Hawk - What can we do in Michigan?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MichelleRenee77, Sep 1, 2014.

  1. MichelleRenee77

    MichelleRenee77 Hatching

    Aug 27, 2014
    Hi. We just had our first hawk siting. It was definitely hunting our chickens who were all huddled in our garage overhang. What are the laws in Michigan about shooting hawks? I don't know where to look. We just started letting our chickens free range about a week ago - and I am a bit freaked out to think that the hawk could get our chickens. We got them all in the pen (that was pretty hilarious watching us all try and herd them into the coop), but I hate to keep them in there all the time. Any thoughts and ideas? I saw the part about having a place they can run and hide - but what about when it just swoops out of the sky and catches it unaware? Should I just keep them in their pen?
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The laws concerning hawks and other birds of prey are Federal, not State. They can't be killed or harrassed. You can cover your run with netting to block them, or hang old CD's to discourage them -- things like that.

    I understand it is possible under special circumstances to get a permit to shoot or capture them, but of course it's complicated, and no doubt expensive. A permit would not be granted just to protect chickens, ducks, etc.

    If it''s any comfort, we have hawks living in a wooded area at the end of our back yard, probably 200' from the chicken yard, which is not covered. We've never had a hawk attack an adult chicken. We did lose a few young chicks once that I suspect a hawk got. They do attack adult chickens sometimes, though. I think it depends on the species of hawk, among other things. There is good evidence that our hawks find plenty of rabbits, etc. around here.

    Sorry, I dont know where you would find these laws. Maybe there is something in the USFWS website..
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    Hawks are protected everywhere in the USA. Plan to cover your run with netting, so the birds can be out of their coop and still protected. I free range my flock, and occasionally loose a bird to a hawk. Two this year, young smaller birds. When a hawk shows up here after the chickens, I lock them up for a week or longer, until the hawk moves on elsewhere. Then my birds are let out gradually, starting late in the day with me right there, and gradually back to all day freedom. Part of flock management is having enough coop and safe run space for times like this, and for nasty winter weather. Over the years raccoons and possums have been the worst, so a good safe coop is MOST important. Dogs and sometimes a fox can be horrible daytime predators, taking out the whole flock at once. Hawks tend to take one bird every couple of days, so easier to defend against. Mary

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