Hawks!! Poultry netting or chicken tractor?

Irishkillian

In the Brooder
Nov 17, 2020
16
20
29
Hi!
I’m hoping to get some advice. I’m a new chicken owner. I have five delightful friendly hens that are 25 weeks. Only one started laying last week. I have been allowing them to free-range from late morning until late afternoon-sometimes they go to bed before I even come to call them in for the night!
We live on the river and the bird activity is intense! My husband saw a literal bald eagle 🦅 stop in one of our trees before grabbing a fish!! We (not as in I, but as in the flying sky) have tons of ducks, crows, swans and hawks. Ugh! The hawks! 😩. Several times now I have found him on the ground next to my running chickens. He might be young and missed his attack? Anyway, I check the sky every hour or so and when I don’t hear the beautiful birds singing songs and all the ducks are gone....I know a hawk is nearby! He got brave today and even came under our (10’ high) deck where the chickens went running!!
I have market lights hanging in a v across our yard and left them up hoping to deter him. But I’m now just losing sleep having nightmares about which of our hens he gets!! So......here’s my question:
Should I put up poultry netting fence to fence (our yard is fenced in with a 3 1/2 foot high fence and the yard 40’ wide By 200 deep. I’m thinking just zip tying from side to side?
Our should I get a chicken tractor??
Below are pics of our yard.
note: our neighbors DO care what it looks like-so I want to be respectful! But I need help!!
Thank you!!
Shannon
 

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lbgreenfield

Songster
Jul 19, 2019
448
782
181
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
Hi! I would personally get a tractor that you can move around your yard. It will be more secure from aerial predators for peace of mind! I would be too worried that poultry netting just wouldn’t cut it to protect the flock from a determined hawk.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
29,387
29,571
901
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I have good heavy duty netting covering my pens. Sooner or later you will loose a bird/birds free ranging. That is the risk you take. My land is mostly open pasture. I no longer free range because of some losses in the past. There is a lake at the bottom of the hill we live on but not that close. I have seen eagles and hawks as well as other predators now and then. I have several game cameras on my property and see most of the predators roam at night here, owls too. I did run short on the good netting when I first put it up and did buy some online that wasn't what I thought it was but put it up anyway. An owl went through it and killed some birds three times. Each time I put another piece of the crappy netting up and the owl would go through it. I moved the birds to another coop and put up a camera in the one the owl was getting into. It came back and got it's picture taken. I bought another piece of good heavy duty netting and the owl attempted again but this time got caught in the net. We managed to get it into a cage and called a wildlife rescue that came and got it. They said they had a release area and that it shouldn't come back. I have seen other owls since but none have tried to go through the netting. I have replaced the crappy netting with some good heavy duty netting. I have a lot of birds so I can't use the tractors. Good luck...
 

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RB2

Hatching
Jun 19, 2020
1
0
6
Cmom, Do you have a brand or description for your netting. I would like to give it a try.
 

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