Hawks eating chickens

Alm100

In the Brooder
Oct 20, 2019
8
11
19
Help,
Hawks are getting all my loved chickens.
I have a huge run off the coop, and have tried so many things to keep the hawks out. I put fishing line over the entire top, cds on each fence, and now the girls want to jump out and free roam. Just found another dead today... I only have one hen left :(

What has everyone else done to keep chickens safe, and inside the run? I chase them back in but I do work and can’t watch them all day. The worse part, the hawks made a nest and pretty sure laid eggs in the tree in our yard!
 

Tamdog

Songster
Apr 23, 2020
423
1,528
196
I'm sorry, that has to be discouraging. I think the main thing that saves my chickens in the large penned area that they free roam in is the tons of trees- and my dog running around. When I am not at home I keep them In a large 20x20 ( maybe even bigger) area. My husband buried some tall metal poles, upright then took some long poles and laid them across at the top and some how created a roof that he could lay chicken wire across. So far ( and it has been decades) the chickens have never been harmed. The only thing you can do if your area is in the open to discourage hawks to to completely cover that top. You may have to get creative. I hope you can get some more chickens and try again, It took me many years to finally get things where it worked for me.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,649
11,837
712
Nevada County, CA
I am so so sorry! What a terrible thing to deal with. Everything wants to eat chickens.

Do you gave pictures of your set up? You will be able to get good advice with pics.

But I agree with @rosemarythyme (as I often do!) And @Tamdog . You're going to have to cover their area. People who truly free range expect and accept occasional losses. If that is something you can't live with - I know I can't- you will have to confine them.
 

Alm100

In the Brooder
Oct 20, 2019
8
11
19
This is my area... not a lot of trees where I’m at. I have 10 babies in the shed but will not put them out there until I have it safe. I’ve learned that my chicken area is my happy place, I don’t want to give up on them. What is a good netting? How do I keep them from staying in?
 

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rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,801
30,311
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
I can see why hawks are an issue, there's no cover at all for chickens to hide under.

A netting that a lot of us use is this one: https://pinnonhatch.com/Poultry-Supplies/Poultry-Protection-Netting-2inch-Heavy-Knotted.html but they have other sizes and weights depending on your needs.

So for sake of accessibility you're going to have to find a way to get the netting up high enough so you can clean and work in the run. What I did on part of my run that only had a 4' fence was use 6' tall U-posts with tension wire strung around the top to make a taller support system for netting to rest on. My coop holds up the center of the net - you'd need to use taller posts to replicate that effect.

coopnew1.jpg
 

Yickenfarms828

In the Brooder
May 31, 2020
23
8
16
Wisconsin
Help,
Hawks are getting all my loved chickens.
I have a huge run off the coop, and have tried so many things to keep the hawks out. I put fishing line over the entire top, cds on each fence, and now the girls want to jump out and free roam. Just found another dead today... I only have one hen left :(

What has everyone else done to keep chickens safe, and inside the run? I chase them back in but I do work and can’t watch them all day. The worse part, the hawks made a nest and pretty sure laid eggs in the tree in our yard!
I would use a tin or wooden roof, fishing line might be too thin and offers only some protection in my experience. To get them back in the coop just take a few cut up grapes and toss them in the run for them to see and they will come running
 

HippieAtHeart

Peace, Love & Chickens ✌️
Mar 22, 2020
441
540
181
Southeastern Pennsylvania
You could always consider planting bushes for them to hide under. I let my chickens free range for parts of the day in my 1/2 acre fenced in yard and they spend 85% under the four bushes I have, 10% under my large tree and the remaining 5% (if that) in the open. I have lots of hawks and eagles where I live so I was worried about getting them but they are no dummies. My rooster spotted a large bird (think it may have been a vulture but unsure) made his funny little warning noise and they were so tightly packed under the closest bush it was almost comical. Sorry your poor flock has been being terrorized by them. I hope you get something figured out for your hen and any future chickens you have :hugs
 

falconertomt

Songster
6 Years
Feb 18, 2014
104
34
106
Utah
So if your hens are jumping out of the "secured" area, its going to be significantly harder to keep them safe. The only 100% way is to fully enclose them in secure fencing, all 4 sides and the top. Especially if they are nesting nearby, you will have ongoing issues.

There are some suggestions here
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...-or-how-to-prevent-the-hawk-owl-attack.66431/

I would get some netting and cover the area. You have a wide open area, and a lot of attack angles. The area also looks flat, devoid of much cover, and that will make it so that your chickens will have a harder chance escaping an attack.
 

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