Hawk just took one of my ducks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CricketR4, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just chased a hawk off the carcass of one of my ducks, but she was already dead by the time I got outside. I've now lost three chickens and one duck since Sept. to a hawk. All my birds are free range, we don't have a pen for them that we can cover, they go in a coop at night. Any ideas what I can do to keep the hawks away? Will a dog keep a hawk away, or just larger prey? I dont have a dog, but want to get one, as we do have coyotes, foxes and skunks.
     
  2. wantbantams

    wantbantams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    string cds around. A scare crow.
     
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Sorry to hear about your hawk attack. I have been lucky so far and haven't had a hawk. I think dogs help if they know what to look for - when my dogs hear my chickens make the alarm call they are on instant alert - running out and looking for the culprit. I have had an occasion where they chased a hawk that was menacing my birds!
     
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  4. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've noticed that we actually have a pair of hawks. My hubby is talking about going out and shooting them if he finds them. Does anyone know if the mate will leave the area, or will it stay around if he does shoot one? Not sure if he even can shoot one, not sure if it's legal, but thought I'd ask about the hawks before he goes out, don't want him to find out he can shoot a hawk, only to have to shoot two of the beautiful things. (BTW: I'll be looking up my state/county laws on hawks, but figured I'd ask about the hawk pairs, see if anyone knows anything about that.)
     
  5. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, so after looking up the state laws, it's illegal to kill the hawks. I honestly don't think that'll stop hubby from trying to shoot one (he's furious! 3 chickens and 1 duck since Sept.), but it might prevent him from killing both of them. :/
     
  6. Aschenfire

    Aschenfire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is very illegal to shoot, or even harass birds of prey. I suggest securing your birds in a run....with a wire top. If you cannot do that, accept that you will lose some to predators. Free chicken buffet means they will come in to feed themselves and their young. I would not suggest shooting hawks.
     
  7. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I found that out. I can't build an enclosed run for them as we rent our property. Funny thing is, landlord has no problem with us having the chickens and using/improving the buildings on the property, but adding "structures" is a "no-no" to him. He got very upset when he found out we put up a portable, temporary greenhouse, so a more permanent chicken run will be out of the question. I'll just have to look into getting a dog, and hope I can keep a good eye on the chickens and ducks (I'm a stay at home mom, so home most all day) until we get a dog, or the hawks loose interest.
     
  8. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hawks are protected by the federal gov't so ya it is illegal to shoot them, it is not illegal to harass them as a means to keep them away from your yard.

    You can apply for a permit to kill problem hawks but you basically have to prove that you have exhausted every possible means of detering the hawk before they will issue that permit so that route is pretty much pointless.

    edited by staff
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2013
  9. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would try talking to the landlord about putting up a "temporary" coop that you will take with you when you leave. If you have no shelter for them, they are basically a free meal.

    As you found out, raptors are protected (for a reason) and there are hefty fines and possible jail time involved. I have lost chickens to hawks (and coyotes and neighbor dogs) I have stopped allowing them to range in the pasture (3 or so months now) and have lost only 1 since and it was the day after I moved their fencing to allow them to a new area.

    I have 10' tall pieces of pvc standing upright with 20lb fishing line running from the top to their perimeter fence and frayed, colored rope hanging down at various spots. I have not lost even 1 bird in this area (knock on wood). I added the colored rope because we are on a mountain and always have the wind blowing and I figured with it moving around, it looks much different to the hawks.

    We have a pair and then I think another one. I see a smallish hawk always flying over the pasture looking for mice and such. The last chicken I lost was to a good sized hawk that flew to a tree branch as soon as I walked out the door. The hawks here are VERY skiddish of people and the crows do a TON to keep them away. With the loss of the last chicken, I stayed outside for a bit and the hawk returned, I fired a 9mm round into the ground and it flew off. I stayed out still and it returned probably 45 minutes later with a friend. I fired another round into the ground and that hawk literally turned on its tail and left. It was just overhead that time.

    I'm home all the time (since I've had no luck in the job hunt since moving) and we have a 5 month old LGD in training who is outside alot more often now. I don't know how much he will help. I am trying to get him to notice birds in the sky (vultures are around all the time) but he has not yet noticed them. I think alot depends on your area and how familiar hawks are with people and their routines. I've heard of urban hawks killing chickens when the owners are standing 10' away. Our hawks fly off when I walk outside and am 100 or more yards away.
     
  10. CricketR4

    CricketR4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After the first two chickens were killed, we asked about putting up a temp run, no go. Landlord said either keep them in the coop, no grazing, or let them run free, but he won't allow a covered run to be put up. The chickens and ducks have the coop, which is in a barn, a larger barn and a run of bushes that they hide under, all located in various areas throughout the yard, so they have shelter. The hawks have obviously been watching the chickens, and swoop down to get them when they're running between shelters. They also watch the house and only come out of the woods when we're leaving the driveway, or have been in the house all morning/day. I've taken to random walks around the yard throughout the day, and till yesterday that was working at keeping the hawks away. Yesterday, I had a lot of work that needed to be done in the house, so my trips outside were less frequent. I talked to my hubby, he said he'll leave it for now, but he's P'Od!
     

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