Hawk Issues and I don't even have chickens yet

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hiker125, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. hiker125

    hiker125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    0
    109
    Apr 6, 2010
    Henryville
    I have a lot a hawks that fly over and one that hangs on near the back fence. Unfortunately, we have a small pack of coyotes that traverse our back field every afternoon around 5. They crouch in the tall grass and watch us work the horses. Only animals on the farm are two horses. We will be getting a decent sized roo from a neighbor who is not allowed to have him, but I think I need moreto protect the hens. We have 10 acres and a barn. The chickens will roost on one side of the horse run in. What else can I doto protect against the hawk? Will the coyote eat the chicken if they freerange close to the barn?
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,795
    3,758
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    With coyotes that unafraid, you will need to keep your chickens in a secure, well-build run and coop. A rooster would only be a speed bump if those coyotes decided to have chicken for lunch. Complete protection from hawks would mean a covered run. Either with welded wire or deer netting. (My runs are covered with welded wire to also deter heavier predators like raccoons.) The only "safe" birds are the ones that are cooped 24/7, and even that's not a guarantee. That being said, I'm willing to take the risk to let mine free range.
     
  3. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

    586
    86
    83
    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    Heck yeah they will make short work of any free-range chickens you put out.
    If I had coyotes eyeballing my horses in broad daylight, I would have already picked them off with the .223.

    My advice is to get a dog, Lab-sized, that stays in the backyard. With Coyote's that bold, its about the only way you will be able to free-range.

    Is your horse run open to the outside 24/7? If so, coyotes (and coons) will not hesitate for one moment to go in after the chickens.

    If your back yard has shrubs and cover the chickens can get under, and you have a good rooster, then maybe they will avoid the hawk. Maybe.

    But I think you are looking at either serious predator control (coyotes, hawks are protected) and a completely fenced chicken run & closeable/lockable coop.
     
  4. hiker125

    hiker125 Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    0
    109
    Apr 6, 2010
    Henryville
    Oh dear, I have my work cut out for me!

    I put my son on coyote target practice so maybe we can deter them from hanging around. I absolutely hate those @#$&%**. They completely creep me out, they are so sneaky. We do have two old bassets so they aren't much of a deterrent!

    For the fuzzy butts, do I need to dig down about 1 foot and put hardware cloth down around the coop and run? Have wire fencing and maybe run a line of electric fencing? I will also need some type of netting to keep out the hawks. Anything else? So much for a simple roost in the run-in!

    So unrelated to chickens, do coyotes pose a threat to our horses? We boarded them previously in a more populated area so I never saw any, but obviously I am at my own farm a lot more so maybe they were they but I never knew it. We have a Rocky Mountain and a Quarter horse, 4 and 9, respectively, so they aren't overly old or young. Hopefully, that will discourage them.

    Do I need a guard dog? A donkey? Both?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by