multiple Hawks are casing our yard

COCKmasters999

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 9, 2014
36
1
31
We have always let our flocks free range just because it makes happy birds and for pest control. We have also always had a cooper and red tail infestation in our area and it seems after a few weeks of being home watching the problem is worse then ever. The girls are dying to roam but the wife and I are reminded of last season when we lost a full grown roo to the birds of prey. This year we have noticed how huge the female/mommy is and no doubt her chicks will be hatching any day now. We don't let them out of the coops unless we or the dogs are outside watching them. Has anyone here had a similar issue and if so what measures have you taken to prevent loss in the flock?----thanks
Our daughter Bella on hawk watch!!!!
 

familyfarm1

Crowing
6 Years
Jun 9, 2013
6,322
308
317
Northern Virginia
Well we had a hawk once and it almost got one of our chickens but we got out there in time to prevent it. We still do have them circling now and then so we always go out there when we do see them. I'm not sure how to prevent it and still free range. Sorry.
 
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iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
663
336
Central Oregon
You say you let your chickens free-range...do you just have a chicken 'coop' or do you have a run attached? If not, and you live in hawk country as I do, your best bet is to definitely have a solidly built run with roof for them. That's what I'm doing, and because my hawk prob is so severe I will not be letting my girls free-range. It's a pity, but I'll have to do it. Best of luck!!
 

COCKmasters999

In the Brooder
5 Years
Mar 9, 2014
36
1
31
We do have a run but theyre are only so many bugs that make theyre way in there and they love to forage. It's a risk to free range where we live here In NY because there are sooo many hawks that they have really become the top problem to us and our neighbors with flocks. The coyotes and fox are really only issues at night here and our growing flock
run to the coop at nightfall because they've seen the horrors of after dark activities. People always call them dumb birds but mine have enough sense to know when theyre being watched or stalked but when the predator is air bound 100's of feet up...even my sharpest rooster has trouble seeing the threat before disaster strikes.
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
663
336
Central Oregon
We do have a run but theyre are only so many bugs that make theyre way in there and they love to forage. It's a risk to free range where we live here In NY because there are sooo many hawks that they have really become the top problem to us and our neighbors with flocks. The coyotes and fox are really only issues at night here and our growing flock
run to the coop at nightfall because they've seen the horrors of after dark activities. People always call them dumb birds but mine have enough sense to know when theyre being watched or stalked but when the predator is air bound 100's of feet up...even my sharpest rooster has trouble seeing the threat before disaster strikes.
I know how frustrating it is, but for me the risk is too high to let them free-range. What I plan on doing is giving them 'treats' every day...fresh greens, meal worms, etc. Plus I'm going to hang a cabbage to give them a 'toy' to play with, etc. I have an old large suet basket that I'll put treats in, too.
 
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ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
I elevate pallets on concrete blocks all through the run to give them places to hide from the hawks.

I have other hawk shelters too that I built for them. Mine wouldn't live through the day if they couldn't hide. I also have heavy knotted netting over my bantam pen but you have to think snow load when hanging that...might not be practical if you get a huge amt. of snow.


I still do have hawk losses though- and owl losses- even despite these measures.

For anyone who doesn't know, it is illegal to harass or kill birds of prey like that. So the only thing you can do is give your chickens shelter.
 
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lja440

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 10, 2014
32
4
26
Truth is if you have chickens you are going to lose a few here and there to predators. If you can't free range how about a mobile pen, great for those who only have a few birds. They can be made light enough to be pulled from one area to another giving the chickens a small area at a time or make a larger one with wheels to make it easier to move.

For me they will have a run around the hen house that is about 15'x 30' the pen extending from one side 20' with a 5' walkway behind and extends 10' past the other end of the building. Constructed with 6' high kennel panels with bird netting draped over the whole area. This year I'm adding a couple electric fence strands on the outside at the top to prevent climbing racoons (lost my last birds to a up and over attack), 3' wide hardware cloth was placed on the ground 2' feet on the outside and 1' on the inside before the panels were erected to prevent digging under.

Mine used to free range all day but now they will only be let out into the pen until I get home from work around 5 and will have until dark brings them back in.
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
663
336
Central Oregon
Quote: What a great idea for my situation! My brain-wheels are turning now (what's left of them!). Thanks for that idea!
goodpost.gif
 

HerbanChicks

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 18, 2013
23
2
24
It sucks when you want to let them free range so badly but I agree with PP that sometimes the risk is just too high. We have a pretty large run area that we are going to cover with netting and our coop is actually made to move so if need be sometimes I'll move it a few feet over to get them access to a new fun area to scratch and hunt for bugs in. There are loads of super easy smaller tractor coops if that's a route you'd be willing to go as suggested by someone else.
 

MANNA-PRO

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