How big does a chicken need to be that it isn't HAWK BAIT anymore?

DIMBY

Songster
10 Years
Jun 14, 2009
265
49
176
Western Colorado
After a hawk or owl got one of my girls about two months ago, I made a scarecrow (I won't win any scarecrow-making contests btw) and I also got cheap vinyl triangular flags-on-a-string to hang across some of the areas in my yard that seemed vulnerable. The flags flap and make noise when the wind blows. So far, so good.
 

babyblue

Songster
10 Years
Sep 23, 2009
697
7
129
deer netting will deter some hawks. others that are wise to the ways of coops will simple perch on the fence and then rip the plastic apart. the deer netting we used crashed at the first light snowfall. cheap chicken wire thats braced will keep them out and hold up to the snow ok.
 

mamagardener

Songster
10 Years
Jun 17, 2009
1,701
5
179
Central Massachussetts
In January I had a hawk attack one of my Easter Eggers. He attacked her, and then flew up in a tree right above her. When I ran out the hawk flew away. I took the chicken inside, but she ended up dying. She didn't even look hurt, there was just some feathers around her. I don't know if it was the shock or internal injures or a broken neck. I don't know what the hawk would have done with her if I hadn't heard the commotion and run outside. She was almost a year old, so she was full grown. For the rest of the winter I was just very careful with my girls. I think the hawk only went after her because it was really hungry and couldn't find anything else to eat. It was the same size as my chicken.
 

Miss Red

Songster
9 Years
Apr 26, 2010
539
14
129
Trinity, Texas
My clarets are free run chickens, the only ones I worry about are the chicks. The hens and roosters will both flip over and attack a hawk, but I keep my laying chicken cooped up. I use anti-climb horse netting, and we have hawks bigger than chickens out here so far it's doing it's job. Another thought, not sure how much cheaper that is than some things your way.
 
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safarichick101

Songster
10 Years
Sep 1, 2009
166
1
109
College Station TX
I personally have never had a hawk take a chicken. And I've had mine for 3 years. I also happen to live in texas where there are tons of red tailed hawks and their prey (6 ft long tx rat snake.. no joke.. they are that big and they actually will eat button quail
). Maybe I am just lucky. I don't really know.
 

Kanthaka

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 22, 2009
37
1
32
I have a persistent Cooper's hawk that routinely scopes out and swoops on my hens. And I'm in the city! One thing that has helped me tremendously is feeding the neighborhood crows. I put peanuts on my porch roof and the crows now expect their daily treat. They hang around and chase the hawk whenever he gets too close to the yard. In addition I put some fake crows (available at any sport/hunting type supply store) on my fence and that seems to be a bit of a hawk deterrent. I understand that the the hawk is just doing what hawks do. He has a family to feed. He's a beautiful bird but I just don't want him eating my chickens!
Another distraction for the Cooper's hawk is the birdfeeder. He actually became more interested in the little birds than my hens. I don't understand why he even wants my hens as they are 3x his size!
 

jennh

Songster
12 Years
Jun 21, 2007
1,370
11
171
Lititz
I don't worry too much about Cooper's or Sharpshinned, but redtailed hawks are a different story. Those things are HUGE


Jen
 

chauqg

Songster
10 Years
Jun 13, 2009
131
2
101
Keeping them in the open is not giving them a fair chance. You need to cover the area or provide good shelter from the predators.

I free range 10-12 hours every day with hawks flying over head all day (have been doing it since January) and have not lost a bird. Hawks were much more daring when the birds were younger that is when the birds learned how to survive. Hawks were eating rodent kills while sitting on the chicken tractor. The birds have lots of cover and RIR's blend in really well with leaves, trees and under growth of the woods. The birds seldom cross open meadow or grass fields. They stay in the hedge rows, they have become wary and very cautious of walking around in the open. Hope our good luck continues.

Killed marauding raccoon Monday night. Trapped one behind the coop too! Conibear trap! DONE! Usually kill 4-5 each season. I trap them in our garden which has an 11ft fence around it. They get in, they never leave. Traps are set inside the garden and always baited.

I try to give our birds a chance by giving them good cover and safe haven like not cutting down a rose multiflora bush that is 10'high x12' around and very near the coop. The birds also hide under the coop which is 18" above ground with only one side open and it is only an opening of 10' x 10". All the birds huddle under the coop for cool, dust bathing and protection from weather and whatever else they are bothered by.​
 

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