Hawks! How can I keep the hawks away from my chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by LaceySilkieLove, Aug 10, 2012.

  1. buttercup hill

    buttercup hill Out Of The Brooder

    Getting a guinea was recommended to me. I was told they are very watchful and are very good at noisily letting the flock know when danger is afoot. However, I'm also told that guineas are pretty aggressive toward the chickens.

    I'm glad I have a solid roof over my current run (did that because I want to be able to leave them out on milder winter days when there's snow or ice on the ground). But with the two Red-tailed hawks that appear to have taken up residency here and the loss of a hen already, I want to add a bigger run and do the post-in-the-middle with strung wire like I saw another member did.

    I'm at a disadvantage with helping my crew because of my profound hearing loss. I can't hear the hawks at all, but my neighbors and friends who visit me can, even if they are not flying overhead. I can only rely on visual.
     
  2. KoopDeVille

    KoopDeVille Out Of The Brooder

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    My Coop
    I thought small spaces and gaps would give the chickens a place to hide. But the hawk just chased them right in...

    Looking at all the ideas here, I came across this site. Pretty much has the same ideas..... too bad you cant shoot them
    http://icwdm.org/handbook/birds/HawksOwls.asp
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2012
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    What is the makeup of your persecuted flock? Breed? Age? Genders?
     
  4. jkrob

    jkrob New Egg

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    I had a Coopers Hawk sitting on our fence with the girls screaming at it the other day. They are full grown layers now so hopefully they are too big for the hawk. It flew as soon as I went out side. The girls were free ranging in the yard and not in their covered pen this time. As to how to keep them away a covered area and a dog probally would help. Our dog was inside when this happened so he did not react.
     
  5. fisher39

    fisher39 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have lost 8 chickens to hawks in my rural area in less then 6 months, with 3 of them only in the last couple weeks. I can't let my bantams out anymore, unfortunately. Some neighbors said they just let the chickens out only in the last afternoon, since hawks like to eat early in the day, so they would go somewhere else. I lost one yesterday at about 7PM [​IMG] I'll have to keep them cooped up 24/7 now, unfortunately.

    Getting a dog and training it to stay with the chickens is a lot of work, but I would consider it. Problem is, my chickens are not next to my house where I can see them; they're hidden away on a hill, so they're just open bait. I'd need the dog to stay there rather than at my front door =) A german shepherd maybe.

    The only other option, as of now, is to get some full sized chickens. From what I understand, and correct me if I'm wrong, full size chickens are far too big for hawks. Is that correct? Does anyone know of any regular sized chickens getting picked up by hawks? It'd be good to know before I get some.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Full sized chickens can be taken by hawks. Hens much more vulnerable when rooster not present. Some roosters will attack hawk on ground. I loose adult chickens to red-tailed and similar hawks only during winter and losses minimal.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Leslieb118

    Leslieb118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a hawk go after my chickens at around 11:30 this morning while I was standing right there. I was no more than 5 feet away. I had let them out of the run and I went back into the house to put a clean shirt on to take some eggs to the neighbors across the street. When I came out to collect eggs after changing my shirt, I noticed that my chickens and roosters were all in the run and hiding in the two coops. I thought it odd, because they like to go down to the tree line and hang out in the bushes and trees. I started looking around in the air to see if I could see any threats, and I saw a hawk circling quite a ways away by a far neighbors house. It went behind a tree line and I couldn't see it any more, but it was pretty far away and I thought all was well. The chickens had come back out of the run as I was staring at the sky when all of a sudden I heard the warning call from one of my roosters. He immediately ran into the run with most of the girls. There were 3 chickens left outside. My Welsummer Roo (5 mo. old) and 2 pullets. I could've sworn I saw one of my chickens fly up to the top of the run and onto the shade cover, when my Welsummer Roo let out the most awful noise. His hackles were raised and he was in fighting mode. What I thought was one of my chickens up on the shade cover was actually the biggest hawk I'd ever seen, that had swooped down from the tree right above my head and right next to the run where my Welsummer was. I flipped out and the hawk took off. I looked at his feet as he flew away to make sure he wasn't taking dinner with him, as I didn't see my 2 Golden Sebrights anywhere. I don't think my Welsummer had a chance if I hadn't been standing right there. It all happened so fast, before I could absorb what was actually happening, it was over.

    My Welsummer was a brave young guy today. My year old EE Roo..not so much. He's more equipped to take on the hawks in my opinion, but he ran with the girls into the run. He's finally gotten his sharp spurs where my Welsummer hasn't.

    They spent the rest of the day in the run after that incident, until about 8pm when I let them out (supervised) until they went in at dark.
    I wish I knew what to do to keep the hawk away. Its our first hawk incident and now it knows where the chickens are. It's obvious that standing guard over top of the chickens while they're out does absolutely nothing to hinder an attempt at an attack at least. Thwarting one..well, chalk one up to me and "Willie" (this time),
     
  8. real_redhead

    real_redhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ole nasty hawks, I actually don't mind the crows anymore as they warn the girls when there is a hawk around. I live in the city and can't have a roo so the crows act as my warning signal. When the girls hear a crow they run and hide or go in the covered run. Hawks can be bold, once my daughter and I were in the yard and I saw the girls scramble I look up and a hawk had flown down and was sitting on the fence...off I go waving my arms and yelling...my neighbors think I am nuts!!
     
  9. Leslieb118

    Leslieb118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've got a lot of crows here too. I have a dog kennel right next to the chicken run, and the crows sit on top of it just waiting for a chance to go in and grab some dog food. I let them because typically they chase and attack the hawks in mid air. I got that on video one day. There were 2 crows sitting on the kennel when I went outside before this hawk attack, but they flew out to my horse field when they saw me walk by. If I'm sitting outside with the chickens, the crows pay no attention to me at all and will come a little closer and do warn me and the chickens if there's a hawk nearby.
     
  10. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Someone mentioned netting ...Can the hawks get thru that too?
    I was thinking of a chicken wire extra day time 50 Ft run for my 8 girls more excercise than their 16 ft all hardware cloth run but the new with just the top netting to save a little We have LOTS of redtails here in the country.
     

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