how to keep Hawk from getting free range chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by smcdermott, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chirping

    Dec 9, 2014
    Central Fl
    A hawk literally just flew away with one of my 5 week old chicks.
    Any tips to keep this from happening again?
  2. rainbowrooster

    rainbowrooster Songster

    Nov 26, 2011
    Free range can be a buffet for local wildlife. Poultry netting for cover would be a good choice.
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Not much will stop a determined hawk from getting your free range chickens - especially young ones. Lots of cover and hiding places would help, though, when they're old enough to keep watch and hide when they see a threat.
  4. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chirping

    Dec 9, 2014
    Central Fl
    I heard somewhere that maybe putting fake owl statutes out might keep the hawk at bay????????
  5. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    x2. Your chicks are an all you can eat buffet for the local predators. Even adult chickens are fair game for some varieties of hawks and any land predators you have. Netting for cover can deter aerial attacks but you still can lose some to 4 legged varmints. If you want to free range you will just have to accept some losses.

    I no longer free range birds. Too many local "residents" have a taste for chicken - hawk, owl, weasel, mink, fisher, fox, coyote and the occasional dog.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Young / small birds more vulnerable than most. Could you post pictures showing what you have in terms of buildings, coops and the like? Images of shrubs and trees are also helpful. Young birds need containment as indicated by others above under conditions provided by most poultry keepers.

    Also consider electrified poultry netting. With proper placement and shrubs you can make a hawks job very difficult without completely abandoning free-range keeping of birds.
  7. Zetspets

    Zetspets Hatching

    May 25, 2015
    Jacksonville, FL
    Putting a fake owl won't work. I lost one to a hawk yesterday. It flew right down into my run where I didn't have covering. It's open just a little bit just before the coop door. That was enough It killed one of my chickens and when I came around to find out what the commotion was about I thought the thing was going to attack me. .
    While trying to find an answer to my problem. I did a search on owls and hawks There are a few You Tubes of Hawks going right into the coop. Plus there is a good one of a Hawk attacking a fake owl. I had let my chicks free range before and hawks would come around but I have lots of bushes in my landscape and they would run under those to hide. I had better luck letting them free range. When you try to close them in, better be sure every inch is covered. Good Luck .
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2015
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    My birds free range most days, but if there's a hawk attack, they are locked in their covered run for at least a week, usually ten to fourteen days. When the hawk no longer appears, and enough time has passed, the flock gets outside again. Bantams and young birds are most vulnerable, but any of them might be killed by the right predator. Mary
  9. Zetspets

    Zetspets Hatching

    May 25, 2015
    Jacksonville, FL
    Thanks, for the info. I really appreciate it. I'm going to try that. Right now after our horrible experience the girls are staying in on their own. They used to almost knock the door down in their excitement to get out and roam,- but not now. They have everything in the coop to meet their needs. I have Buff Orpingtons, 3 months old. Their all almost as big as that hawk was. It was a Red Tail. Again, Thanks so much. Zetta
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015

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