HAWKS! What do I do?!


10 Years
Dec 2, 2012
I am having a really bad hawk problem. I haven't lost any chickens yet, but it is getting worse. There is one hawk in the area that has been attacking my chickens for a month. The first time one of my chickens was missing for 6 hours. She was too scared to come out of her hiding spot, wherever it was.

Over the past week the attacks have gotten worse. The hawk attacked my chickens right in front of me a week ago, and it has gone downhill from there. The hawk litterally jumps onto their backs and then does to the next, and it started viciously attacking a cage that one of my Leghorns was behind when I was standing RIGHT THERE!

I have kept my chickens closed up all week. Today I tried to let them out with my supervision, and the first chicken who came out was only out for 5 seconds when the hawk swooped down from the neighbors trees and flew straight at her. I was standing right next to my hen when this happened too!

When we moved here we planned on just free ranging my chickens, so they don't have a run. It's just the barn with their ramps going down the side. I don't know what I'm supposed to do. :hit I can't let the chickens out, we cant afford to build a covered run right now, and I can't keep my 23 chickens in the coop forever. I also worry about my 3 outdoor cats who roam the yard. If this hawk is that desperate for my chickens, it could end up going after the cats.

I really need advice on what to do, so if anyone has any, thanks in advance!! :hugs
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It is against the law now to harm or harass a chicken hawk. However fifty or sixty years ago it was unusual for a hawk to remain sitting on a power line when a car or truck drove by him. The reason was that then people actually depended on their chickens for part of their living and they shot every hawk off the power line that was dumb enough to allow an auto to approach them. It seems now that you can't have a Sunday picnic without a chicken hawk snatching a KFC drumstick from your lips.

Keeping chickens for some Americans today is a status symbol. The idea for these few is to demonstrate unconcern with the economics of their food supply. Their message for the rest of us is this, "So what, you pay $3 per dozen for organic chicken eggs, I produce my own free range organic hen eggs for over $6 per dozen. Besides that I also feed three hawks on organic free range heritage chicken." Keeping chickens must make these people feel like they are driving a Bentley.
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I was having that discussion with my family the other day. Since hawks are such a nuisance to all chicken, dog, cats, and other small pet owners, why in the world are they on the protected list?

My chickens can't even step one foot outside without that hawk swooping down out of nowhere. At first the hawk wasnt very brave, and it would fly away if I just said something as simple as "get!" Now I have to run at it and get within 2 ft of it for it to even move. I've been wondering what caused it to become so brave and hell bent on getting my chickens. But now that I think about it, I haven't seen my neighbors 3 chickens in about two weeks. My guess is the hawk got his chickens, and that's why it won't stop trying to get mine. It's addicted. There is no way that hawk is ever leaving now that it has acquired a taste for them.
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It means that hawks have lost their fear or respect for humans. I also use to think that we had police and prisons to instill fear and respect in humans to encourage us to obey the law. I am now even unsure about this.

The up side is that hawks like the above are ridiculously easy to catch or trap.
I would recommend a covered run. We didn't want to make a large investment, either. We utilized old (but still good) fence panels we got for free. Many times fence pickets/panels will be listed for free on Craigslist. We constructed the frame for the run and the door from fence pickets and posts after tearing them down and separating them out. -plenty of lumber from a few panels. We used chicken wire for the run which isn't terribly expensive. Many people discourage runs constructed of chicken wire, but it has worked well for us. We only need protection from hawks. Our girls are in the coop at night which is predator-proof (from raccoons and the like). If you don't have issues with other predators and you need good protection from hawks, an inexpensive run of repurposed materials might suit your needs.

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