Netting over run to deter hawks?

NH-Song

Chirping
Apr 18, 2019
39
73
84
New Hampshire, USA
I've got a large, uncovered run protected by an electric fence against land-bound predators, but as I just discovered, hawks are hungry in the fall and I don't have aerial protection on the outdoor part of the run. There is a covered run, which is (obviously) hawk-proof, unless they walk in like the chickens.

Anyway, we had a hawk strike and now I want to find a way to protect against more, but I can't sensibly cover the whole area. (In the picture, 1 is the area of the electric fence, 2 is the mini coop that our pullets were in until yesterday, and 3 is where the bees live, behind the chicken coop.) The coop building is 8'x12', and the covered run is another 8'x12'. The outdoor run is, uh. largish.

I don't think I need to cover the side of the coop closest to the woodsy area, but I want to cover the part between the side wall of the covered run (facing us in the picture) and the electric fence (where the 1 is).

I was thinking of trying to suspend orange plastic netting, but I'm not sure how (and wow, would that be ugly). Are there any other methods I'm not thinking of? What do you guys think?
 

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Callender Girl

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Sep 18, 2018
3,952
23,788
816
North Central Iowa
I have one "temporary" run (which has been in place for two years. Honestly, my birds usually free range when I'm home, which is nearly all the time, every day) and I covered the top with bird netting that I also use on fruit trees. I wouldn't trust it to keep them safe if they were here unattended, but it's within sightline of the house, and I figure it would at least slow down a hawk that got tangled in it until I could run outdoors like a lunatic and try to remove the threat. It IS prettier than the orange stuff :)
 

Josh L.

Songster
Oct 2, 2017
213
475
115
Golden Valley, Arizona
One thing that's easy and works well due to the disorienting factor is criss-crossed fishing line with flags of reflective tape on it! you can do a slightly longer strand of fishing line so you can still move your outer perimeter around and still have aerial protection
 

Sueby

Free Ranging
Apr 23, 2019
2,567
20,135
736
CT
We have major hawks around here, I have a 1600sf run covered with bird netting. It's a bit of work between leaves & snow but I work from home so I just go out & give it a shake. If we have a huge snow storm or ice I just lock them in the small run in case the netting comes down.

This stuff, the heavy duty kind:
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Ringcraft

Chirping
Oct 13, 2020
76
234
81
I have my 5,000sqf run covered in netting. I've seen hawks go for my chickens and bounce right off the net, looking very confused. They do it once and don't tend to try again in my experience. I haven't had any hawks hanging around in quite a while.

Before I put the netting up I was losing a chicken a day to hawks.
 

Sueby

Free Ranging
Apr 23, 2019
2,567
20,135
736
CT
I have my 5,000sqf run covered in netting. I've seen hawks go for my chickens and bounce right off the net, looking very confused. They do it once and don't tend to try again in my experience. I haven't had any hawks hanging around in quite a while.

Before I put the netting up I was losing a chicken a day to hawks.
Do you have a pic? 5,000 sf is huge! Must have been a pain to get that netting up!
 

Sally PB

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
11,450
53,684
1,053
Belding, MI
@Sueby, where did you get that netting? What are the dimensions of the openings? It sure looks a lot better than the stuff I have for my blueberries.

OP, I have a repurposed greenhouse frame for my run, with chicken wire over it for protection from aerial predators. It also has heavy duty tarps over it for snow/weather protection now. From the size of your run -- which looks great, by the way! -- chicken wire might be harder to work with than what Sueby has.

@Lights, wow. Just wow. Very impressive!
 

Sueby

Free Ranging
Apr 23, 2019
2,567
20,135
736
CT
It's hard to see the netting but it's up there.

It actually was very easy - instead of a 100'x50' net, I used five 25'x50' foot nets (and gathered the extra up for repair scraps).

View attachment 2418322
Nice! I did 25x100 & saved the scrap for repairs also. It was such a pain to get it up, but I had to go around trees & the run is an L shape.

@Sueby, where did you get that netting? What are the dimensions of the openings? It sure looks a lot better than the stuff I have for my blueberries.

OP, I have a repurposed greenhouse frame for my run, with chicken wire over it for protection from aerial predators. It also has heavy duty tarps over it for snow/weather protection now. From the size of your run -- which looks great, by the way! -- chicken wire might be harder to work with than what Sueby has.

@Lights, wow. Just wow. Very impressive!
The netting is 2x2. They do make it smaller too, the small song birds can definitely get through the 2x2. I ordered it on eBay, I believe.
 

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