In the Brooder
Jun 14, 2018
Metro Detroit
Recently, all but (2) of my girls (flock of 17) abruptly stopped laying. They’ve already molted and aren’t broody. Then a couple days later I walked outside to discover a large male Cooper’s Hawk standing on top of their run. We live in the city and my birds have a large run (they do not free range). This is not the first time I've seen a Cooper's hawk in the neighborhood, but I'm pretty sure its the first time they have discovered my girls.

My run has hardware cloth on the bottom 4' and then welded wire on the top 4'. The top is entirely fenced in using welded wire. I am pretty confident the damn bird cannot get in, but he was definitely harassing my girls and they were all freaked out and hiding in their coop (other than the two birds who were standing out there like idiots :rolleyes:).

However, now the only birds who are laying are my new Marans. HALP! How do I deter the hawk from coming around and make my birds feel safe so they start laying again? Keep in mind--I'm in the city (crazy urban) so firearms are out of the question.



Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
May 3, 2009
New Jersey
Nothing that I have tried worked on keeping Cooper's hawks away. I am no longer raising/flying pigeons because of them. I have had them hit the aviaries within feet of me, hit birds feeding at my feet and sit on top of the lofts screeching at me. In their own way they are as relentless as weasels or mink.


7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Get a solar owl with a moving head and put it on top of the run. They work really well to deter most hawks. :)
hawk sitting on an owl.jpg

Yep, those Coopers hawks are deathly a-feared of the dreaded owl decoy.

I know some ways of dealing with Coopers hawks but those ways are not for the timid.

Folly's place

10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
I've had visitations too, and they do give up and move on after ten days to three weeks of zero success. I think that they are migrating now, another reason that this bird will be leaving. Can you keep your birds inside for a while, or cover at least part of their run?
When the snow hits, you will be having them inside or doing a lot of shoveling, because chickens dislike snow covered ground.
Stress will stop laying, but if you don't have a light out there on a timer from about 3am to 8am every morning, most of your hens won't be laying many eggs anyway.
Hens need 14 to 16 hours of light to produce eggs!
Raptors are federally protected, so there's not a lot that you can do to deal with them, aside from swearing at them and waiting it out.


Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
Holts Summit, Missouri
Two things I would do. First block access of hawk that might squeeze through 2" x 4" welded wire. Only a male can squeeze through as females too big. That I do using either poultry wire or deer netting overlaid with existing wire. The hawk might get entangled if deer netting used so be ready to release it quickly. The next thing is to block line of sight so hens can get where they do not have to look at a hawk if they do not want to. In barn I use feed sacks stuck sides of coop, but outside I use shading cloth which handles exposure to elements well. The hawk will not target chickens if visibility obstructed.

Game rooster works good for those that can pursue the option.

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