11 Years
Mar 10, 2011
My husband and I went outside this evening to put the chickens away for the evening and lock up the run and coop. He and I were enjoying the beautiful evening and looking at our garden when I heard a bird screetching and we looked up, it was a smaller bird flying around frantically above our BIG tree! We were just about to say, "What the heck?" when a HUGE hawk flew out of our tree, chased by the smaller bird!!!! OH MY GOSH! We have never had hawks in our area, but we also never had chickens! What the heck, do hawks SMELL chickens or something!?!?!?!?

Luckily our chickens had put themslves to bed before we even got out there. My question is, should we keep the girls in the coop and run area for a few days? Will that help the hawk move on??? We can't keep them in the run every day, it isn't that big and I want to be able to let them out to eat grass and bugs! This is our first year wth chickens, wat do we do!? What will detour hawks??
You may think you've never had hawks in your area before, but you just haven't noticed or seen them. Like coyotes, they are everywhere. A lot of people like to encourage crows to stick around because they will chase off hawks. Some actually feed the crows, but there are others who feel crows also cause problems by stealing eggs. I would rather lose a few eggs to crows if they keep the hawks away. I have a flock of crows that live in the woods behind my house and I automatically look to the sky for hawks when I hear the crows start a rukus. I would keep the girls in for a few days if you can, just to encourage the hawk to keep moving, but if it's already discovered the chickens it may just stick around waiting for you to make a mistake. Of course you know you can't shoot them as all hawks are protected. Some people also think hanging shiny things like computer discs from trees helps to deter them, but I have my doubts about that. I think a dog in the yard makes a hawk think twice about striking but I do not condone leaving a dog outside all the time for that purpose. Hawks are a very difficult predator to out smart so making sure you have lots of cover for the chickens to run under for protection is your best bet. My chickens free range all day as well, but I have a large entrance hole under my deck for them to take refuge in as well as a covered run and lots of large trees in my yard. Hawks fly over all the time so I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I lose some chickens to them, but so far so good. Good luck to you.
Dog, YES, Dogs are good! I have a HUGE blood hound next door and 2 big puppies behind us and I have a medium size terrier and a German Shepherd! Neighbors dogs are in the yard pretty much all day and my dogs go in and out the dog door all day! So maybe they are why I still have all my hens today?????? OMG!!! And I haven't noticed crows.....LOL.....but I do have a ton of tiny birds and Robins in the area beacuse of trees and big bushes.....Will other birds keep the hawk away too?
I wouldn't think they would do as good of a job as it. Crows seem aggressive ahaa. Planting bushes can help too (gives the chickens somewhere to hide) and if you have a rooster.... they usually do a pretty good job at alerting your hens or hawks... I would hang some CD's from the trees and your coop. Maybe a scare crow?
The only other bird I have actually seen chasing hawks is red-winged blackbirds. Hawks eat most song birds so they are usually hiding when hawks are around, unless they are trying to keep a hawk away from their nest or babies. If you let your chickens free range and your yard is not fenced you are more likely to loose your whole flock to strays or neighbor's dogs than you are to a hawk. If you are allowed to have roosters in your area you might want to get one as they are great protectors of their girls.
Starlings, Sparrows, mocking birds, and Martins will also chase off hawks. It's called a pre-emptive defense. Hawks are ambush predators, by effectively "calling out" the hawk, it will move on to another part of its territory in hopes of better luck.
I see them all the time... in fact it is my most pervasive predator problem. My chickens are in large covered runs during the day. On several occasions I have seen hawks nose dive into the hardware cloth that covers my runs. I would love to let them free range but right now I have a few problems with that. First... our property isn't fenced... although we are looking into that especially since we now also have turkeys... bigger issue I have one dog that I cannot trust around the birds... We will have some kind of fencing even if it is just around part of our yard before the end of the summer... in the mean time I am the crazy lady with the bucket and scissors in the middle of the field in front of our barn clipping grass, dandelion greens, clover and any other yummy things I happen to find out there including crickets, larvae, etc.... My neighbors must wonder if I have lost my marbles... I am out there heat, cold, rain , shine cutting treats for my chickens
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My tree covers half of our back yard, almost and we have a raised deck...The tree is super close to our house so I can try and check for the hawk......We live in a regular neighborhood and can NOT have roosters here, otherwise I would keep one. Will hawks fly under the tree or deck or do they just fly where they can see? We have lots of those birds that will go after hawks around, so hopefully that will help us, but I am going to be on my toes!!!! I don't know if we can fence in an area, we are already trying to hide the coop in the corner of our yard....hehehe...yeah we are one of those chicken owners....We will do what we have to, we just don't have a huge area to block off just for the chickens...
mocking birds will peck on crows, and small hawks.

More than once, Ive seen a mocking bird dive-bombing a crow as the crow was dive-bombing a hawk

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