Chic CAN

The Wisdom Chaser
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
May 9, 2012
36,153
106
398
One of the Large states U.S.A
I have read other posts and am comfident that my hens won't be carried off by a hawk. My question is when they kill and eat on the spot are the chicken free range or were they in a pen. I have a pen with 14 hens exposed, they can run into the hut which has a roof extending 3 feet in over hang. I am in the process of covering the pen which is about 13x22. I have cables up now, just not the wire. I let them out when we are outside to keep watch for predators and lock them up when we go inside. Right now its getting hot 99+ today. I'd like to just leave them out so they can choose where to go and not be cooped up most of the day. Do the hawks attack in enclosed pens about that size without a cover? Also what time of day do they seem to favor hunting? I'd have that coop done months ago but I need another set of hands to help me and that's been difficult finding latley.
 

Nicole01

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
5,492
95
268
MN
Yes, they will attack runs without cover. I free range my hens and I will see 6 red tails at once. We have sooooo many hawks here. We live in a heavily wooded area and I had a hawk swoop down at them in the thick thorny brush. Luckily I saw it and brought the girls to safety. The hens watch the sky constantly. Last year my neighbors hen was attacked with my neighbor just a few feet away. She scared the hawk and the hen was unharmed.

Right now the hawks are feeding off the song birds. Not only do I see hawks, I hear all sorts of species. I've learned all their calls from searching online. There even is a baby hawk nesting in my backyard.

I'm going to keep on free ranging. I supervise all free ranging currently until we fence in our 4 acre property. Both sides, my neighbors hate chickens, so it's my responsibility to make sure they stay on my land.

If a hawk does get one, there's nothing I can do. My hens love to free range. They make so much noise when stuck in their run. The eggs and hens are healthier as well. When we get the fence, I'll think about getting a rooster. My run is only 5x22 with a steel roof.
 
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Chic CAN

The Wisdom Chaser
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
May 9, 2012
36,153
106
398
One of the Large states U.S.A
I would free range but we have too many predators. We do supervised turnouts on the front yard. It's funny though all I have to do it bark like a dog and they all run into the hut. My retriever barks at any large bird she notices hovering over the yard. Especially the buzzards. She hates it when they perch across the street. I know that hanging old CD out deters deer, I wonder is som flapping flashy things would deter hawks.
 

Nicole01

Crowing
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
5,492
95
268
MN
I'm more worried for the dogs that run at large then the hawks. I'm so tired of people letting their dogs run loose because we are in the country when we have a leash law.

My hens are so noisy! I can't keep them locked up. If I did, my neighbors would complain even though we are allowed hens and roosters.

I can't wait for our fence to go up. We have to do it in sections since its such a large area.

I keep them locked up in the coop all winter. We cover the run in plastic and heat the coop, so they have more then enough room.
 

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