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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by eschlotz, May 4, 2016.
Any suggestions on how to protect my free range birds from the hawk???
Have a lot of brush and hiding places. The messier your yard the safer your chickens will be. Lilac bushes are great, so are boards leaning against your buildings, and pine trees. I have a few open areas, but most of my yard has cover.
They are housed over by my kids play set... But then there is a huge field ? Rae they smart enough to "get away" because my ducks def are not SMH
It depends how n the individual bird and the breed too. I have heard Easter Eggers are one of the better breeds for keeping lookout (they are definitely my more vocal breed)
My birds preer to keep to the brush. They have a favorite area right under a lilac that is close to the house. But even when foraging they usually stick to the sides of buildings and under bushes where they are more likely to find insects hiding. Not that they never go away into the open, just that it isn't where they spend most of their time.
I have lost one to a hawk.
A good mature rooster will help. He needs to be at least a year old, before that they really don't take on the other duties of a rooster. When you walk up to the pen, he should be there first to see you. Then he is the first to see the hawk too.
I love to let mine out and about, but lost to hawks and eagles until my first good rooster turned a year old.
A couple of other things I do:
Don't let them out on very cloudy or windy days - gives advantages to the predators.
Don't let them out on a schedule, say at 7:00 every morning.
Don't let them out every day, and if you get hit with a successful predator, don't let them out for a couple of days.
My run is enclosed over the top.
Roosters really do help. But they act as guards, do not expect your rooster to take on a predator and win. At best your rooster will just be the first to die, distracting and fighting while the hens get to safety.
But roosters are very good at keeping the hens togeather, and alerting your hens when danger is near.