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How to protect against hawks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bmt123, Jun 16, 2013.

  1. bmt123

    bmt123 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2013
    So when my four barred rock pullets grow up I would love to let them free range in my fenced in 1/3 acre backyard. Unfortunately we live in front of a big marshy pond which is home to several different hawks. I would love to know if there are any ways I could protect my chickens besides putting them in a enclosed run.
     
  2. nbenevento

    nbenevento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are no guarantees on keeping them safe from hawks. Some things you can do to help is to give them lots of places they can run under to hide when an attack starts like bushes or wood piles with easy low access. You can try to put poultry netting over an area of your yard but then you would have to close them in that area creating a "run".
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. bmt123

    bmt123 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2013
    Read somewhere that's hawks won't mess with full grown hens is that true
     
  4. bmt123

    bmt123 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2013
    Sorry meant to say I read
     
  5. nbenevento

    nbenevento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    While a full grown chicken is more of a challenge and maybe a little less likely to be attacked by a hawk, no, it is not true and I know this to be fact first hand. A friend of mine has lost several full grown chickens to hawks.
     
  6. nbenevento

    nbenevento Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually after more thought, I would like to revise my answer. A hawk will kill an adult chicken with no problem. Chick or adult, no difference.
     
  7. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you choose to free-range your flock, there are no guarantees of avoiding hawk attacks. I do agree with the above poster that having plenty of cover helps a great deal. Shrubs, plants, and different structures can offer quick places to hide. The decision to free-range should be measured with risk. Obviously, if one has a large flock that can handle the periodic loss then free-ranging may be the very best choice. If one has a small flock consisting of a dozen or less birds, then periodic losses can be devastating. It might be beneficial to have a fairly large enclosed run and offer limited, supervised free-range time. Since you have four pullets, you have to way the risks/benefits. (If roos are legal where you live, then it may be wise to add one to your flock. A good roo will offer good potection and alerts to his ladies.) -best of luck with your decision!
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2013
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Young chickens and hen-only flocks are particularly susceptible to hawk predation. Addition of a full adult standard sized rooster can help with some types of hawks. Cover as already mentioned can help, especially with adult rooster.
     
  9. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens are out foraging every day. Their run is covered. The protection arrangement consists of crows harassing the hawks. It works pretty well. When the hawks call or the crows caw, the chickens run for cover which is usually nearby. The rooster stands out in the open, calling. The dog wanders outside of the shop to see what is going on.

    I suspect the dog would go after a hawk that was attacking a hen, because he is so protective of them.

    We have hawks all the time. They just haven't stopped by. There is lots of cover over the area where the chickens spend most of their time.

    It works for me.

    Chris
     
  10. bmt123

    bmt123 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 5, 2013
    There coop is right next to a trampoline and is under some trees so they would have some place to run for cover. I am also thinking about building a picnic table so that they could hide under. Do you guys think that would be enough cover. As far as the dog goes I am going to try to train her to protect the chickens.
     

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