Large dog vs Hawk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by nancy1zak, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. nancy1zak

    nancy1zak Songster

    May 27, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    Will a large dog keep away hawks? My chickens love to be let out of their run so they can peck around the back yard. I only let them out if I am out there. This morning I heard "woosh" over my head and it was a giant hawk, and then I looked up and saw not one, but two giant hawks flying in a circle over our yard. I ran around and picked up my chickens and put them back in the run. Even though only 4 were out... the other 4 had already gone back in the run...I was worried that I would not be quick enough getting them all back in the run before the hawks would get them. We have a Shih Tzu. Definately not a big dog...probably Hawk food too. I was wondering if we had a large dog out in the yard would the hawks stay away. Like a collie.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2010
  2. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    Livestock guardian dogs can help. It depends on a dog. We have one that stands and stares at the sky only because she hates things that fly (bugs, air planes, birds, superheroes) so she barks, alerting free ranging birds. I think one of the best things for a hawk though is a well devoted rooster.

    Even if you have a dog out there, if they aren't actively protecting the flock, it's not that effective. We've had hawks swoop down when a couple of dogs and I were outside, about 10 feet from me. The hawks aren't as shy as they used to be. [​IMG]
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Quote:Agreed. My lab mix will "chase" the hawks if she sees them while I'm outside, but I think she just does it because she's learned that I freak out when the chooks give the alarm call and I'm yelling at the hawk so she wants in on the action. She hates coyotes with a puple passion though so she'll go after them whether I'm home or not, but she's not as reliable with hawks.

    People have had pretty good luck with stringing heavy duty fishing line and/or cd's as a hawk deterent. There are lots of threads on it if you want to use the search feature.
  4. nancy1zak

    nancy1zak Songster

    May 27, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    I read one thread and it said to move the chickens over by livestock. I only have a shih tzu and a Jersey Wooly rabbit. I don't think they count as livestock. So, I was thinking a dog would be big enough. But, only if the dog has a hatred for hawks it seems.
  5. noodleroo

    noodleroo Snuggles with Chickens

    Apr 29, 2010
    Rockport, Tx
    I think the prey drive in a hawk causes them to zero in on their target and kinda ignore everything else. Top of the food chain mentality thing. I had a hawk chasing an Inca Dove both hit the board fence in my back yard right in front of me. It stunned the dove and I grabbed it from the ground just as the hawk recovered from the crash and was going after it, talons pointed. (Lucky for me it was just a little Kestrel). Anyway, I think the devil himself could have been on guard and the hawk would have never even seen him; the hawk was so focused on the prey.....
  6. haTHOR

    haTHOR Songster

    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    fishing line across the top of your run--criss crossed. a hawk will usually not get into a situation (even going after prey) where it may be vulnerable or trapped, so they often pull back when they see the fishing line in the sun under them.

    choosing a breed where the birds have not had their wariness bred out of them is important if you live in hawk territory (like we do! we have several breeds of hawks, as well as bald eagles, here in the ozarks, right next to a river). my brown leghorns are the most wary of my hens, and take cover (and alert the others) when something, anything, flies over. my rooster is a black java which is a heritage breed that is very good for being alert and aware re: predators. he takes care of the girls when a hawk is around, making a peculiar call that is only for that circumstance, and they all run for cover.

    finally--making sure you have cover. if they can get under the coop pr you can build something like a low "deck" it will offer shade, comfort/entertainment (dust bathing etc.), and especially protection from raptors.
  7. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Unless your dog is specifically trained to deal with aerial predators chances are an aerial attack will not be noticed. I had a hen attacked in broad daylight with my dogs, my daughter and myself running around not 20 feet away from the chickens. None of us heard a thing and the dogs did not react at all. Dogs are great for keeping ground predators at bay, but air-born predators take some specialized training to recognize and deter.
  8. SilkieTime

    SilkieTime Songster

    Mar 29, 2009
    Joelton Tn.
    I drive my car up next to the coop and keep bottle rockets on hand. Funny thing is I've lived here 5 years and see hawks all the time but the last few mos. not one hawk. I got a silver rooster and when my hens had babies they start out black they get the silver little buy little. My young ones look a lot like crows same size and all. Any way I keeping the car buy the coop the bottle rockets and the silver rooster. Lots of cover is a good thing good luck.
  9. nancy1zak

    nancy1zak Songster

    May 27, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    Our runs are totally enclosed with 1x2 hardwire. Even on top, so I don't think a hawk can get in. Plus they have sun shade covers that are usually meant for dog kennels on top to keep the sun out. I am disappointed that I can't let them out to free range as much as I would like because of the hawks. Sounds like a large dog won't keep them away either. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by