How to get rid of hawks?

FlyingNunFarm

Enabler
May 28, 2015
5,618
31,337
1,047
Chesterland, OH
My Coop
My Coop
FlyingNunFarm, FYI a large Redtailed Hawk ripped through nylon netting covering our run today. Killed one barred rock, then couldn't get back out. We've replaced it with chicken wire hoping it can't break through that. It seems like the hawks are really getting after chickens this year

Sorry to hear about your chicken. I'm on 30 acres and surrounded by 100+ more acres of uncut land. I think our problem started when weekly people came by the property to train bird dogs. They used 4 wheelers to get around and homing pigeons to train the dogs. I really think the hawks learned that the sound of 4 wheelers was the dinner bell for easy prey. Once the weather got to cold to train dogs and no 4 wheelers were out the hawks have not been around.
 

andya57

In the Brooder
Jul 27, 2015
2
1
32
Red tail hawks were killing my chickens left and right. I started keeping the chickens in their enclosed run and they hated it! Lately I have noticed a whole family of crows moved in and I haven't seen a hawk since. The crows are noisy but the chickens are able to free range again and are very happy! Coincidence or not I'll keep the crows!
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
12,262
15,419
762
California's Redwood Coast
What y'all might not realize is that crows steal and eat chicks and eggs as well. They aren't welcome here and JUST an annoyance to the hawk.

My dogs are useless, the hawk watches for it's opportunity. And yes is VERY braisen. I lost 3 babies, (CD's hanging irrelevant) added fishing line and haven't lost anymore. But I don't credit the fishing line. I think that was coincidence and the season changed and the hawk now has more prey available.

What I decided to do was the same thing the crows do... Blow their cover since they are ambush predators. Unfortunately chickens have very short attention spans and quickly forget the hawk is waiting for them to let their guard down. But yes every time I saw it I made broody squeals and rooster screeches waving my hands and making a commotion. The commotion seemed to be the most annoying to the hawk and it quickly started looking to my neighbors yards after being being perched in a tree watching me about 4 weeks straight. I got some great pics. It IS illegal here in the states to shoot them, if you get caught! I also personally love nature and work to live in harmony since there will be more to take their place. I ended having to lock up all my chicks (including taking the last 2 that the broody still had from her) for about a month. Hard for me and them but they ARE still alive and at $9 a pop it was starting to get pricey to feed that hawk.

I have discovered that early in the season my crops and livestock are at a higher risk than later when more things (including natural species of animal and fruits) are more readily available.

A rooster... no better than a head hen MOST the time IMO. And issue with the guinea that I can see would be same as the story of the boy who cried wolf. Eventually the chickens get used to false alarms and ignore it.

I might not be able (allowed) to kill a hawk. But you are able to use scare tactics. I might be aiming to get a bean bag rifle or even try a paint ball gun were they sitting on the frame to my coop harassing my birds.

Lots of good suggestions here... Personally think the owl statues are irrelevant... they sure don't bug anything here. But I am interested in trying a scare crow that I can move around.

Interesting to note.... this year was my losses to predation. Not all seasons or years will be the same.

Good luck! :fl
 

Henrik Petersson

Crowing
11 Years
Jan 9, 2009
646
1,050
312
Karlskrona, Sweden
We have three of them!
How do you know their number? Can you tell them apart?

I don't particularly want crows but I have seen them drive off two hawks. It was actually really something to witness. It's certainly not fool proof, as it only happens when the crows happen to be around.
I once stood flabbergasted as I watched a seagull chase off an eagle.
 

Bluechick2u

Songster
Jan 12, 2016
394
310
177
Prineville, OR
Get a tom turkey or guard goose to go with your chickens. My geese scare off hawks, and I thought my problems were over until my muscovy ducks started gettink killed, finally found out that it was because they were flying away from the geeses protection, the hawk only struck flying birds.
 

llombardo

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
3,013
4,761
336
Illinois
Ive heard people will draw crows to their property and they chase the hawks off. I dont know how well that works however. I have many other predators so I myself invested in a guard dog.
Crows are great at alerting that a hawk is around. They do so successfully here. They surround it, swoop at it and just annoy the heck out of it. I wouldn't count on it completely deterring a hawk, because a hawk can take a crow and if it's real hungry it won't budge.

Over the winter in the middle of a storm I looked outside and the crows were eating with the squirrels, cardinals and many other birds. I never witnessed a crow eating bird seed.
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
23,934
13,465
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
I have two hawk species with very different hunting strategies. As a result methods for controlling losses to them differ.

The larger Red-tailed Hawks hunt from a perch where they can usually glide in to catch chicken in the open to kill it on the spot regardless of victims size. Chickens response to this species is to get into cover that hawk cannot fly through. Generally the chickens are more capable of running through such cover. The cover patches I have that works need to be at least 6' across their narrowest dimension with stems spaced about 12" apart on average. This species can take even fully adult roosters, but it is a struggle. Dog of any quality shut this species down so long as dogs know what is going on.

The smaller and more agile Coopers Hawk is much more varied as it will hunt from a perch or move through a series of low flights in a stealthy manner to get close. This species will also pursue victims into heavy cover. In my setting the Coopers Hawk specializes in eating smaller chickens. Generally, the largest game chickens I loose them are about 10 weeks old. Larger chickens, especially adults are a very different story and can attack the hawk. Broody hens and fully adult roosters can be a mortal threat to even female Coopers Hawks. Adult chickens usually shut this critter down. Exception to that is when the Coopers Hawk can capture chicks that are just weaned and more than 50 feet away from adults. The hawk snatches such small victims and flies off with catch still alive and squawling. On more than one occasion we have have adult game hens over take such hawks from behind while in the air forcing hawk to give of catch, although most of the time the hawk get away with catch. Simply having free-range roosters within about 50 feet shuts this guy down.

I am really wanting to smack people when they do not even discern between hawk species and life stage of chickens being targeted.
 
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