How long will a fake owl be effective?

PowellAnimals

Chirping
Jul 2, 2015
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Muncy, Pennsylvania
My chickens free range over three acres during the day. Unfortunately, they found the neighbor's apple and pear trees and thus love to go over and feast off the ground. My neighbor says he doesn't mind but I would rather not take advantage of his kindness. A week ago I set a fake owl in their regular path to the neighbor's and it stopped them dead in their tracks on their way. They checked it out the second day and decided to turn back too. It has been a week and they no longer go in that direction. If I move the owl every once and again, can I expect it to take care of the situation or will they catch on eventually and I should look into another solution?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
Things that move are more effective, they get used to stationary objects, so maybe moving it around will work, I've never tried doing that.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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Hmm...interesting application of the fake owl, good move!

Hard to say if it will continue to work, might be a good idea to remove it out of sight until you need it again so they don't get used to seeing it.

Was expecting to hear a hawk story after reading the thread title, but am going to gratuitously post this pic anyway.

 

CrazyTalk

Songster
5 Years
Jun 10, 2014
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Hmm...interesting application of the fake owl, good move!

Hard to say if it will continue to work, might be a good idea to remove it out of sight until you need it again so they don't get used to seeing it.

Was expecting to hear a hawk story after reading the thread title, but am going to gratuitously post this pic anyway.



I used to live in a little fishing community - and people used to put them on their docks to scare off the seagulls - same thing though - the fake owl would be the highest spot on the dock, and there'd be a dozen seagulls fighting over who could perch on it.


Talk to your neighbor - if hes got more than a couple dozen trees, he may actually be thankful for the birds - most of the fruit on the ground isn't edible, and it needs to be dealt with or it becomes a source of overwintering nutrients (and habitat) for many fruit pests - if your chickens are eating larvae/etc out of the downed fruit, it may not be a 'taking advantage' situation - but you may be really helping out his orchard.
 

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