Hawks and aprons?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Happy Flappers, Dec 7, 2012.

  1. Happy Flappers

    Happy Flappers New Egg

    Dec 7, 2012
    Lake Erie Region, PA
    Hi - new to the forum and chicken raising. We have 8 "pets" - all hens. They have a nice coop, a small run enclosed in hardward cloth, and a portable tractor covered in netting that I drag around the yard. Our hens love to free-range whenever we can be out with them under close supervision because we have a problem with a lot of hawks in the area. Has anyone every tried using chicken aprons with predator eyes on them to protect them from hawks? Nothing is foolproof but was wondering about this idea. I saw on a blog about the aprons, which are used primarily to protect the hens' backs from rooster claws but thought maybe it might discourage hawks. Any thoughts?

    Also, we have two little 8-10 lb dogs who love to be out with the hens now that the hens are bigger than they are. After a peck or two on the nose, the dogs have some respect and don't bother the chickens other than to follow them around hoping for a dropped chicken "nugget." But I am wondering if they will be a discouragement to the hawks too - or maybe they would also be hawk prey. Anyone have any experience with yappy little dogs being a deterent...to hawks, that is?
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I do not know your location and hawks occuring there but red-tailed hawks which are my biggest players will not take on a dog bigger than a chihuaha.
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Hawks are pretty smart birds. It's hard to imagine that painted eyes would fool them for too long. They will sit and observe and study and figure out that there is nothing attached to the big eyes except a chicken.

    My dogs are 6 pounds, so slightly smaller than yours, but my dogs are getting the same protection from predators that my poultry gets. I have not had hawk issues with my dogs but I don't want to find out the hard way what is dangerous to the dogs and what is not. The most serious danger to small dogs are the coyotes. Coyotes can be hunting at any time, night or day, so my dogs are never out unsupervised and their kennels have tops on them.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by