How can I keep my chickens safe from hawks?

AChickenBoi

Songster
Oct 13, 2019
115
128
126
I just caught a hawk spying on my chickens. I think it’s a red-tail hawk, but I can’t be sure. It doesn’t matter, it’s big enough to kill my biggest hen, and could easily kill my silkies.

My chickens free range the entire yard, and have a small coop that they only really go into at night. The yard isn’t huge, but it’s big enough to hold a large pool.

I have a fake owl that usually does it’s job, but I’m starting to suspect that it’s losing its effectiveness over the hawk in the neighborhood.

I have 1 barred rock, my biggest girl. One sapphire gem/blue rock, one black bantam silkie, and a silkie-Blue rock cross. They are all adults.

My family doesn’t give a sh*t about this threat. My parents especially. They always say that the chickens are too big to be even harmed by a hawk, but I know that’s a load of bs because I’ve seen pictures of adult barred rocks get attacked by hawks and even killed. A year and a half ago, we lost a chick to a hawk. I was nearly traumatized by this, because I loved her like my baby, and I didn’t even have anything to give her a burial, just feathers. I couldn’t stop thinking about how terrified and I’m pain she was in when that hawk killed her, and my own mother promised me that we wouldn’t let something like this happen again.

A few months ago, I lost my beloved rooster, a special needs silkie, to a misplaced antibiotic shot that gave him a painful death. My mother was the one who delivered the shot, since she has done it before plenty of times, and we were both destroyed over his death. We both blamed ourselves over it. Her for giving the shot, and me for holding him and being so worried over his health.

And so, another threat is waiting for me to turn my back so I can be heartbroken all over again, while I’m still shattered over my baby boy. I love my chickens. They, and my elderly cat, give me a reason to get out of bed. I have just had a panic attack over the thought of one of those b*stard birds brutally killing my babies that I so dearly cherish.

I can’t put a net over the yard, the owl isn’t working, I am going back to school in a couple months, and I can’t keep them locked away for the rest of their lives. If I don’t get an answer soon, I will probably lie to my parents about that hawk attacking one of the chickens to get them to actually care. I HATE lying, especially to my mother, but absolutely nobody is taking me seriously, and I am not ready to lose another one, not when my dog of 13 years died 6 months ago, and certainly not when my only boy died so horribly a few months ago.
 

LaurEliz

Songster
Apr 8, 2018
389
994
212
Central Illinois
Yes, hawks can definitely get chickens. One of my largest chickens I ever had (my profile picture, actually) received two large gashes in her back from a hawk attack. Even if they don't kill them (though they often will) they can still injure them pretty well.

If you haven't been already, you need to be moving the fake owl around every so often. Hawks are smart and they'll catch onto the fact that it's fake if it stays in one place.

I have hung old cds/dvds in the trees around my yard. The reflections deter hawks. I've also planted lots of shrubs that the chickens can hide under if they do see a predator in the sky. I also suggest getting a rooster if you do not currently have one. My rooster alerts everybody when there is any predator nearby and they all go running.
 

AChickenBoi

Songster
Oct 13, 2019
115
128
126
Yes, hawks can definitely get chickens. One of my largest chickens I ever had (my profile picture, actually) received two large gashes in her back from a hawk attack. Even if they don't kill them (though they often will) they can still injure them pretty well.

If you haven't been already, you need to be moving the fake owl around every so often. Hawks are smart and they'll catch onto the fact that it's fake if it stays in one place.

I have hung old cds/dvds in the trees around my yard. The reflections deter hawks. I've also planted lots of shrubs that the chickens can hide under if they do see a predator in the sky. I also suggest getting a rooster if you do not currently have one. My rooster alerts everybody when there is any predator nearby and they all go running.
I do try to move the owl around in as much places as I can, but there is literally only 1 place that thing can be propped up and stay stable. The spring that keeps the head on secure is also rusted.

I need to find some dvds that I can use. Would mylar tape strung around the yard or on the fence work as well?

