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Hawks and the suburbs

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by yakfishgirl, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. yakfishgirl

    yakfishgirl Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2011
    Today was traumatic but fortunately not sad.
    Our five 22 week old hens were roaming our 65'x75' back yard. They usually hang by the back fence where there is dirt for baths, a satsuma tree for snacking and some shade from oaks. The middle of the yard is just open grass. Just as I asked my daughter (the chicks' "Mom") where are the chickens we heard a huge scream and squawk. I saw our brown lab mix in the middle of flying birds. First thought, the dog is attacking the chickens. Then I saw the hawk, with the dog in pursuit.
    We couldn't find the chickens at first. One had run back in the run and three had hidden under my sailboat. We couldn't find Priss. We could find LOTS of barred rock feathers. An hour of frantic searching in the neighbors backyards led us back home. I hadn't seen anything in the hawk's talons. She had to be here. One last idea search under a lumber pile resulted in a very traumatized barred rock and a very relieved 14 year old. Priss seemed glad to see us and came out to us immediately. She has a small scratch on her earlobe, is missing a bunch of soft feathers but has no other visible scratches. Still, she spent the rest of the day in a bin with litter, food and water beside my daughter.
    Roux, the dog, got lots of love, too.
    Now we have to figure out how to allow our chickens to cruise the backyard without becoming hawk snacks.
    We are building a low, PVC tractor frame and covering it with gray, plastic poultry netting but I see this as somewhat a pain.
    I'm looking for other ideas. I saw someone mention a scarecrow.
    Any thoughts?
  2. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I ran fishing line fence to fence.My fence is close to 6 feet so I can walk under it.This is in the back though. In the front by the coop I have trees and grasses. I did not dead head anything so they can run and hide. I left out tables and chairs for them to run under. I also ran some deer fencing from the top of the coop to the fence to block the open door. Some CD's and red mylar ribbon might help. All will slow down but not stop the hawk. Only a completely enclosed run will protect them.

    Good dog! He deserves some duck jerky. I got that for my dogs and they go frantic when they hear me open the bag.
  3. yakfishgirl

    yakfishgirl Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 29, 2011
    First, thankfully, they have a roofed run/coop, about 5x10 of run space and 3x5 of coop space.
    Roux got some duck/potato dog food, a special treat.
    I like putting out more hiding places idea. This is going to be a challenge.
  4. TheMomChef

    TheMomChef New Egg

    Dec 3, 2011
    I'd love to hear what you came up with. I had a similar experience and now none of my chickens will lay. They run for cover at the slightest noise and I think the stress that the hawk has caused has stopped them up for good unless I can figure out a way to relieve it. Did you get more hiding places? I have two tables out but will do more if I need to.

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