Hawks eating my chickens Please Help!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by animalsRawesome, Apr 22, 2011.

  1. animalsRawesome

    animalsRawesome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone know how to keep the hawks from eating all my chickens? I have a very large fenced in yard for them, too big to put netting over the top of the entire run. Any advice would be great!!

    Thank You!
     
  2. chickengrl

    chickengrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only way to be sure is to have a covered run. The other option is a livestock guardian dog, but you have to have a fair amount of property for them to roam. Some people will only free range them when they can be outside and supervise. Some folks also try to use the fake owls or hang stuff outside to scare them, but based on reading threads it doesn't seem to work for long. Hopefully, someone else will have better suggestions for you. I do know, you cannot shoot them. Federal law with big fines. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  3. ORChick

    ORChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it possible to make a smaller fenced area within their large run, and put netting over that? Your girls will have less space for awhile, but the hawks won't get any more, and will likely leave once they find there are no more free meals. And then you can let them out again, but maybe only when you can keep an eye on them. Also, is there any shelter - bushes or something they can hide under - in their run? If not, you could put a picnic table or a pile of brush out there, so they would have a safe place to go when they notice the hawk. Personally, I would make a smaller, covered area.
     
  4. skurfa

    skurfa New Egg

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    I agree with the idea of a smaller completely enclosed area. Last year I was given some chickens and bought some mallards to raise. I learned a lot the hard way. Out of 6 Rhode Island Reds, 6 Cornish X's and 8 Mallards I have left only 1 Mallard hen. The Cornish x's of course can't live, something I learned AFTER I was given them. I have no issue with butchering my own food if i HAVE to, but I don't consider it pleasant. The Red's were taken by a fox or 2 and the Mallards went to some smurftards that call themselves hunters, but I don't find anything sporting about shooting what are basically tame ducks.

    Anyway, I now have adolescents birds of numerous varieties, 17 laying hens or different breeds, some I can't yet identify, 7 Khaki Campbell ducks and 8 Mallards. I have a rather large fenced area in which I built, right in the middle, a 20 by 20 "cage" that is as impenetrable as I can build (the birds can get into their coops from the caged area). I do not intend to lose anymore birds. When I am home to be watchful I let the birds, they are all raised together by the way with no issues so far, out into the fenced area to forage. It's working great so far. I do live on the water, and at some point I expect the Mallards will fly to the creek, and then I will have to figure out how to keep the "hunters" from taking them next year. From what I have read, the Khakis probably wont fly, but if they begin to do so I will most likely clip the wings. I would rather let the mallards fly should they chose to, they are wilder, and absolutely beautiful in flight. I have been offered a few suggestions on how to protect them next season, but I am open to any ideas. If they do as the ones did last year, they will not stray very far from my pier, if they do there really is nothing I can do, we have a massive area of hunted marsh not too far away. The ducks, according to a witness, were shot right off my pier last year however. I intend to have a camera monitoring as shooting that close to my residence is illegal, not to mention the fact the area is "baited" since I feed them. I was also told I might want to get myself a stationary duck blind license and construct a blind at my pier as its also illegal to shoot with a 1000 yards of another legal blind.

    Sorry, I got a bit sidetracked there, but yes, build full "cage" if its at all possible, it's the closest thing to foolproof you'll have.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Please provide more details of situation. Fix maybe simple.

    Age / size of chickens?

    Amount and types of vegetation?

    Species of hawk?

    Do you have direct observation of hawk activities?
     
  6. BrahmaBrock

    BrahmaBrock Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't think a hawk will completely be deterred by a chicken hiding under something. I have an enclosed run inside my bigger run that has a gate that I left open one day. The hawk went inside the enclosed lot and killed one of my pullets and was sitting there eating it when I came home. Your best bet is to try and cover it or do like others say and keep it in an enclosed run with the gate closed. I learned the hard way, I lost 4 pullets before I could figure out what was happening. Good luck!
     
  7. animalsRawesome

    animalsRawesome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Please provide more details of situation. Fix maybe simple.

    Age / size of chickens?

    Amount and types of vegetation?

    Species of hawk?

    Do you have direct observation of hawk activities?

    chickens were full grown, mostly banties, but some standard size one's as well

    Their pen is mostly open, but along one side of it there are some pine trees and a couple of fruit trees.

    I don't know what kind of hawk it is(if you think it would help I could try and get a pic of it)

    Yes, we have seen it trying to carry away one of our chickens. The chicken was too big, so it couldn't cary it away though. However, it killed it and sat right there and ate it [​IMG]

    Thanks.
     
  8. chickengrl

    chickengrl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:This has been our experience too. My husband built them a lean-to, open on one end and closed in the back. It was supposed to provide cover if a hawk came overhead. That dang hawk just landed on the ground and used that structure to corner our hen and kill her. She was a pure blue Ameracuana. My only one too. [​IMG]
     
  9. animalsRawesome

    animalsRawesome Chillin' With My Peeps

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    chickengrl-
    sorry to hear about you chicken [​IMG]

    What did you do to keep the hawk from eating the rest of your birds?
     
  10. annep

    annep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have not had a hawk dive bomb our girls since we got our Pyr..So, a dog might be your answer. She also keeps racoons and fox away.
     

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