How can I keep my chickens safe from hawks?

Nov 11, 2020
1,426
2,385
286
West Virginia
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.
Is there a reason why you can't use netting?
 

maroongrad

Chirping
Feb 16, 2021
31
90
56
We have a scotch collie. He's an outdoor Yard Guard by choice (comes in whenever he wants but would rather be outside keeping an eye on everything). We got him at 10 weeks, he's now a year and a half old. He killed three pullets and two ducklings when younger, until we caught him in the act and scolded him and glared and gave him a cold shoulder for a few days... they've been safe since ;) A guardian type dog is a fabulous choice to keep away the hawks if you can get one, and the collie types are also excellent family pets. Not sure how a border would do, but a rough, scotch (our choice!), mcnab, wire-mouth heeler, corgi, aussie, and similar breeds would likely do a very good job keeping hawks away. Any outdoor dog will help a lot, but you have to find a breed that WANTS to be outside! Scotches are very much that dog, and so that's what we have. He can open the door to come in...but he'll stay out all day and watch the kids, the birds, and everything else...including watching the sky! No more foxes with him around, either.
 

Granny23

Songster
Aug 2, 2021
92
162
101
Fontana, California
We have a scotch collie. He's an outdoor Yard Guard by choice (comes in whenever he wants but would rather be outside keeping an eye on everything). We got him at 10 weeks, he's now a year and a half old. He killed three pullets and two ducklings when younger, until we caught him in the act and scolded him and glared and gave him a cold shoulder for a few days... they've been safe since ;) A guardian type dog is a fabulous choice to keep away the hawks if you can get one, and the collie types are also excellent family pets. Not sure how a border would do, but a rough, scotch (our choice!), mcnab, wire-mouth heeler, corgi, aussie, and similar breeds would likely do a very good job keeping hawks away. Any outdoor dog will help a lot, but you have to find a breed that WANTS to be outside! Scotches are very much that dog, and so that's what we have. He can open the door to come in...but he'll stay out all day and watch the kids, the birds, and everything else...including watching the sky! No more foxes with him around, either.
We have a little old terrier mix of some sort but at 15 he could care less about protecting my chickens. Lol.
Ive had Aussies before and we are thinking about another dog. Thank you.
 

timber_102

Hatching
Nov 27, 2021
3
6
4
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'm so sorry for your loss. 2 hawks just slaughtered one of my best laying silkies yesterday and I'm looking for answers too. Her name was Rosie and I loved her. The hawks are back this morning looking for another free meal. I can't put netting over my whole yard! The rest of my flock are locked up in their coops but I can't keep them there forever. I don't know what to do.
 

Luv Ducks

Chirping
Mar 19, 2021
150
176
78
I'm so sorry for your loss. 2 hawks just slaughtered one of my best laying silkies yesterday and I'm looking for answers too. Her name was Rosie and I loved her. The hawks are back this morning looking for another free meal. I can't put netting over my whole yard! The rest of my flock are locked up in their coops but I can't keep them there forever. I don't know what to do.
Our pets depend on us for their safety. I have dog pen panels that surround my large pen with netting over all of it. I have never lost a duck due to a predator. Some sort of fencing that you can put netting over is the only way you will keep them safe. It's nature for these hawks to look for a free meal and when it's available they will go for it. I hope you can find a good solution to keep your pets that you love safe. I even have strong netting over the sides of the dog panels to keep sparrows out of their feed and other predators out. This works for me where there are plenty of hawks where I live in Ohio. Good luck with yours.
 

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