Protectors of the flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by axion_lotus, Mar 20, 2011.

  1. axion_lotus

    axion_lotus Songster

    Jan 19, 2011
    Central NC
    So I got some decoy birds at TSC for $10 each; they were 50% off from two weeks ago, which was awesome. I got them in the hopes that they'll keep the possums and the hawks away this year. I plan on putting the hawk up during the day, and switching them out at night,so the owl and her lovely eyes will keep the possums from skulking nearby.

    Everyone, meet Archer (the hawk) and Hildegarde (the owl), and they are my turncoat flock guardians. [​IMG]

    (Archer and Hildegarde chilling in the living room)

    But my question is, will they do a good job? I've read various places that decoy birds are a valuable tool in protecting a flock, but I'd like to hear it from you guys. Has anyone else done this, and does it work effectively?

  2. pringle

    pringle Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Maybe is you move them around everyday they will seem real to predators.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    They will not be effective in respect to nocturnal predators. Hawks and owls will eventually ignore them even if moved about. Best method to deal with owls still likely to provide roost with entry from below. Hawks, if they are infact visiting regularly, will require more dynamic measures (i.e. cover for birds, rooster, dog or you being about while chickens free range).
  4. axion_lotus

    axion_lotus Songster

    Jan 19, 2011
    Central NC
    ...oh. [​IMG]

    I don't have much of a problem with hawks lately, but I'd like to keep such from happening.

    And my birds will be locked up a night, so owls can't get into the coop. I got the owl because of the possums. My research has told me that possums hate other predators, and hate the feeling like they're being watched. I wanted to use the owl to give that "oh no, another predator is watching me" feeling that possums hate.

    I also plan on placing a small FM radio streaming human voices near the coop as a sound deterrent for foxes, since most predators don't like the possible presence of humans AND they don't like the concept of a lot of things going on near the scene of their intended crime.

    And my roosters were feisty, but they were never a match for the predators near where I live. The raccoons and possums always killed them first. But my roos were too big for the predators to pull through the ventilation holes where they'd entered (these have been fixed since then), and just left my precious roos to rot.

    I don't want possums to hurt my babies coming in less than two weeks. I have nightmares about it. I can't stand the thought of my flock getting slaughtered again. [​IMG]
  5. dadsdeercamp

    dadsdeercamp Say goodnight gracie

    Sep 24, 2010
    Mora MN.
    my protectors of my flock
    this is bowzer 18 month old newfoundland lab mix
    and cloe 6 month old pom. rat terrier
    havent lost any birds with them on duty yet
  6. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    Why don't you try the Nite Guard? [​IMG] Just scroll down a little and you'll see it. You can check it out on the Internet further too.

    I have (tightly attached with screws and washers) 1/2" hardware cloth on every place that has an opening more than 1/2". [​IMG] A few good dogs are great if they are outdoors 24/7. My dog is a great deterrent as we're in the suburbs. However, she sleeps in the house at night--she's family first protector second so the coop has to be a Forte Knox.

    For hawks--we have a completely covered run and the rest is netted.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2011
  7. BWKatz

    BWKatz Songster

    May 22, 2010
    I have read that the decoys don't decoy for very long. The night Eyes does get good reviews as does the radio. Covering every inch of open space with hardware cloth is a MUST. Complex locks to keepout raccoons also. Best of luck!

  8. buckaroo's wife

    buckaroo's wife Songster

    Dec 10, 2009
    North Central Texas
    Quote:Just curious what you used to cover with netting? what holds up best outdoors?
  9. hippiehen

    hippiehen wastefully exuberant

    Aug 27, 2008
    Utopia, Texas
    For hawks and other daytime predators, hanging CDs from the trees/posts/whatever seems to work great!! I haven't lost a chicken in over a year and we have red tailed and sparrow hawks, cara cara's and golden eagles here!

    At night I have Chewie, my pyrador [​IMG]
  10. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Songster

    Aug 21, 2009
    buckaroo's wife :

    Quote:Just curious what you used to cover with netting? what holds up best outdoors?

    I use the same black netting used to cover ponds to protect from herons. It comes in different sizes and the ones we have used on the ponds for over 4 years are still fine.

    Check my BYC Page and you'll get a glimpse of it near the bottom of the page. It is only used when we home and the dog is in the yard with the hens. Having a murder of crows is helpful as they chase the hawks away too!​

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by