and this is nature. Hawks eat chickens, cats eat mice, and we eat eggs. My chickens start to go nuts after being locked up for a day as they are so used to the free ranging way of life! Quality of life is my moto. [​IMG]

    Good luck and thanks for your help with my "lone duck" post. Much appreciated.

  9. highcountrychickens

    highcountrychickens Head Rooster Jouster

    Aug 28, 2008
    Jackson Hole
    Well the problem is that you used Simon & Garfunkle CDs... Hawks are known to be fans of this kind of music... I suggest hanging rap, older Metal, or Brittney Spears to repel them [​IMG]

    Jokes aside, I can't improve upon the great advice here (especially cranberry chucking) but I will say that, for general info to anyone reading this great thread with the same problem that you have, all birds of prey are protected under the Federal Migratory Species Act... making it a very big federal deal to kill one. IF it becomes a real problem, or the raptor kills one of your chickens, most areas have raptor rescue/rehabilitation organizations & facilties that you can call... (google 'raptor rehabilitation' and your region/city) Alternatively, you can call the US Fish & Wildlife Service in your region - they're the governing body that deals with birds of prey -

    Nice coop, btw Chickiebonbon!!
  10. Leia's Chickens

    Leia's Chickens A Sunkissed Delight

    Jun 20, 2010
    CDs work in the sunlight only. Absolutely no protection on a cloudy day or if shaded. Just our experience.

    We lost a couple to hawks (on cloudy days). We kept the girls in until late in the day when one of use would be out there. It was two weeks before they gave up on another free meal.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by