Hawks? How do I protect girls?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Bedste, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. Bedste

    Bedste Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Cut n Shoot Texas
    If I have seen a couple of huge hawks this week while I am outside FREE RANGING the girls. Does this mean that I need to stop free ranging completely because they have been spotted and are being watched? What can I do?
  2. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Do you have a large enough run where it is covered with wire of some sort? If you've spotted a hawk, and the hawk has spied the chickens, I would keep them confined until the hawk goes somewhere else, that might be a couple of weeks worth of lock up for the chooks. Safety first. [​IMG]

    How big is your flock? And....are their bushes, trees, shrubs or small housing for them to hide under during their "out time" so they'll be safe from any attack from above? Those hawks are crafty and will snatch a bird in no time if there is no protection of some sort. Some people use CD's strung with string along the open area of the range that the birds are using to help deter the hawks. You can do a search here on that very topic and come up with lots of useful hints to protect your birds. Good luck.
  3. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    We live in a very rural area and there are lots of hawks around. I watched a hawk going after crows in my front yard yesterday morning. The crows won. I can usually hear them when they are around and my girls have good cover around the house and usually don't go more than 20 feet from the house. I don't let them out when I am not home but I do go inside while they are out. When I hear the hawk I go out and find them huddled under a bush and lead them all back in their run until the hawk is gone for a while. I have read about the CD's and I think that is worth a try. Good luck!
  4. Bedste

    Bedste Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Cut n Shoot Texas
    They have cover but they enjoy the clearing too. They have an acre to play in. Lots of trees and bushes on the edges but apparently all the bugs are in the cleared area. I have a german shepherd always near by, but with all these trees I am not sure how many hawks are just sitting there watching us. I thought about letting them out from 6pm to dark every day but that is when I saw the hawk today. Is there peak Hawk hours? I know they hunt at night. WHAT is the CD thing. Please enlighten me.
  5. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    I lost a silkie to a hawk a couple of weeks ago and got the suggestion of CD's from a fellow BYCer. Hang CDs from the trees, etc. They are reflective and hawks don't like that. I hung about 8 CDs from string all over my fenced in chicken yard. So far so good. Good luck...worrisome isn't it?
  6. PeepsInc

    PeepsInc Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    NY Tri State region
    I started using wind socks. So far so good.
  7. chickensioux

    chickensioux Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Ooh windsocks, that's a good idea too.
  8. blbgp

    blbgp In the Brooder

    Jun 26, 2009
    Are CD's or windsocks working for anyone? I just looked out the window and saw all my ladies frozen in place and looking up. I couldn't see anything so I went out to check and there it was - a huge hawk sitting on my roof checking out the chickens. I put the chickens back in their coop to many protests and the hawk flew away. But I'm thinking it will definitely come back to check again....more ideas?

    Our girls have a 30 x 30' area to range during daylight (uncovered) and are in their coop at night. There are bushes to hide under but when I saw them today only one was hiding (the rest were frozen, staring up at the hawk).
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
  9. CallyB57

    CallyB57 Songster

    Apr 27, 2009
    Northeast Louisiana
    I HAD hawks - not one, but many. Another BYCer had advice to hang CD's - take a string of 30# fishing line, and from that line, dangle each CD on a separate line. I hung one line in each corner of my run, which is quite large (had no way to cover such a huge space)...I would say the line was about 6-8' long with 4 CD's dangling from each line. They spin and bounce and reflect light patterns that travel sporadically over the ground and anything else it reflects on. Works. My run fencing is 6' tall and a 2x4 is at the top of the fence. I drove a nail on the edge of the 2x4 at the top of each 8' section and put a CD over each nail, angling it at about 45 degrees. I have seen hawks fly down low and when they get over the run, they just lift up and fly off..think the CD's dis-orient them as they reflect the sun, the trees and the birds as they fly over. I have not lost one bird to a hawk yet...and they have been in the run for over 4 months now.
  10. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    I have a little fenced in run that is completely covered with deer netting, which was very inexpensive, by comparison to most of the things I bought for my chickens.
    But I feel they have outgrown that and are allowed more space in a fenced in area, which is vulnerable, only from the sky, so that is a future project for me. My plan is to plant a bunch of treated 4 X 4s throughout the area and connect the tops with wire clothes line, for support and canopy it all in with the deer netting, attaching the edges directly to the fence.
    They have done such a good job clearing most of the vegetation from that area that my project will probably be a lot easier that their first little run.

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