Hawk Repellent for Large Run??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by TheMommaHen13, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. TheMommaHen13

    TheMommaHen13 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 25, 2011
    We had a free-ranging flock until two weeks ago, after two unsuccessful hawk attacks on two of our hens and then a disappearing guinea cock. Reluctantly we put up a 6-ft-tall fence, approximately 33yd x 12yd (not feet). There is good foliage and tree cover for the flock to hide in. We strung a grid of fishing line over the entire area and attached plastic bags and ties. Our last guinea hen got out last week and a hawk tried to get her, again unsuccessfully, but we added more fishing line in a few more areas right outside the run. Today, we walked out to a Cooper hawk feasting on our kids' favorite white bantam, very close to the coop. For such a large area, how can we better protect them? The fishing line obviously didn't work. I've read about putting chicken wire completely over the top of the fenced in area, but I can't imagine doing that for such a large area. But is that basically what we have to do? I know hawks will only stop coming when there are no more chickens and we don't want to watch our flock get picked off one-by-one. Also, and kind of an aside, I feel like our alpha rooster was a better protector of his flock when they were free-ranging. He fought the hawk off 2 of the 3 unsuccessful times. Or maybe I'm just reading too much into things.

    Any help is much appreciated as we have limited time. The hawk has already been back to try and find any leftovers from the clean up and has been flying around the property all day.

  2. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2011
    I have used what I call "panic rooms". Just little shelters made from various things... like pallets or plywood, and cinder blocks and bricks. Set them up so the chickens can run and hide underneath, but real low to the ground so the hawk can't swoop in. I don't know if the hawks would land and try to go in after them, but so far I haven't had any lost to hawks. Good luck!

    I found this on another thread today... good pics.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  3. callahanfarmgirl

    callahanfarmgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2011
    The best way to get rid of hawks -- use reflective tape or even small mirrors. Anything that you can put out in the sun that causes a reflection. Hawks have such keen eyesight that they can not take bright reflections shining up. I used strips of reflective tape on my carport, fence post, side of barn, etc... We have not seen a hawk fly over our property since then, even tho our neighbors still see them all the time around their house.
  4. TheMommaHen13

    TheMommaHen13 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 25, 2011
    Thanks both of you! Love the panic room concept and we just found some HVAC foil tape that I think will work. Fingers crossed!
  5. 1livelychick

    1livelychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2010
    So sorry for your loss. I have a huge run and I put deer netting up. I have personally watched the hawks bounce off the netting trying to dive bomb my birds. It comes in 100' rolls seven feet wide. I use zip ties to marry the edges together when installing it. It's about $20.00 per roll. Tractor supply has it. It's also great for deterring snakes. If you use wire on then you'll also deter others predators from feasting on your chickies. Good luck!
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I do the fishing line as well,but know it is just a matter of time. I like the idea of the deer or bird netting across the run.You could put in landscape ties to prop up the netting. Just do the netting loose,so when the hawk goes down the netting will too(instead of breaking). I used the netting on a small run next to the chicken shed,and the hawk just pushed it to the ground since it was loose.

    I like the panic room ideas too.I will add some of those to my backyard open run. I started planting in open areas to given them hide spots.
  7. 1livelychick

    1livelychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2010
    Quote:Yes. If the netting is too loose the hawk will make the attack.. then wait for your chickens to fly up in a panic then the hawk grabs the chicken through the netting. Hawks are too smart!
    I use conduit tubing to elevate the netting above the dog kennel panels. I use firring strips to take up the slack in the middle of the run and some tpost with the plastic caps to prevent the wire from tearing through. Bring the netting down on the side to meet the dog kennel panels......works really well. Hope that helps!
  8. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    I bought netting at Lowes, it is in the fencing section, it is made out of the heavy duty plastic, 50 ft roll, 3 ft high. It too me all day, but I attached it with twine, and weaved the sections together. Where it droops in the middle, I got 1 x 1 6 ft posts, dug part into the ground & it raises it high enough for me to stand & not bump it (am 5' 2"). My run is 20 x 20, so I needed 2 rolls, I think they were under $15.00 each. When they free range, they have access to under the coop, where they usually hang out, and we have two big oak trees that help hide them from hawks.

    Good luck, hope you find a idea that works well for you.
  9. remadl700

    remadl700 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 18, 2009
    We have had success in putting fake Hawks on the barn and wood posts. The chickens get use to it and the other hawks see them and continue on there way.

    2 cents
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:This time of year roosters seem less effective against hawks. Hawks still target smaller birds but my roosters are more into self preservation now that new feathers are coming in. My roosters were tasked with defending their own offspring which is stronger motivator than protecting hens late in season but even this motivation is on decline now.

    Coopers hawks can get though the fishing line if they can get close enough to see way in and out and their quarry to be packed out is small. Even a male Coopers can pack a typical bantam for at least a short distance. The deer netting option advice sound but if a gap forms, even by failed attempt of hawk, then the hawk may be able to get into run.

    A full adult turkey, even if it does not challenge the hawk may still be a reason not to attack the smaller chickens.

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