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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ohiochickens, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. ohiochickens

    ohiochickens Hatching

    Sep 6, 2010
    We have had chickens for three years now in our yard without any trouble until this past week. Our chickens were out of their run, roaming the yard when they started getting very vocal and hid under our rabbit hutch and then a redtail hawk swooped in. We were ale to chase it off, and get the girls back into their covered run with out any trouble, but now we're afraid to let them back out again. We've built them a huge run that is covered, so I know they are safe there but we miss seeing them out in the yard and they miss being out. We have 3 labs that have grown up with the chickens and don't think about chasing them. If we let our chickens out when our dogs are out only, does anyone know if that will keep the hawk away? After the first couple days, it stopped hanging around because we've kept our chickens in the run, but we see it off in the distance. Beside maybe our dogs keeping the hawk away, someone mentioned that a turkey might help or shiny objects, but i don't know if anything will help besides just keeping them locked up for now.

  2. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I try & stay with my chicks when I let them out. But the problem I have is 6 hang near the house & the other 4 closer to the coop but next to the woods & I can't be in two places . So , I usually stay with the 4 near the woods. The 6 near the house have allot of places to hide if danger arrives. Its like Russian roulette . But I'm like everyone here I hate to keep em cooped up all the time. They seem so happy running around & so sad in the coop.
  3. Surehatch

    Surehatch Songster

    Nov 16, 2009
    keep your shotgun handy
  4. midget_farms

    midget_farms Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    I honestly consider it the cost of having free range. I have to give up about 5 hens a year to predators. I just shot a coyote yesterday after it ate one of my ducks & two polish (everything eats polish).

    I have even lost one to a hawk.

    The best defence to a hawk is a good rooster & lots of cover in the yard. The roo will keep an eye out & holler if he sees a hawk.
  5. dkistner1111

    dkistner1111 In the Brooder

    May 14, 2010
    Cave Spring, GA
    Oh, ohiochickens, I am grieving with you. I had my little three-week-old-today peeps out in the kennel coop that I'd fortified top to bottom and thought they were safe to be outside in the sunshine scratching grass. I was cleaning the kitchen, and when I went back out to check on them there was a grey hawk of some kind standing beside the coop. He didn't fly off until I got close enough to see that he'd killed and half eaten my little Partridge Rock, Jackie, through the fence. I found Hannah (BCM) and Suzie (SS) perched traumatized on top of a bucket, and Fidget (SS) trembling in a corner behind a rock. My sweet Becky, Muffin, and Heckle and Jeckle were gone without a trace.

    The only feathers I found were two of Jackie's. A part of me is hoping maybe the chicks managed to get up high enough to get through the chain link fence part that I hadn't covered with chicken wire and are cowering somewhere under the barn...and that there are no snakes under there...and that they'll get to the food and water that I edged under a corner...that they'll come to me when I call so I can get them in. But I'm resigning myself to the worst.

    My neighbor lost ten full-grown chickens, probably to this same hawk. She had them in a loosely fenced area and said something had snatched the chickens one by one through the fence. But that was happening at night, she thought, and she thought my chicks would be safe to be out there in the kennel-coop during the day as long as I brought them in at night.

    It just breaks my heart. And now I'm worried sick about what to do with my remaining three babies. At least now there's enough room in the brooder. [​IMG]

    UPDATE: We found Muffin, Heckle, and Jeckle and managed to get them inside. Becky may or may not be alive still. She was peeping from the other side of the fence, behind our barn and under our neighbor's hay shed, where we can't get to her. I saw her and called to her, and then she disappeared from sight and stopped peeping. It's dark. I'm hoping she found a place in the hay to curl up and go to sleep and that tomorrow maybe I can coax her out. Robert says he bets something got her, though. I'm prepared for that. At least I got back three that I thought were gone. My Muffin! But Becky is my absolute favorite. I hope she survives the night.

    SECOND UPDATE: Becky survived the night! With all the cats and snakes and hawks around here, it's a miracle that a three-week-old chick managed to survive. Now, I may not survive after getting myself completely covered in poison ivy while trying to catch her. Finally it dawned on me to bring the other chicks out and put them in the coop (with DH guarding them against that darn hawk). Sure enough, their peeping brought Becky right out from under the barn and I was finally able to nab her. So I lost one, not five. What a relief, but I am still sad about my little Jackie.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2010

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