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Next steps after Hawk attack?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ufoundwaldo, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. ufoundwaldo

    ufoundwaldo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2011
    Hi,

    I am new to all this and had my first successful hawk attack Tuesday. It took my prettiest hen. I like to free range my chickens in my backyard even when I am not home. The hawk has come back several times looking for another meal, so I have my chickens on lock down in their coop and run. I don't want to keep them in all the time though. Any suggestions of how I should proceed to discourage the hawk as much as possible? I don't want it to think my backyard is a grocery store.

    Thank you
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    What is makeup of flock?

    Acreage?

    Plants or other potential cover?

    Do you have a dog?

    Neighbors?

    Hawk species?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  3. ufoundwaldo

    ufoundwaldo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2011
    What is makeup of flock? now 5; 2 7.5 week Australorps, 2 11 week Sex-linked mixed and 1 11 week rooster-easter egger

    Acreage? 2 arces, but with only about .5 they normally range on

    Plants or other potential cover? quite a bit of trees, shrubs and other green stuff with patches of open spaces. All the others were hiding in the center island of trees and scrubs after the attavk

    Do you have a dog? yes a very sweet choc lab who is great with the chickens, but is a house dog and will only stay outside if I am outside with her.

    Neighbors? yes, but you can't see any from my backyard where the chickens free-range

    Hawk species? Big-Ole black and white one. Not sure offical species never quite thought about them before. I have also seen a red one around.
     
  4. shesaredroan

    shesaredroan Chillin' With My Peeps

    It would be helpful to know in what general area you live. Hawks migrate through different parts of the country at different times.

    Once your roo gets older he will help protect your girls. Many roos will put themselves between the hawk and the hens, giving them more time to run for cover.......the roo sometimes gives his life to protect his flock.

    Without a completely covered area, there is no way to keep your flock totally safe from hawk/owl attacks. I have crows that live in the pastures/trees around me. Nesting crows will NOT stand to have a hawk around!!! I've watched a flock of crows chase a hawk until it left the area. I also have nesting mockingbirds, they do not want crows around. I've seen the mocks chase the crows. LOL The pecking order gets worked out in the skys over my place.

    Learn what kind of hawk you are dealing with, learn about their migration pattern (it will be seasonal). Arm yourself with knowledge, that's your best defense.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of chickens. [​IMG] It's very rewarding!!! You will be learning something new ALL the time, just like raising kids, there's always a new issue to deal with. [​IMG]
     
  5. i do know that you are not allowed to shoot them. so dont think about that.
    I have had a few hawks around my property this spring, never even seemed to notice my girls unitl THIS WEEK. They are raising their babies right now and are in desperate need of food for them. they will take anything that moves right now.

    I do not let my girls out unless I am home and out with them working in the yard right now this time of year. that is exactly why.

    I will add that I have a nice .22, nice 12g. nice 20g. and a few other nice items I keep for 'coons, opossums, etc. ONLY when my flock is severly threatened. I dont harm wildlife unless it goes in my freezer or messes with my girls.
     
  6. chickenut52

    chickenut52 New Egg

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    Jul 1, 2011
    I have the same problems with eagles and various hawk species. fox, fishers, coyotes as well. i typically only allow my hens to free range when i'm home, in and outside of the house. my dog (pitt/lab mix) helps keep them safe but he wanders around my acreage and doesn't necessarily stay close by the hens. i believe the biggest deterrent is keeping an outside radio on, as high as i can stand it. I usually choose talk radio, hoping that the predators believe people are nearby.....

    try it!
     
  7. That is a good one to try with the radio. I may try that one as well. i have heard that you can use an animated owl on the roof of your coop to deter. anyone done that?
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Complete stop of lass to hawks seldom possible in free range and sometimes even run setting but you can manage the risk and keep chickens happy.

    What is makeup of flock? now 5; 2 7.5 week Australorps, 2 11 week Sex-linked mixed and 1 11 week rooster-easter egger

    All are still vulnerable to larger hawks such as red-tail. Smaller will be targetted by Coopers hawks. As rooster matures and begins to cover hens he may be a detourant to hawk activity. Mine (games which are very agile and aggressive) only effective when they can counter attack hawk from cover and hawk is targeting another flock member. For me, hawks target chicks and sometimes hens which leaves rooster open to attack hawk often from behind. Hawks usually very aware of such risks and will often break off chase if rooster noticed. If hawk goes after rooster, then all bets off. Rooster must be mature to be effective. More than 30 weeks with complete adult feathering when my roosters become effective.

    Acreage? 2 arces, but with only about .5 they normally range on

    Plants or other potential cover? quite a bit of trees, shrubs and other green stuff with patches of open spaces. All the others were hiding in the center island of trees and scrubs after the attavk

    You have option to push / pull chickens towards cover. Consider placing feeders / waters closer to those bushy / treed islands the chickens retreated to.

    Do you have a dog? yes a very sweet choc lab who is great with the chickens, but is a house dog and will only stay outside if I am outside with her.

    Dog of value only when in sight of hawk or hawk think dog might be lurking close by.

    Neighbors? yes, but you can't see any from my backyard where the chickens free-range

    This means you can get birds to move about with managed cover and food resources without as much risk of eye-sore.

    Hawk species? Big-Ole black and white one. Not sure offical species never quite thought about them before. I have also seen a red one around.

    Knowing hawk species important to help define window of vulnerability. Try following link to ID: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search. Hawks vary within a species as a function of age and population and sometimes as individuals.
     
  9. ufoundwaldo

    ufoundwaldo Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2011
    Thank you all for your help on this one. I have now built them a larger enclosed run and have decided only to free-range outside of the run when I am in the yard. I also like the idea of the radio. I have been outside with them the last two days and have the radio on. I haven't seen a hawk. So, I may make the radio a standard part of their free-range practice. The girls and guy all seem to have recovered from the attack and now they are just trying to rearrange the pecking order. The one the hawk took was the chief hen.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Assessing whether efforts successful requires months. Radio you will find to be ineffective.
     

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