Hawks and fishing line - am I wasting my time?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by teamjessie, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. teamjessie

    teamjessie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Exton, PA
    I've been seeing a lot about hawks lately on the boards, and unfortunately, we lost a hen last week to a redtail. "Buffy", our bigest, laying hen was killed right outside our living room window by a massive hawk. He flew off without even eating anything. Just snapped her neck and flapped away.

    My kids were devastated. Inevitable as chicken loss is, this is actually our first pet loss as a family, so emotions were a little raw.

    Anyway, I have been reading up a lot on hawk deterrents, and had an idea. While we do have a good, sturdy coop, and a covered run, we had been letting them free range the yard every day. I keep seeing references to fishing line being a good stop-gap measure, and I kind of ran with it...

    We have 2 outbuildings in the yard, and a 6ft stockade fence around the whole thing. All in all, we're talking maybe 1/4 acre. Great yard, but nothing huge. My husband and I have been out there "spiderwebbing" a crisscross of fishing line ALL OVER the yard, effectively covering the whole thing.

    Now, this is not a perfect grid or anything - there are some larger gaps measuring several feel across which need to be addressed somehow. My question is: will this even work? Or will a hungry hawk slice right through our ad-hoc deference system?

    Have any of you had success keeping hawks off your chickens by covering large areas with fishing line? Remember, they are protected on all sides by a solid wood fence - it's mainly the air attacks we're worried about.

    Short of putting a lid on the whole yard, this is the best we could come up with to let them roam a little. [​IMG] Are we wasting our time?
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. LogCabinChicks

    LogCabinChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im sorry, I don't have an answer but I love your determination! do let me know if it works...when you're done...could you come to NY and do my 2 acre yard? [​IMG] We have hawks, bald eagles and snowy owls! [​IMG]
     
  3. teamjessie

    teamjessie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2014
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    I don't even know what I'd do if I saw an Eagle! Those things look like they could carry off a Volkswagon... [​IMG] I hope they stay away from your chickens!
     
  4. LogCabinChicks

    LogCabinChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my husband saw the eagle...I saw the snowy owl, scared the living daylights outta me...it was just dusk...absolutely huge, must have been at least 2 foot tall...landed on the roof of the coop!!! The girls were cooped up safe and sound by then. Can't wait till spring and they make their way back north! [​IMG]
     
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Wildlife biologist use masses of tangled and noosed monofilament fishing line to capture hawks by their feet. However I don't think that a few strands of fishing line would greatly deter a hawk who was actively perusing a chicken dinner
     
  6. cutipatooti

    cutipatooti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Barryville NY
    I read somewhere that fishing line is supposed to work well but don't have personal experience
     
  7. teamjessie

    teamjessie Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 12, 2014
    Exton, PA
    Yeah, this is one of those situations where there's a ton of theoretical information out there, but not too much by way of concrete facts.
     
  8. LogCabinChicks

    LogCabinChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay so...you've already started...I say for a couple bucks for fishing wire...finish and see how well it works. IF the hawk gets through the zig zag...and I hope they don't...add more..... You'd be the first on a thread to keep it going! JMHO[​IMG]
     
  9. teamjessie

    teamjessie Out Of The Brooder

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    Exton, PA
    In for a penny, in for a pound, right? At this point, we might as well lean into it. [​IMG]
     
  10. chixmaidservice

    chixmaidservice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am planning to construct a similar aerial deterrent over my acre plus back yard this spring. I have one out building, the coop, an old zip line cable from my boys' childhood days and way too many trees so should have enough uprights to fashion a decent "network". I think I am going to find some of the metallic gift wrap ribbon and old cds (forgotten video games from aforementioned boys) to festoon the fishing line with. Hope the results are effective and not so hokey- looking I get neighbor complaints.
     

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