Hawks and flying preditors?


9 Years
May 6, 2010
SW Iowa
If your outdoor run isn't real big is it still a problem with hawks? We have a 8 x 10 area now thinking we would be able to free range them. Well now having a fox in the area that is not going to happen. We will eventually build them one a little bigger but for now it is just this 8 x10 area.
You will need something over the top of it. If it is not covered somehow Hawks will get them if they can see or hear them. Once they see prey confined they will come right on in. If the prey are literally out of the pen free ranging I have seen hawks go tree to tree stalking them waiting for their moment.
That's what happened to 3 of our baby chicks just this week... (we're new at this)... and as soon as we all go inside for like 10 minutes max.. left the chickens in the garden... and come back and found one dead in the garden, one missing, and the rest hiding in the "doghouse" we put in the garden for shelter.... we'll be covering our garden tomorrow!
I guess I was hoping that if it was a small area they wouldn't bother because of maybe not having much room for flying with the coop and fence there.
It would have to be really small, then, like maybe 1' wide, and not sure that even that would do the trick. 8x10 is PLENTY of room for even a larger hawk to manuever.

Different types of hawks, falcons and owls hunt differently. Coopers Hawks (THE chicken hawk) will chase their prey on the ground through the underbrush, and keep on going even if htey break bones. Sharpshins are nearly as bad.
If your outdoor run isn't real big is it still a problem with hawks?

I used to free range my ducks in the back yard. After 2 got decapitated, that stopped. We figured owl or hawk. They have a night pen, but the ducks were attacked late in the afternoon in the middle of the yard. We have a fairly long area along the back of our lot than I was able to throw netting over and that become their covered run. No losses since I put that net up. Just last week I went out to the back yard and there was a HUGE HAWK using my fish pond as a drinking fountain as he eyeballed the ducks behind the netting. He saw me and took off but had no trouble what so ever flying through the trees, power lines and fences.​
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I do put my chickens in every night. I have house size doors on the coop. The neighbor picked them up at an auction for $3.00 each. One of the is a outside storm type door with 15 windows in it. It is wonderful so that even on inclement weather days I can keep them in and they can get daylight. I have two windows in the coop that have hardware cloth or welded wire on them and also windows that can fit in them also. So at night I close them in.


Here is another picture showing the other side of the door so you can see how wide the yard is. We had intended on them free ranging but a fox getting one during the day changed that idea. Now I have to get the money to make their outside yard bigger and better.


We have now added a 4 rung roost for the girls and once the meaties are out of the other side in a few weeks I will take down the doorway partition and they can have the whole coop.

My big concern though now is keeping them safe until I can better secure their outdoor play area.
We just picked up a fake owl at Wal-Mart today for $8.97... hoping that will at least deter the hawk from coming so close.... last night.. they were all out in the coop and freaking out hollaring & stuff, so I ran out there and there was a hawk sitting on the ground BEHIND their coop... this is how we believe it got one baby... it scared them out into the run and one of the babies got out into the yard and the hawk took it... so they are a REAL threat!
Sorry but around my place the fake owl do not work.

I got one with a head that bobbles in the wind and the eyes look real, None of my animals here paid it any mind at all, but it's pretty, has spooky looking eyes and the hawk, well he just sat on the post across from it waiting for a crawfish to pop his head out of the stream so he /she could have a snack.

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