HELP- Resident Eagle killed my smallest bantam silkie today- How to protect against Eagles?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Bellafransmom, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Bellafransmom

    Bellafransmom New Egg

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    We have a resident nesting eagle pair raising eaglets in our town. They are huge!!! Today my daughter saw one of the eagles kill our smallest of 3 bantam silkie hens while the other 2 cowered in a flowerpot. How can I protect my other 2 hens, our small Pomeranian dog & our 6 rabbits against Eagles? All animals are inside the house now. Thank you for your help.
     
  2. arialp

    arialp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
  3. Bellafransmom

    Bellafransmom New Egg

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    The chicken run is next to our garden and I have hardware cloth (the fencing with the smaller holes) along the edges to form walls and the 4th wall is a tall privacy fence, and I had bird netting along the top to keep out predators with an empty outdoor rabbit hutch leaving the front door open for the hens, covered by a tarp to give the hens a sheltered place from the rain under the hutch. At dusk I was bring the 3 inside for the night, as I was afraid for them (raccoons, skunks, hawks, owls, opposums rats, etc. are all in our neighborhood & hungry.) We had to give our rooster away as we are not allowed to have roosters.
    We have a small lot with old tall trees. The eagle got under the bird netting along the privacy fence, killed our little bantam and tried to drag her away but failed (probably because of the netting.) We just had to untangle a blue jay from the netting last week.
    Should I try hanging CD's to scare away the eagle? I think it will come again to hunt our birds. If I build some kind of roof over their run, won't it block out all the sunlight overhead? Is it a trade off between protection and freedom? Our hens were free range all summer until they started wandering away to neighbor's yards, so now they are fenced in about 1/4 of the yard by the plantings.
    Thanks
     
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    You need to make a secure coop and run ASAP. That eagle will be back, and so will other predators. My birds free range usually, but if a hawk takes one of them, the flock is locked in for one to three weeks, until the offending raptor gives up and moves on. So sorry for your loss; it's going to happen unless your birds are always locked in. With a safe coop for nights, and a safe daytime run, you have options for their protection. A raptor will go for the easiest target; small, young, and dumb. The survivors will be wiser, but they are really tiny birds. An eagle could take on even a big rooster if motivated, never mind a bantam. Mary
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    Totally agree it will be back.
    My hens do not get to go out of the run anymore due to a coopers hawk. They are also drawn to the white birds.
    The dang hawk actually came down on top of my Delaware hen in the garden with me in the yard in late August or early September. The attack was a failure since I was right there to stop it. I see the hawk at least once a week now sitting on the power pole watching and waiting.
    One neighbor has a tiny coop and had 6 hens in it that were let out often. I saw wings on the road about 3 houses down from them. I thought it was one of hers but it was wrong color bird. The wings were white. I assume fox. I drive past there at sunup each day to go to work and found the wings in the afternoon.
    Bird netting is not effective. I would recommend welded wire or hardware cloth.
    My run has me a bit worried since we did a fast cover up with chicken wire when we were battling time and weather. It is mounted securely but will be getting beefed up since a fat racoon could break through it.

    My thinking has turned from free ranging to lock it or loose it.
     
  6. magpiebirdie

    magpiebirdie New Egg

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    He'll (she'll?) definitely be back looking for another meal. [​IMG] Hardware cloth (1/2") works best and will keep out weasels/coons too, but for a temporary fix you could try beefing up the bird netting, either with a couple of layers or a thicker material. (Not sure if you were using the berry netting, which is a thinner gauge plastic, or a thicker nylon that's more like a nylon fishing net?) Knock on wood - we have had good luck with this really affordable netting from Amazon - it's quite thick but fairly invisible from a distance to human eyes, so we used bright plastic zip ties every 10' or so just to make it more visible to anyone flying over. It would take quite a strike to puncture the net; don't ask me how many times I got stuck trying to put it up over our run. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2014
  7. MargaretYakoda

    MargaretYakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. CrazyTalk

    CrazyTalk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think a secure coop and run is about your only choice here.

    There are just too many things working against you - a predator you can't do anything to, bantams, silkies, no roosters, tiny dog, etc.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    THAT is the BEST hen saddle info I've ever seen...The video is priceless!!

    Tho I do think that a secure run, with hard wire roof is the only true way to protect against avian predators.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2014
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Agree with aart as far as bantams go, especially. My Belgian D'Anver bantams, being as small as they are, have a covered pen similar to hers because the smaller birds more than any others are hawk (well, eagle, in this case) bait. I've never seen an eagle, but we sure have many types of hawks, mostly the large redtails. I just don't usually free range bantams, though my others do.
     

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