1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Hawks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chickbee, Apr 2, 2015.

  1. chickbee

    chickbee Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    24
    Apr 2, 2015
    Fort Worth Tx
    Hello! I am seeking information on predators before I invest in a first-time flock. I've been learning about keeping backyard chickens for some time but have not yet made the leap. I know what kind I want, been in touch with someone to get them from, have coop ideas, read laws...so on and so forth. One thing that is holding me back is the worry about predators. I have looked into a variety of options on how to protect your flock. My main worry: I live in Fort Worth, north ridglea area, in an older and developed neighborhood within the city. My backyard is very large, flat, and not a whole lot of trees/brush (just around the outer areas). I plan on letting the chickens out for some period of time daily, likely I'll be out there with them. I don't know if anyone can answer this, but are Hawks something to be afraid of in my area? I'm not even sure if I've ever seen one around, but I have had no reason to. I plan on getting older chickens to start (no babies, no chicks...maybe 2.5-4months old.) I apolgize if this is a silly question, but are Hawks something to fear in a neighborhood setting such as mine?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    450
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    To some extent. The larger breeds are certainly a threat.

    But please understand, they are also a Federally protected species. Overhead netting or other cover is probably the best protection.
     
  3. chickbee

    chickbee Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    24
    Apr 2, 2015
    Fort Worth Tx
    Thanks for the reply. I hadn't thought of maybe just adding a netting covering an area...
    Certainly, the Hawks would just be doing what they're meant to do. Glad to read they're protected as well. But don't want the heartbreak of losing a chicken - as they would be pets mainly. Any ideas/info/experiences help. Thanks again for reply and idea!
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,455
    2,081
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Hawks can be an issue but the risk they present can be managed using a number of approaches including those indicated above. Your idea of restricting time birds are out can also be used and is standard for my yard flock for much of the year. I also employ electrified poultry netting that encircles briars, shrubs or small trees. The netting works very well against other predators you are likely to have as well. I also emply adult roosters that can also repel many hawks that otherwise target the hens and immature birds. My flock in a location with many hawks but they are at the bottom of my list of concerns. Biggest concern is parasites that can be problematic during periods of heavy rain and when birds are confined at relatively high densities.
     
  5. KittieChick

    KittieChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    238
    15
    111
    May 23, 2014
    Wake Forest, NC
    I've had 3 different hawks scope my yard the past 2 days. My girls are addicted to bread, and if they're out and I hear a hawk, I call them into the pen. I must say, though, they're pretty smart about running from pen to bush to deck to bush...
     
  6. chickbee

    chickbee Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    24
    Apr 2, 2015
    Fort Worth Tx
    I may just have to plant a few shrubs throughout my flat and open yard...and be sure to train my chickens especially at night to go to the coop. Since I live in a neighborhood setting the Hawks are my biggest fear! I feel I can make a coop secure, but am trying to get ideas for air predators. Thanks all!
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,455
    2,081
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Brambles would be an excellent option. False Indigo works well when in leaves and I think it grows in your area. Something else I am playing with is Miscanthus (hybrid) planted in clumps. Mature clusters of plants allow chickens to walk through but breaks line of sight. Bad thing about Miscanthus is no obvious nutritional value.
     
  8. chickbee

    chickbee Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    24
    Apr 2, 2015
    Fort Worth Tx
    I like the idea of the brambles and false indigo. Thanks for the suggestions...so new to this and that helps to get started! I think I'll feel better if they actually have some cover in case. My husband saw a rather large hawk overhead the other day so protection is a must now. Do things like brightly-colored wind-socks and chimes work, as they say? Or has anyone had luck with those predator-eyes chicken vests? Or are they gimmicks? Thanks again for suggestions.
     
  9. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Chillin' With My Peeps

    532
    57
    136
    Oct 20, 2014
    Arizona
    Raspberries and black berries taste good ... Plant them in clumps, but far enough apart for chickens to scoot under/between ...
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,455
    2,081
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    The wind sock and chimes might work although not when wind is too slow.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by