Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by STOCKINGFOOT, Aug 5, 2013.


    STOCKINGFOOT Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2013
    Now retired, I am moving to the country and want to raise a few [12-15] chickens. I want to free range them during the day
    enclosed by an electric movable fence, around about 20x70 foot area for a future garden. Instead of netting the top, I was
    wondering if some compact discs [CDs] strung on heavy fishing line across the width every 6 feet would deter hawks. I
    think about 3 on every line would spin or wobble in the wind and the flash may keep them from diving into my hens. Any
  2. Annasg

    Annasg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2013
    Seriously, I doubt it. Hawks have exceptional vision. I am just getting back into raising chickens but when I was raising them a few years ago, a hawk swooped into their coop and stole a couple. So we put chicken wire across the top of the coop. My boyfriend went out one day and a hawk had one of the chickens that was roosting close to the top of the pin and was trying to pull it out thru the chicken wire. If you want to raise that many with no protection for them, you are going to end up with none when the hawks get finished. We watched that hawk for days and then it tried, unsuccessfully. Sure was glad for that chicken wire we put up. We would probably have lost all our birds.
  3. animals1981

    animals1981 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    An owl will work for a bit it has to be a real sized howl great horned though. It should work on a lot of predators.
  4. BarredRocks3

    BarredRocks3 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 1, 2013
    New Hampshire
    I find that a normal owl decoy works good for keeping the hawks away. We have one over looking in our backyard where the chickens spend the most of their time but, occasionally they venture to our front yard and then hawk activity picked up again. My solution to that was to use 2 of my crow hunting decoys in the front yard to keep the hawks and owls away and it worked! If hawks and owls start to come back we move around the decoys a little bit and the activity stops again.
  5. turtleguy

    turtleguy Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 20, 2013
    I don't think the CD's or the Owl will work too well. We have an owl decoy in our backyard (mainly to keep squirrels off the bird feeders). But just this past Sunday, a red tailed hawk scooped down and got one of our three, 3-week old chicks. They were happily scratching under a garden bench on which my brother was sitting, while my dad was working in the yard about 10 feet away. Even with the owl and two humans, the hawk didn't mind.
    My brother made an attempt to grab the hawk, but at least it dropped the chick. Even though the chick died a few minutes later, I think the hawk was discouraged by the fact that he did not get to taste his prize.

    We live in the city, and we never let the birds out of their run when we're not around in the yard. So I imagine that without some sort of aerial attack protection, attacks would be heavier out in the country. Maybe you could raise a few puppies with the chickens and train them to protect the flock.
  6. chickortreat

    chickortreat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    I personally don't want my yard looking like Sanford & Son. I'm not putting up anything to keep predators away. I will deal with them as needed.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have not used CD's so can nothing about their effectiveness. Serious advice with respect to their use should only be considered from those have used them. I do not like the appearance of setups for aesthetic reasons. Route I have taken is to allow growth of plants that can serve as cover making initial detection by hawks more difficult and allows an escape option for retreating birds. Placement of electrified poultry netting around perimeter makes such cover even more effective. A dog or two of sufficient size and temperament can make system even more effective. In past I have also used adult roosters to repel Coopers Hawks. Same roosters required cover to operate from to repel red-tailed hawks.
  8. shmccarthy

    shmccarthy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2013
    I have found that ground cover has worked extremely well for me for hawks. I have a great horned owl statue, that I have had for years sitting outside the run. I don't know how effective it is exactly because I've had it longer than I've had chickens and its heavy to move..lol but I don't see any chipmunks or nice around there so I think it's effective in that aspect. I have a lot of wild rhubarb and large shrubs in my yard as well as a large crabapple tree and about an acre and a half total of blackberry bushes and tall grass up to my neck. I noticed the bantams will frequent under the rhubarb and are completely covered by it. The larger hens and roosters like to venture into the shrubs and blackberry bushes. My crab apple tree is in serious need of trimming because the branches are almost touching the ground but I keep it like that for the fawns to snack on and the chickens like it too. This is the only open area of my yard. When a hawk circles above, 9 times out of 10 the rooster sees it even before I do and sounds the alarm. All the girls know what to do and they take cover at whatever's nearby. I have not had a single hawk attack to date *knock on wood* but the greenery and shrubs work wonders. Plus, they look good in the yard too. ;)

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