Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by two j farm, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. two j farm

    two j farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2016
    My Coop
    I have 16 free range chickens 2 roosters and 14 hens. I have never had problems with hawks till today. I went out to check on chickens and I could hear a hawk in the wood line I could not see it as we have woods all around us. I did a head count and every one was here so I stayed out side to keep a eye one the sky. A few minutes latter I seen one hawk flying over but could still hear one in the woods. I put chicken back in coop (boy was they mad). My ? Is do hawks call other hawks when they find food? And how can I keep them away? I have 3 dogs that stay with the chickens all day. I read the dog's will help but I don't think the dogs would do anything if one did get a chicken. Any help would be great as I don't want to keep them put up all day they love come out side. Thanks
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2017
  2. Flock Master64

    Flock Master64 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2016
    Surrounded by the Amish
    Thats good they didn't get any of your birds. I think if you keep them locked up for a few days and the hawks will probably leave to look for easier food.
  3. Zoomie

    Zoomie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 6, 2015
    Mora, NM USA
    Hawks don't call each other to come and join a feast - they are solitary hunters. If the hawk was after the chickens it would have just gone after them swiftly and silently. When they call like that they are doing their own thing - defending territory, trying to find a new territory, trying to find a mate and so on. The calling would not have had much if anything at all to do with your chickens.

    Some people think that stringing up shiny things like CDs on fishing lines all over, helps to keep them away. I have never tried this. I just keep my chickens in a covered run and coop. I live way up in the mountains and there are hawks here - and eagles, owls, foxes, coyotes, bears, mountain lions dogs cats etc. More predators than you can shake a stick at.

    In the end I don't think you can really keep hawks away, any more than you can keep starlings away, or mice. They can fly through the air, and we can't really "fence" the air. They are probably always going to be around. If one leaves another one will come in. Maybe your dogs will help, hard to say. If it really concerns you, you could try the covered run, and put your chickens in whenever you see a hawk or think there might be one around. Most of the time people who do free range do accept that there are going to be losses, but for some that is unacceptable. You just have to work out where you are and how you feel about the possibility of losing chickens.
  4. TeeMom

    TeeMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2016
    Harris's hawks are known to hunt cooperatively, so it's not outside the realm of possibility, but not likely either. Our flock free ranges and we have lost 4 to hawks in 2 years. Our dogs do alert to hawks and do a pretty good job and we have lots of good cover. Our rooster is also invaluable in watching and alerting to hawks. Outside of that, we accept that we will have losses and that's the tradeoff for happy free-ranging chickens. There will always be hawks, so we do all we can to prevent an attack, but occasionally one falls victim.
  5. two j farm

    two j farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2016
    My Coop
    Thanks. I have been leaving the chickens in coop and run that is covered when I'm not here just to be on the safe side. I have been letting them out when I get home in the afternoon for about 2 to 3 hours a day and they seem happy with that. I did see another hawk this morning flying around the chicken pen making that whistling sound they make but it went on its way. I have losts chickens in the past to other animals mostly at night and to my on dog which I don't have anymore. This chickens are like my kids and just don't want to lose them to a hawk.
  6. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    Red tails have been known to call to get the attention of their prey.

    For example, watch a squirrely when a predator is around. They will sit there and call and flick that tail extremely fast. That flicking tail can be seen a mile away by a circling hawk.
  7. kat salamon

    kat salamon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2013
    Southern California
    I have been wondering about the fishing line with CD's. We have some red tails in the area. I have an odd shaped backyard (like an old rotary phone receiver). It is long with a patio to break it up in the middle. So with no huge wide open space I was wondering if they are a big threat. On one side of the yard we don't have much and an 80 foot pine hangs over part of it. Do they drop down or only fly in? Thanks!
  8. FoodFreedomNow

    FoodFreedomNow Chillin' With My Peeps

    I strung fishing line with CDs and reflective Mylar tape pieces attached to it in a brushy area by a stream bed where hawks had taken several hens. I'm really not sure how effective it was - if you get strong winds, the CDs can spin themselves up in the line and around bushes, etc., so they don't reflect the way they're intended to, and they break off the line fairly easily. I ended up picking up a lot of CDs that just broke off the lines (along with bits of the Mylar tape...sigh).

    There are a few different kinds of hawks out here, but the Cooper's and Red-Tailed are the hardest on our poultry. Cooper's hawks are smaller than RTH and they will walk in on their prey. The only RTH I've caught in the act was in the barn and it couldn't get out of there fast enough when it saw me. I think their preference is to swoop down on their prey.

    One of the things that I think has really made a difference in hawk-related losses is having a new rooster who is not only extremely vigilant, but also doesn't brook disobedience from the girls. When he sounds the alarm, he expects all the girls to run to him and to shelter. Our previous rooster was more of a pretty boy who would let the girls wander off on their own. [​IMG]

    Good luck!
  9. elenas farm

    elenas farm Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    Thomasville, NC, 27360
    They will come back even after 2-3 weeks of absence.
  10. elenas farm

    elenas farm Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    Thomasville, NC, 27360
    The last one I lost it Saturday, we were out to visit our son in college and I found one of my chickens eaten. The one before this happened a month ago around the same spot, in back of the yard at the treeline. So, be on watch all the time they come back. What I did I last year to protect my ducklings and chicks I took some cloth tread (the one you dry clothes on) and crossed it all over the yard above their yard and it worked. I will do the same with this back bad spot I have in the back.

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