how to get rid of a hawk killing my chickens

cperrigo2

In the Brooder
Dec 21, 2020
29
59
46
Camden, South Carolina
hello I have lost 5 guinea hens and 1 chicken hen to a hawk which I caught on camera and saw it the other day and scared it off. I cooped my other 2 chicken hens which free range all day and built a scarecrow and put some reflective tape on it to try to deter the hawk away. Was wondering if there were any other tricks or advice to keep them away.
 

microchick

Driving my husband crazy 1 chicken at a time!
6 Years
Dec 31, 2014
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48,258
1,177
NE Missouri
Yes, do not free range. Keep your birds in a secure run with netting over it.

Unfortunately Hawks, eagles and owls are protected by federal law. To shoot or harm one can land you in a lot of hot water. It's perfectly alright for them to destroy flocks but we can't destroy them and trust me, there have been times where I sure have been tempted. So far I've only had them scope out the buffet table and haven't had any kills but I don't free range because of them.

So my best advice is that unless you can sit with your birds and guard them while they are free ranging, then your best bet is to not free range. Once a predator knows where the free meal is, it's going to come back for seconds.

I've even heard of instances where hawks have swooped down and taken a bird while a human is standing less than 50 feet away.

I'm so sorry you have lost birds.
 

cperrigo2

In the Brooder
Dec 21, 2020
29
59
46
Camden, South Carolina
I know when I got home and saw the hawk sitting up in the tree just watching and waiting for his next target I said to myself you are sure lucky I can't shoot you because I would in heartbeat. It took me until all five of my guinea hens were gone and that one hen until I got it on camera and saw it personally. I set ground traps out thinking it was a raccoon or opossum but they were untouched and still loosing birds. Now I know why. So now I have no free range birds they are all cooped up for the time being. Atleast they are safe and secure
 

hysop

Back from hiatus (11/24/21)
Premium Feather Member
Sep 16, 2019
4,002
14,271
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SW Georgia
I would keep em penned up for the winter and let em out in the spring where they’ll have more cover.

Can you get a rooster to crow at signs of danger? They most likely won’t stop a hawk attack but can warn the chickens to run for cover.
 

microchick

Driving my husband crazy 1 chicken at a time!
6 Years
Dec 31, 2014
10,466
48,258
1,177
NE Missouri
Some states let you scare them away but thats about it.
Some states won't even allow you to put up netting to protect your livestock due to it possibly injuring the hawk.
Fortunately, not here. I have a dream of one getting tangled in my netting so I can call the conservation department and tell them to come get their hawk/eagle/owl before I turn my bantam roosters loose on it. They be little but I imagine they would make a bird of prey turn vegan real fast! :gigOr at least swear off chickens.
 

cperrigo2

In the Brooder
Dec 21, 2020
29
59
46
Camden, South Carolina
Fortunately, not here. I have a dream of one getting tangled in my netting so I can call the conservation department and tell them to come get their hawk/eagle/owl before I turn my bantam roosters loose on it. They be little but I imagine they would make a bird of prey turn vegan real fast! :gigOr at least swear off chickens.
yea I have a bantam hen and she rules the coop lol small but fierce. and yea fortunately not here either. I put netting on top of all of my runs.
 

microchick

Driving my husband crazy 1 chicken at a time!
6 Years
Dec 31, 2014
10,466
48,258
1,177
NE Missouri
I would keep em penned up for the winter and let em out in the spring where they’ll have more cover.

Can you get a rooster to crow at signs of danger? They most likely won’t stop a hawk attack but can warn the chickens to run for cover.
The rooster is a great idea but where we are we are in a migratory path for birds of prey. They go as far as feasting on migrating birds along the way so we have an influx of hawks in the spring as they move through.

Lots of cover would help, but a hawk that is hanging around in winter has made that area it's regular stomping grounds. Gonna have to out smart him/her.

One thing we did one year is my husband flies RC airplanes. When hawks started circling our coop he got one of his planes out and flew it above the hawks altitude. No harassment, as that is a no no here also, but the hawks hated having something flying above them and couldn't discern between a non threat and a threat so they took off. We are always careful to stay way above the threatening hawk also.
 

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