Hawk has moved in - 3 losses this weekend

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by NellaBean, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    7,261
    18
    261
    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    Just what the subject says......I notied a young bantam cochin missing at lockup last night. And realized I hadn't seen another young bantam cochin lately.......while I was letting the roosters out of their coop, a hawk swooped in and attacked. Sure seemed like it was going after my broody's baby...which it did not get (excellent broody mom)....I went and started counting the smaller birds and am now missing a blue mille fleur d'uccle pullet too. Darn it. So three birds in the last few days. I "upgraded" 4 roosters from the rooster pen into the big yard...figure they can help with hawk calls and being a "presence" in the yard.

    I have no way to cover my yard....its about a half acre uncovered, with large trees around the back perimeter portion.

    Would it help to put "tables" out for the birds to have places to go for cover? I have 3x8 panels I had made to make an easy to assemble/disassemble pen. I could put them on legs using the panel as a "tabletop" and put a few around the yard. Would that help?
     
  2. twentynine

    twentynine Songster

    1,735
    26
    161
    Jun 14, 2009
    I criss/crossed the top of my chicken yard with cheap 1/4" yellow poly rope. I think it messes with the hawks ability to swoop in.

    In your larger area you could use fishing line. Hanging old CDs - pie plates--- whatever from the line.
     
  3. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Songster

    216
    0
    109
    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    OK heres what your gonna have to do number one and hardest lock em up for 1 week not 5 days not 6 a solid week... Get some fishing line 40 pound test etc run a few strands across the yard up outta the way where you cant see it... Hang a few cds from the line say every 10 - 15 feet I used a bunch of old software cds we all have em right... next in my yard I have a cloths line the wife hangs the laundry out well if the laundry is out graet it acts as a scare crow.. If not I hang an old white sheet out there and move it along the line every couple days in the wind it looks like danger to a hawk.... also if your in the country and can use a gun I fire 12 ga rounds into the air away from the hawk or I also use bottle rockets and fire close to em I have done this my yard dont look bad and I have hayks hunting in the field next to me but no kills I also have areas of cover in the yard and the hens use it if they see or hear a hawk...
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  4. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Songster

    1,310
    11
    133
    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    Putting tables our cover out in the yard would help a bit but since you have so many trees around your yard I doubt it would help very much. Cover like that is best when the chickens can see the hawk flying over head then run for cover. When you have tall trees like that around your lot, the hawks will just sit in the trees and wait for your birds to come out then hit them so fast they can't take cover.

    I have heard the CD and tin pan ideas thrown around for years but we have so many hawks here in the South East it doesn't even phase them. If you had a small enough lot where you could run the fishing line back and forth over the lot it could work. I have heard of people having success doing that but I would imagine it would have to be pretty tightly woven and you mentioned that you have a half acre that is just not going to work.

    The only sure way to keep them safe is to keep them in covered runs. If you are determined (as I am) to allow them to have some free range time; I only allow my birds to range an hour or so before they go to roost so I can stay out with them until they move back into the coop. If you want them to have more range time than that; you will need to pen them up for a minimum or 7 - 14 days, hoping the hawk will forget about them and move on. Then your idea of giving them cover of tables etc. scattered around the yard, I think is the best bet.

    Good luck to you! Hawks and coons are my biggest problems. Since I have started letting the range late in the evenings and staying out with them, I havent had one problem.

    P.S. Just another point...when letting the free range during the day, I have hawks kill birds within 20 feet of me!!!!! One time I even had a farm tractor going pulling a bush hog!!! That is why I have a hard time believing in the CD/tin pan ideas.
     
  5. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Songster

    216
    0
    109
    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    you need to harass the birds the reason I dont have issues even with 5 hawks the next field 200 feet over is that if I see em i shoot in their direction (not aiming at em) and fire off my large rockets I chase em etc it makes them fear people...
     
  6. rcentner

    rcentner Songster

    1,215
    34
    161
    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    be careful firing rounds into the sky! I shoot a 22 long rifle and I would hate to hear someone got hit by a random fly away bullet. Now, maybe a short range firearm would be a tad safer? in any event, they do seem to forget about the chickens, but they are always on the look out for anything. If you really want to free range you will likely find that the hawks can be the least of your concerns. Fox really like chicken and they hunt around sun up and sundown..not at night like a lot of folks think. good luck, I have my chickens in runs unless I am there in the yard with them
     
  7. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    7,738
    107
    321
    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I have used little protection stations all over my yard when under attack, and I made several scarecrows using old clothes and a balloon for the head. I put big fake red jewels on TOP for eyes pointing up, and the balloons move, so it takes them a bit to catch on. I move them daily and sometimes mid-day. I put silver mylar balloons around the yard, filled with helium, and tied to a brick you can move those, too.

    I also stuck the jewels in pairs in the tops of things that were visible from above, like flat fenceposts, and roofs. I got a wrist-rocket slingshot and shoot little whiffle ping-pong balls in the direction of the birds. I'm considering getting an airhorn-in-a-can....

    I leave my dogs out when I can.

    ETA I only lost one bird- last year- and it was in the middle of the morning.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  8. arch_cpj

    arch_cpj Songster

    216
    0
    109
    Mar 19, 2010
    medina county
    Quote:I personally use a 12ga with accoustic rounds in them there called blammers and are LOUD!!! basically a blank shotgun round with a bit of a pyrotec in it google exotic shotgun ammo a pack of 4 is like 8 dollars YA DONT SHOOT A RIFLE IN THE AIR.. now a shot gun with bird shot in a field etc your fine 9 shot might go 50 yards and does no damage comin down..
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by