Hawks..... lots of them!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by smalljewells, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. smalljewells

    smalljewells Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2011
    I have read a lot of post so far on the fear of hawks.... I live in rural New Hampshire and often see Hawks circling above. I always thought they were so cool to watch, until I had chickens. I really want to let my chickens free range while I am home only. Do hawks hunt at certain times of the day? I would be heart broken if a hawk got one of my chickens. Do those fake Owls really help?
     
  2. Baymen Moe

    Baymen Moe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hawks are opportunistic and will hunt whenever they need to. Free ranging is a risk anywhere anytime not just with hawks around. I've heard some stories on this site of hawks swooping in with people present. The risk is lower if there is some type of cover around for the birds to seek out. Good luck.
     
  3. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

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    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ
    Bottle rockets unnerve them some, perhaps give it a try and it has worked for me. They may return a few times, but will soon hunt elsewhere.
     
  4. sixofus09

    sixofus09 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2011
    New Hampshire
    I live in New Hampshire near the coast. I lost probably 3, then i put a net covering over the run. Before i could finish i trapped the hawk under the net. After it finished its meal it left. Now i lost 5 in the past two nights from a new preditor. Im new so this is a tough one for us. On the brighter side i can get all new breeds down the street. I just need to make them last so we can get some eggs.[​IMG]
     
  5. Fritatta

    Fritatta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 16, 2011
    Woodstock, GA
    Hawks dont normally "circle". Are you sure you arent seeing buzzards?
    Hawks are very territorial. They will only tolerate their mate nearby. they will sit in a tree or perch, then launch an attack.
    Buzzards circle looking for carrion and do much more soaring on air currents than hawks.
    Buzzards are much more plentiful, and are in the same habitat as hawks.

    I let my girls free range in a 2 acre area that has lots of bushes and trees for cover. Some open grass. I have lost one to a hawk and it was mid-day. I caught another at dusk injuring one before I scared it off.

    Hawks hunt during daylight.

    I truly believe that free ranging is worth the risk of losing an occasional bird due to predation. Just be sure to provide shelter where they can run if a hawk dives.
     
  6. flowergirl60

    flowergirl60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Austin Tx
    I have a fake owl on my fence and haven't seen any hawks around so far.[​IMG] I also have some pie pans tied on string to reflect the sun. I IDK if they are working or if it's just luck so I just keep them there. Most the time my girls are roaming the backyard anyway and not in their run.
     
  7. smalljewells

    smalljewells Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2011
    Thanks everyone, and yes, I probably have seen buzzards and thinking they were hawks. I know I do have hawks though because one day while sitting at my dinning room table, I heard this LOUD thud! A dove flew in to the window, before I could even get out to it to see if it was okay, a hawk swooped down, picked it up off my deck and flew with it to my front yard. I could still see it pretty good, and sorry that I could, because the hawk proceeded to rip the poor dove to shreds. Not a pretty sight, [​IMG]
    I will have to try the owl or the aluminum pans.
     
  8. smarsh2

    smarsh2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:most all hawks circle, most any soaring bird circles, your bird, if a hawk, is most likely a Red-tailed Hawk. I would guess that birds of prey kill far fewer chickens than most of the grounded predators. Most hawks prefer something a little smaller but hunger always plays a role. I let me chickens run loose like you wish and have never lost one. At the same time, i have seen a red-tailed checking them out. One was setting on top a pole cocking her head sideways to peer at my hens in their run. And i have had cooper's to fly low over them making them scatter, but never actually make an effort to get one, just checking them out.
     

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