I want to get Red back, a beautiful Rhode Island Red roo that we thought was a hen when we were given him. We ended up giving him to a friend of my dad’s that lives in a rural area (the neighborhood rules say that we can’t have roosters, but there’s plenty of crowing roos in the neighborhood so that rule is probably not enforced...). My dad doesn’t want another animal, let alone another rooster. On top of that, I don’t want to feel like I’m replacing Blue (my silkie roo). I liked Red a lot, since he would “talk” back to me when I had him perching on my arm.
 

Luv Ducks

Crowing
Mar 19, 2021
589
1,018
258
Ohio
I bought six foot dog panels and made a large enclosure and have deer fencing or poultry fencing over the top of it. When we love our pets this much it is our responsibility to keep them safe no matter what. Mine are very safe this way, they are my ducks that I do love. My husband does not like the way the yard looks because of my setup but knows that is what I had to do in order to keep them safe and that I love them. I am blessed by that as a lot of spouses might not be so understanding. Good luck with yours my Dear and I hope you can find a way to keep them safe. A Red tail hawk picked up my neighbors chicken and got it 8 feet off of the ground. He threw something at the hawk and it let go of it. They can kill or hurt chickens or ducks.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
31,520
35,451
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
The only way to protect your birds is to have them in a covered pen. I have several nice large pens and they are all covered with good heavy duty netting. I don't have to worry about predators. I also have electric wires around my coops and pens, concrete under the gates. These birds were killed my a Red Tailed hawk. Pullets not far from starting to lay. Lessons learned the hard way. Good luck...
 

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Smashlee83

Songster
Apr 9, 2021
195
507
146
Houston
I just caught a hawk spying on my chickens. I think it’s a red-tail hawk, but I can’t be sure. It doesn’t matter, it’s big enough to kill my biggest hen, and could easily kill my silkies.

My chickens free range the entire yard, and have a small coop that they only really go into at night. The yard isn’t huge, but it’s big enough to hold a large pool.

I have a fake owl that usually does it’s job, but I’m starting to suspect that it’s losing its effectiveness over the hawk in the neighborhood.

I have 1 barred rock, my biggest girl. One sapphire gem/blue rock, one black bantam silkie, and a silkie-Blue rock cross. They are all adults.

My family doesn’t give a sh*t about this threat. My parents especially. They always say that the chickens are too big to be even harmed by a hawk, but I know that’s a load of bs because I’ve seen pictures of adult barred rocks get attacked by hawks and even killed. A year and a half ago, we lost a chick to a hawk. I was nearly traumatized by this, because I loved her like my baby, and I didn’t even have anything to give her a burial, just feathers. I couldn’t stop thinking about how terrified and I’m pain she was in when that hawk killed her, and my own mother promised me that we wouldn’t let something like this happen again.

A few months ago, I lost my beloved rooster, a special needs silkie, to a misplaced antibiotic shot that gave him a painful death. My mother was the one who delivered the shot, since she has done it before plenty of times, and we were both destroyed over his death. We both blamed ourselves over it. Her for giving the shot, and me for holding him and being so worried over his health.

And so, another threat is waiting for me to turn my back so I can be heartbroken all over again, while I’m still shattered over my baby boy. I love my chickens. They, and my elderly cat, give me a reason to get out of bed. I have just had a panic attack over the thought of one of those b*stard birds brutally killing my babies that I so dearly cherish.

I can’t put a net over the yard, the owl isn’t working, I am going back to school in a couple months, and I can’t keep them locked away for the rest of their lives. If I don’t get an answer soon, I will probably lie to my parents about that hawk attacking one of the chickens to get them to actually care. I HATE lying, especially to my mother, but absolutely nobody is taking me seriously, and I am not ready to lose another one, not when my dog of 13 years died 6 months ago, and certainly not when my only boy died so horribly a few months ago.
I used the CD / DVD method after I had a hawk attack about 6 months ago, and I haven't had a problem since. Hopefully it stays that way.
 

AChickenBoi

Songster
Oct 13, 2019
115
128
126
The only way to protect your birds is to have them in a covered pen. I have several nice large pens and they are all covered with good heavy duty netting. I don't have to worry about predators. I also have electric wires around my coops and pens, concrete under the gates. These birds were killed my a Red Tailed hawk. Pullets not far from starting to lay. Lessons learned the hard way. Good luck...
A hawk killed ALL of them?! What an asshole bird >:mad:!!
 

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