If I sit and supervise free ranging... Are they safe from hawks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Nicole01, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. Nicole01

    Nicole01 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 28, 2011
    Our run is bigger then what we need, but the grass is all gone. I'd like dh to install a door on the run, so they can go out and eat more bugs and grass/weeds.

    If I sit outside watching my girls free range, will hawks still fly down and eat them? I'm planning on keeping my Aussie by my side in case a dog or other animal come near my girls. She protects our house and yard anyways. Are the chickens more safe with me supervising?

    Thanks. [​IMG]
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Hawks can be pretty brazen. Once when we were pheasant hunting, a hawk dove right over our friend's head and nabbed a hen pheasant right in front of him. It would be good if you can build or plant some shelters for your birds so if a hawk does come by, they can take cover.
  3. southerndesert

    southerndesert B & M Chicken Ranch

    Jun 17, 2011
    Morristown, AZ
    I would think "mostly" yes safe with you present... I have never lost a bird to a hawk while watching... Or at all for that matter here and we have lots around especially in winter when everyone up north's Hawks winter here. When I see them sitting on a pole looking or circling I throw something or you can send a bottle rocket (firecracker) their way and they leave.

    Our girls can quickly get under cover while free ranging or in the pen and this helps allot.

    If no one is around though and the girls are slow getting to cover there will be some losses to hawks and I have seen many posts here to prove that is true, also they are protected and just doing their thing. Darn beautiful and graceful bird when not harassing one's flock. I expect one day I may see a loss to a hawk and I have lost birds to many of the known offenders, but predation is experienced more than one wants to admit in keeping poultry no matter how hard we try.

    Best of luck
  4. brekke69

    brekke69 Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 15, 2011
    Hi. i'm new to this site. i have had my girl Shim (RIR) for about a year and a half. when she was a baby she never went outside without me and her other mom Pickles (male guinea pig). she was to scared to be without either of us at any time. now that she is older, i never leave her out without me or her guardian Blaze (109 lb German Shepard) or other humas that live or visit with us. she seems to be smart enough to know to stay to the edges of the yard near bushes and other overgrowth for cover. if she goes out to the middle of the yard, i notice, it is only because she is within inches of Blaze. rarely, i have left her outside (maybe to run to the potty) with our two super barking poms. i recently visited Grant's Farm and asked one of the keepers of the preditor birds if this was a false sense of security, she said is was. now i won't leave her
  5. annep

    annep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2011
    We've had a hawk try at ours before we got our Pyr..She missed, and we just sat outside for a while, watching her circle overhead..Then, she gave up and went elsewhere...Have never seen one since we got the dog...I used to call it a devil hawk, because it seemed the attacks always happened on Sunday mornings...
  6. heatherindeskies

    heatherindeskies Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2010
    SE Minnesota
    Quote:picnic tables are excellent for this and serve humans too inbetween chicken coverage!
  7. Allsardane

    Allsardane Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2011
    After they all observe one of their own getting picked off, they get pretty good at watching the skies. I was out feeding mine some aging bananas and didn't even notice the bird of prey. It apparently had been sitting in a tree waiting for them to be distracted. Bananas provide a pretty good distraction. Luckily my Fayoumis trusts nothing and gave her warning cry and everyone scattered just far enough to throw off the attacking birds trajectory, but the targeted chicken couldn't have been more than 10 feet from me. By the time the hawk landed on a branch and turned around to see if it had time for a second strike, every one of my birds was safely under something thorny.

    Except my buff polish. She had crouched down really low in my low cut grass and looked like a little football ready to be punted. I actually had to pick her up and place her under something thorny.

    Silly Polish...
  8. michael_exler

    michael_exler New Egg

    Apr 16, 2010
    We had lost a barred rock hen to a hawk several months ago and the hawks are plentiful here.
    It must have perched in a nearby tree and attacked when it was alone.
    Since that time we have several sheep a goose and ducks and we also have run fishing line in a spider web pattern over the main chicken run.
    We still see many hawks flying by but they dont swing back to investigate like they used to, owed to the increased animal activity or the fishing line not allowing an easy escape if they come down to get a closer look.
    I was told the fishing line works by others, though i cant prove that is the only reason they dont bother our chicken run now.
  9. weeders n feeders

    weeders n feeders Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2011
    Ever see the funniest videos show where the little boy got a new pet mouse and was outside with it and for just a minute put it down on top of the cage in between him and his father? Gone in seconds and there was just barely wing Spanish room between the boy and his father for the hawk.
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    It depends. Resident hawks around here are mindful of my presence. In the autumn when young hawks that have had little or no human interactions and are very hungry are migrating, I have had them attack pigeons that were feeding at my feet. I have also had them crash into the aviaries right next to me. Around here in NJ the worst times are Sept./Oct., and in the winter when the ground is snow covered and natural prey is difficult for the hawks to locate.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by