Hawks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by CoalLucker, Jan 8, 2017.

  1. CoalLucker

    CoalLucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    so recently i noticed there was a hawk hanging out around my yard and i'm afraid that they're going to get to my chickens. i was wondering if a scarecrow would work to deter the hawk from swooping down on my chickens. or what else could i possibly do about it? a rooster is out of the option and raising a dog to protect them is probably as well.
     
  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northwest Hills of CT
    Your best bet for now is to keep your birds inside until the hawk moves on. A scarecrow might work for a day or two, but then the birds will get used to it. Some people put posts around the chicken area, and string yarn or fishing wire in a criss cross pattern to obstruct the hawks ability to fly in and out of the chicken area. If you have crows around, they will harass and drive off hawks. I feed and attract crows by putting out corn and some chicken feed outside the chicken area. But even then, hawks still will come around from time to time. Here's a hawk that was around this week.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    My answer depends upon species of hawk, size and gender ratio of chickens. Your location not known to me and also important but for not will assume you are in the states. Bad guys will be Red-tailed, Cooper's, Ferruginous, and Goshhawk. For me, hawks are seldom if ever after chickens as primary target, rather they are targeting smaller more natural area if they keep going to same perches each visit. Goshawk and to a lesser extent Coopers have routes they take were they fly discretely from perch to perch trying to get the jump on prey such as birds and with former mammals like squirrels.

    If Red-tailed, then pen your birds.

    If Cooper's. then Cooper's not a problem for me with fully adult standard sized chickens where there is at least one rooster in the mix. I have them with me all the time as they spend considerable time in barn and around property hunting songbirds as primary targets. Today I lost one juvenile chicken to an adult female Cooper's as about 30 were allowed for pen repair. During much of year the adult rooster would stop such loss but fall through midwinter that does not seem to work well. Make certain pens / coops are hawk tight.

    If Ferruginous, then pen your birds. Many reported Red-tailed Hawks by people west of Mississippi River I bet are these guys.

    If Goshawk, then pen birds.


    Diurnal raptors ignored.
    Red-shouldered and Sharp-shinned have never been a problem for me. Nor have American Kestrels.
     
  4. CoalLucker

    CoalLucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2016
    Indiana
    i currently have 4 hens-- 2 speckled sussex and 2 brahmas. today the 2 brahmas were swooped down on, which is odd because they're pretty sizable.
    the hawk i saw was actually much smaller than the 2 brahmas so i'm not sure why it did swoop down but i will be keeping my hens locked up for awhile until i sort this situation out.
    i live in indiana-- about a half hour from indianapolis, in a small rural town surrounded by cornfields.
    hopefully this information helps.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I am from Indiana, down by Santa Claus. Drop Goshawk and Ferruginous from your concerns. Your flock is female only so pen it. A female Coopers can with a battle take one of your much larger hens as they are nor likely to fight back.
     
  6. CoalLucker

    CoalLucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 18, 2016
    Indiana
    they've been free ranging for months now and i've never had a problem with the hawk until just recently. is there a reason for that?
    our dog also was just recently put down so could he be what was keeping the hawks away from the yard?
    or do you have any other methods of getting rid of the hawk?
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  7. microchick

    microchick Overrun With Chickens

    Agreed. The best place for your hens is in a pen or coop with a net over their heads. Yes, your dog may have been keeping the hawks at bay. A Bird of Prey doesn't want to do anything that will cause it to be injured. Injured equals dead in the wild, so it steers clear of larger threats.

    This is a lean time of the year for all wild life and young birds still sharpening their hunting skills will sure opt out for an easy chicken dinner if the opportunity presents itself. We have Red Tailed Hawks, Owls and our neighbor just told us yesterday that he saw a Bald Eagle in the trees across the road from us. My flock stays under cover. As much as I would love to free range them, it just isn't worth the potential loss of my birds.

    All birds of prey are protected by Federal law. Best just protect your birds by keeping them under cover till the threat moves on to better hunting.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri


    Odds are you have several hawks working your area as they do not have discrete territories this time of year. When you have a cold front they often move about more. Each hawk is also different. Plus, when it gets cold and they are having a hard time catching a meal, then they can become desperate.

    I do not nothing to repel. They are hear for other prey first so if I reduced that then hawks would quickly move on.
     
  9. Molpet

    Molpet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only had a hawk attack when snow was on the ground and the dog was napping... The dog will chase hawks but he is getting old and taking 4 hr naps in the middle of the day. I have a pair of resident red tails that have never bothered my birds, but there is a juvenile and I think it was the one... my turkeys lost some feathers in the hoop coop, not sure if they were in there or went in after it... I am sure it didn't target a 9 month old Nair, most likely was chasing a 8wk chick.... the hens and young were all crammed in the huddle houses terrified for days
    I put up flash tape on the perimeter fence and a fake owl. But since the snow melted they have just been hunting the fields as usual .I intend to put up some netting in the open areas when the weather warms. I have a lot of tree/brush cover and places to hide.
     

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