Hawks: fishing line?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MCBirdman, Apr 30, 2016.

  1. MCBirdman

    MCBirdman Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2016
    Hello. New here.
    Question is fishing line more of a physical barrier to Hawks or a psychological barrier. How close does the line need to be to reliably prevent attacks?
    My run big. 60ft X 80ft.
    Thanks
     
  2. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hawks prefer to directly drop onto their prey in order to kill it. The fishing line prevents them from having the open area to do this. If you get colored so they can see the line, they decide not to bother. I do not know if they can see the clear line, but it would physically prevent them from attacking (but you might be replacing broken lines)
    It does not have to be near the ground. I have heard of people stringing line from tree to tree.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016
  3. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have used old gill net made from very light monofilament line. They hit this net at full speed at the end of their dive. It is definitely a physical barrier!!! Once at a friend's house, we witnessed a hawk fly smack into a chain link fence trying to get at his turkey poults! I guess they get so focused on the intended meal....

    We have strung crisscrossing single strands of monofilament fishing line over an area where a neighbor lets his chickens forage (about 60' X 100'). He used trees and erected conduit and PVC poles to attach the fishing line to. Neither he nor his wife have actually witnessed any hawks hitting the lines. However, they don't even hang around any longer. We assume from the poles getting knocked around somewhat, and the hawks no longer perching nearby or, flying overhead is some indication they must have hit the strung-up lines.

    The poles weren't the nicest-looking things but, if in fact they are responsible for the disappearance of the raptors, those neighbors would have set up triple the numbers of poles.

    We live smack in the midst of large commercial fisheries and old gill net is easy to come by. If you use it, make sure you stretch it out tightly. If you don't, the hawk or owl will get all tangled up in the loose webbing.

    New gill net can be purchased here for around $10.00 a pound. The net can be as deep/tall as 6 feet to 14 feet. Imagine a nearly invisible wall 6 to 14 feet high! Call these folks to find out how many feet there is to a pound.

    http://www.louisianasportnets.com/4mono.htm

    I have no affiliation with any net or trap company.
     
  4. MCBirdman

    MCBirdman Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2016
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    thanks for reply. here is my set up- I think fishing net would be difficult to do.
    also have a hawks nest in the trees to the left....
     
  5. Chickens30000

    Chickens30000 New Egg

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    I have a question,I have a big yard and it is not fenced in should I let my chickens in a bigger fenced in area to around instead of being in there coops all day but, My yard has also had many hawlks in the past and I am not sure whether to let the chickens out with the possibility that they could get snatched by A hawk?
     
  6. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you free range you must accept that some of your birds will be lost. you do your best to give your birds adequate protection so hopefully you do not lose too many, but you must understand that some chickens will probably get attacked and taken. If you are not comfortable with taking that chance, do not free range.
    I personally free range. I feel that the birds freedom, the decrease in food costs, and getting rid of most my insects outweighs the risk of loosing a bird. I have lost 2 birds so far to predator attacks, one was probably a hawk. It really stinks, but I accept the risk (and I think the birds do too)
     
  7. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No where Nebraska
    I cannot tell for sure but it looks like your holes are too big. I think you need to crisscross the line tighter then that
     
  8. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That yard would be easy to rig with a net or a couple of nets!! I probably did a lousy job of explaining the set-up we use. We erect two poles as far apart as the area we want to protect. We stretch a gillnet between these two poles. We try to keep the bottom of the net high enough off the ground to walk under. Our nets are between 10 to 14 feet deep. So, imagine a hanging wall of net across your chicken yard/run. It doesn't cover the run. It just forms a nearly invisible wall across the hawks approach path. When trying to swoop down onto your birds, he runs smack into this wall you've put in his flight path! It is even better if you have a couple of them.

    It would probably be more effective if we ran them with the bottoms closer to the ground. The deep nets require longer poles.

    If you're buying netting, it can get expensive. But, the chickens I'm getting ready to hatch are some expensive and sorta rare breeds. It wouldn't take long for netting to pay for itself. We run some north/south and some east/west. Because my netting is old and free, I can run as much as I want.
     
  9. Anuthatch

    Anuthatch Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2014
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    Nice big space you have!

    We did the fishing line much like yours when we penned our chickens. Our spacing looked similar from what I can see. We live in a farming/rural community and have lots of open spaces and predators. We’ve never had a bird lost to a hawk or owl but we don’t know that we’ve prevented any either. I’ve heard the fishing line is a deterrent but not 100% safe.

    A couple considerations for you is to ensure your birds have sufficient escape and hiding places. I leaned boards against walls to make tunnels, and put branches in corners with gaps underneath, old boxes with ends cut out, etc. Also check that you don’t encourage birds to nap in the wide open by making perches or roosting places that attract them. Take a look at the dust bathing areas and make sure there is close escape routes\hiding there, too. My free range birds usually like the sides of buildings for dust baths. I wonder if that’s because they feel more safe than wide open. The big run in shed looks nice for them to hang out in. You might consider hanging hardware cloth down to prevent any hawks that might get thru the line from flying right into the shed.

    Best wishes to you !
     
  10. MCBirdman

    MCBirdman Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 30, 2016
    thank you. I am contemplating true free ranging in the fall. For now, when they are small, I want to give them a good shot at getting bigger. I started out the 10 last spring, and after hawks, and a fox. (that I know of, at least) I had none by January... I have 18 now, so am planning for some losses along the way.

    I like the idea of more hiding places and perches. I was thinking about doing something in the run shed that they can get up higher in case a fox does get in.
     

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