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Hawks :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ande, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. ande

    ande New Egg

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    Oct 22, 2012
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    Hi Everyone- I'm new to this forum and I guess I'm just looking for a little moral support today. We've had our chickens for only 4 months- 2 Americaunas, a Welsummer, and a Guinea Hen that we got later, hoping she would offer a little protection for the girls. We raised them from chicks and they've been in free range paradise for about a month or so. Basically we started to let them free range during the day when they were full size and they were so happy. I would check on them every couple of hours and they would come running for my handful of mealworms :) Well, yesterday, my favorite girl, Lucille, was apparently taken by a hawk. I'm devastated. They have two barns, tons and tons of trees, shrubbery and bushes and a coop to hide in. We also hung aviary netting over the small horse paddock for extra protection between the barns. I was always worried about Lucille because she was a little smaller and bolder than the others. (She would chase the barn cats as they innocently passed by :) I have everybody else locked up for now, but I don't want to do that forever. I'm so upset about her that I feel like I should give up on the whole chicken thing- we don't really care about the eggs -we just enjoyed seeing them do their chickeny things :) I'm hoping when I feel better I won't feel like giving up. Does anyone have any suggestions about what I could do to keep away hawks, besides building a pen? Maybe if I'm going to free-range, I just need to toughen up a little and accept that there's only so much I can do? Thanks!
     
  2. leghornfarm

    leghornfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 9, 2012
    Unfortunatly you are going to loose birds, if not from predators then from illness. And it always seems like it is your favorite hen that is taken.
    I don't know how big of an area you have to protect, but you might try a scarecrow with something bright that can swing in the breeze and reflect the sunlight to scare the hawk away.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. hennotrooster

    hennotrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 16, 2012
    Hesperia CA
    Sorry that your hen was taken. This is something that I worry about hawks or falcons (don't know the difference) hang out in my yard I love watching them bathe it takes 45 minutes to an hour. Anyway they have never bothered my hens so I assumed that they were too small to carry off one of them. I will assume that I am wrong.

    My problem is with squirrels they have stolen eggs and even ran off with the fake two I had in the coop and they tried to run off with the golf balls that were put in there. Now, do cats bother chickens? We have 3 very large cats that run through our property on a daily basis but so far have had no problems with them. Sparrows are a pain as they like to eat the feed. My newest 4 bought in March are only aggressive toward my dog, she stays away from them. My older 2 want to kill the younger 4. Anything else can hang out in their yard. The roo used to sit with the squirrels at the far end of their yard [​IMG]go figure or at times we would catch him sitting under the tree with one or two. Don't give up on them they are very entertaining and will follow you anywhere if they think you have food or are going to show them where the bugs are.

    Good luck
     
  4. pcosmom

    pcosmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2011
    I'm sorry for your loss..We lost our daughters pullet yesterday to a hawk..she was the only one that size and always hung out with the others but for what ever reason not yesterday.. We build an enclosure for our bantams and momma with babies, but I have worried all day as the top is not enclosed yet, but they can run back into there coupe and has a tarp over part of it..
     
  5. SallyinIndiana

    SallyinIndiana Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 14, 2012
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    A hawk got into our run this morning too. We had been told to cover the run with deer netting. That did not work at all.
    I too would appreciate any advice.
     
  6. omegaman

    omegaman New Egg

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    Oct 20, 2012
    I feel your loss. an hour ago a hawk killed my little girls favorite chicken. I heard the noise and came runnig with my dog at my heels, just in time to see a huge hawk trying to make off with her over the fence. Now when my 6 yr old gets home from school I have to tell her what happened to miss pretty pretty. We raise these birds for eggs. My wife asked me why did you order 20 chicks and now that we are down to 14 it will make sense.
     
  7. I lost a silkie chick to a hawk earlier today, free ranging makes happy birds but also causes many more problems all you can really do if you plan to always free range is just kill what predators you can and just hope. BTW if hawks are your only problem id suggest a martin colony, thats what im working on right now.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. AKnewbie

    AKnewbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2012
    Did the hawk break the deer netting?
     
  9. SallyinIndiana

    SallyinIndiana Overrun With Chickens

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    just a touch it was able to get it loose and come in under where we had attached the netting to the wood support. It then flew out by flying right at the net and raising it just enough to get free.
     
  10. 9toedsilkie

    9toedsilkie New Egg

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    Sep 1, 2012
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    I would suggest building a run for protection and let them free range sometimes. i do that with my three older hens but my two little ones just stay inside to get the food when they know they wont get pecked. your chickens might run off because they are used to being free ranged but maybe putting them in a run when you cant watch them would keep hawks away most of the time
     

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