Hawk with a good memory.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Glorydownsfarm, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Glorydownsfarm

    Glorydownsfarm Hatching

    Jan 14, 2012
    Hey All,

    Wondering if anyone has some advice to help deter a hawk who has a good memory.
    We live in a wooded area that is surrounded by fields of corn. We often see hawks but they are too busy catching mice to bother with our chickens. In the year of having a large flock- we have not lost one to a hawk- that is until yesterday.

    I came out to the chicken yard (which is a small covered run, that we call Fort Knox, very protected and covered, and is attached to a larger run that is wide open, with high walls) When I got to the large run I saw a hawk sitting on one of the gals (or what was left of her) getting her fill. The other chickens must have gotten used to her prescence because they were out and about doing their chicken like things. I was devastated.

    So this morning while talking to my husband about what to do for the larger run to help protect the girls- we watched as the hawk came back and boldly sat waiting for the hens to come back out ( this time they all ran into the coop) When we walked outside she flew away and I closed the girls into the Fort Knox section of the yard to keep them protected for today. Stuff I have read though say that a hawk will be patient enough to wait for the girls for a week or so. I also read that owl decoys, scarecrows, and radios or windchimes don't do the trick as the chickens are more scared of them than the hawk.

    Any advice? The yard is too large to throw netting over the top. It is near the edge of our woods also, to help with shading in the summer for our hens. So in the falltime any netting that we attempt to keep up only gets destroyed from falling leaves. Your advice will be appreciated!

    Here are some pics of the run.

  2. riverpilot69

    riverpilot69 Chirping

    Mar 22, 2011
    SE Missouri
    I don't have any suggestions. All I know is what I would do and bury the evidence.
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    If netting is not an option then maybe you can run some fishing line attached to trees and poles. I ran line in my back yard from fence to fence.My yard is about 80 or 90 feet wide.I also tiaped some red mylar to ribbon here and there to the line.Lol,my neighbor thought I was prepping for a party!

    Zigzg the fishing line all around.Makes it harder for them to fly in,but it won't protect 100%.Hope the hawk moves on.Maybe something will eat the hawk,lol.

    I planted ornametal grasses all over the yard.It grows in fast,and provides good cover.Corn works well too.
  4. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Songster

    Oct 31, 2008
    Do you have a roo? We have had a raiding hawk ( and have kept the flock confined most of this winter) but when it does its daily flyovers, the two roos squawk and the hens run for cover. The hawk has not ventured into the coop run, but if it did, I'd think our 2 roos might just take it on and win. It has taken down two young ones within 15 ft of the run but they were away from the main flock.
    We wouldn't be without the roos.
  5. Ole rooster

    Ole rooster Songster

    Jun 25, 2011
    Milner, Georgia
    I do concur.
  6. Stitchbug

    Stitchbug Hatching

    Feb 9, 2012
    Northern California
    Hello everyone!

    New to the site, but not to chickens. I have a laying flock of over 150 hens. They are all free range and we farm in a rural valley with an inordinate amount of predators. We have too many Red Tail Hawks ( a smaller hawk, but perfectly capable of taking down a 15 pound something.) Anyhow, we have found that keeping a few Ancona chickens with the free ranging flocks helps a great deal--The Ancona's are super paranoid about what flying over head, they consistently stop and check, and alert the entire flock (sometime making a loud noise) when a potential predator is flying over--All the chickens take head and bolt for the nearest shelter. We keep roosters too, but in separate accomidations. At one time our thinking was to keep the roosters out with the hens, but we have found the ancona's a far more effient at alerting the hens than any of our eight different roosters. The fishing line idea sounds great! We also have electrified the top stretches of all fencing to discourage "waiting" by predators and we offer range huts, small 4x4x4 boxes located next to our range founts with a small chicken sized doors so that chickens have a chance to get under cover.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    You have two measures in place. Perimeter fencing and I presume dogs. Dogs will be effective if hawk thinks dog can get to it. Providing cover hens can actually get into when hawk calls can also help. In my free-range setting were small groups of hens form harems around individual roosters, the roosters can do more than simply warn of hawks presence, the rooster can actually go after hawk if it follows into cover. Not all roosters / breeds are suitable and system may not work with lots of hens. Option I would pursue with your resources is pen a dog in run with chickens, assuming dog can be trusted.
  8. angidee

    angidee Songster

    Feb 26, 2010
    I have fishing line and roosters and neither are doing the trick!!! I have a small (no bigger than a large robbin or blue jay) hawk snagging my full grown standard size chickens.
    I am needing to take action, and interested in any other people with success with Anconas and/or Guineas. I need to add some sort of guard animal (not a dog as we have plenty of those as house pets) and would love to hear people's must successful suggestions!!!!
  9. rrrmamma

    rrrmamma Songster

    Jul 27, 2010
    New Concord,Ohio
    Are there more hawks this year? We would see one or two on occasion last year but today I chased three out of the yard that were swooping down on the coop. My run is covered with wire so they couldn't get to the girls but I think they were after the roo I couldn't get in the boys pen last night. I thought the neighbors dog killed one of the roos yesterday , but maybe it was a hawk. I found the roo inside his run but we had left the gate open yesterday while we were away He was fairly intact when we found him. I thought a hawk would have carried him off or at least eaten him. All the birds are under cover now but I really like to freerange the roos. I am sure they are nesting in the woods that border our yard. I hear them screaming from the trees when I go out to feed and gather eggs. I am looking for solutions because the fines and jail time for killing a hawk are not worth the risk of shooting them.

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