My SLW roo started making this distressed sounding noise

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Robin'sBrood, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    so I looked out the window to see one of these

    [​IMG]

    sitting on the 4' high picket fence that surrounds my chickens little run! I'm paranoid now, how do I keep my 4 chickens safe from the hawk that now knows they're there -- keep them cooped up all the time? Is there something I can put out there to scare hawks away (other than my dog) -- a loud radio, perhaps? I have 2 little banties that I'm most concerned about becoming hawk food. [​IMG]
     
  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Jan 27, 2007
    BOCOMO
    This is a tough one as the fence is 4ft. tall (if 6ft. I'd suggest a trip to Lowes for deer netting). I'd put something in the run that the chooks can hide under. You mention that the run is `little' so it might be fairly simple to tie some dowels (branches/etc.) to corners of fence so they extend above the top of the fence by 6". Take sections of yarn, string, fishing line and stretch between and tie to dowels, this makes it a little more difficult for hawk to hunker down on top of fence. But the next step is to make some hawk saucers as illustrated below. attach several of these to the lines around run.

    If the wind is blowing at all this will not only flummox hawks (at least it gives them pause - time for chooks to react) but will signal airplanes on a sunny day (even better under trees as they reflect light off of underside of leaves for a true `disco' effect...)

    [​IMG]

    Would really suggest 6' fencing and netting.

    Good Luck!

    ED:`gwamma'
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2008
  3. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Thank you, Ivan! Fortunately, they do have plenty of good hiding places in their run... behind a large dog house, under a set of steps, inside a wire cage "chicken tractor" that they get locked in at night. My fear is that they will not notice the hawk in time to get away, especially my 2 little dingbat Millie Fleur d'Uccles. [​IMG]

    Do you think a scarecrow that moves in the wind would help? Here is a picture of about 1/2 of the area they "free range" in every day, from sun up until sun down.

    [​IMG](The BO roo is no longer with us.)

    The fence connects to our house, so I hear almost every sound the chickens make during the day. At night they are locked up tight and secure in their tractor that is in the fence to the right and not seen in the picture.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 1, 2008
  4. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    That's a charming little yard, but does not look secure at all to me. A cat or dog could jump it in an instant. A hawk could swoop in and grab one of your chickens and you honestly would not even hear it coming. i have had a hawk swoop into my yard (after some mourning doves). It was totally silent and my chickens did not see it coming. Luckily, they were all safe inside their pens.

    i would suggest 6-8' posts at the corners, then maybe one in the middle. Then attach flight netting (aviary netting, deer netting) all around and on top. The netting is really almost invisible, but would make it difficult for most daytime predators to get in and snag your birds.
     
  5. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Quote:That sounds completely doable, especially since the other side of the fence connects to our deck which will make it that much easier to do. Thanks!
     
  6. Enchanted Sunrise Farms

    Enchanted Sunrise Farms Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Fair Oaks, California
    You're welcome! We have to keep our babies safe! Maybe post pics when you finish? i love to see pics of other people's coops and runs.
     
  7. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Yesterday I was at Tractor Supply and saw this black plastic bird netting stuff, made to cover and protect plants/shrubs/trees from birds. I started looking at it and realized that I could probably use it to make a cover for my chicken run. I bought some, brought it home, showed it to DH, and told him my idea. He agreed that we should be able to make a pretty good protective cover for the run with it.

    So... as we were outside putting it in place, Lacey (my roo) starts making "that sound" again. I look up in time to see a large gray bird land in my neighbor's tree. DH said it swooped down a little over the chicken run (we were standing on our deck that is attached to the chicken run!) I looked again as it sat in the tree and saw that it was another hawk!

    You'd better believe that we made that netting work and my chicken run is now about 90% covered. A hawk would have to come in at an awkward angle to get in there now but I'm going to try to figure out a way to get the rest of is covered. I do feel better knowing that they are more protected than they were though. I'll try to remember to take pics and post them tomorrow.
     

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