Raptor Attacked Duck, Any Tips to Deter Them?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Tiggerandfriends, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Tiggerandfriends

    Tiggerandfriends Chirping

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    I was in my house working when I heard my hens making noise. I looked out my window to see one of my male call ducks being attacked by a light brown bird. I thought it was my older Ameraucana hen, so I went to outside to break it up. When I got outside, I made some noise as that usually gets my hens off the attack, and the bird flew over my 7 or 8 foot high chain link fence that surrounds my bird pen and the bird continued to fly another hundred yards onto a dead tree. I knew that wasn’t my chicken. Luckily, the bird didn’t kill any of my ducks and chickens, but my male call did have a small patch of feathers missing and was bloody from that. My chickens were hiding in the back of my coop, but my ducks only have protection during the day by going under the coop. They have a wooden box that they sleep in at night, and that will be opened for them from now on, but I want to deter the predator from trying again. I live in Ohio, and raptors are illegal to kill. If anyone has any tips to deter the raptor, I would greatly appreciate it. My family will not let me put something up to create a roof, so I’m looking for anything other than that. I can post pictures of my pen, I just don’t have any right now.
     
    cavemanrich likes this.
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Enabler

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    It seems you encountered a hawk. There are not many things you can do to prevent this. If you are not able to create a roof over the run area,,,, can you install some bird netting. :idunno
    WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, :highfive:
     
  3. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

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    Hi! Hawks are hell as I well know fellow Ohioan. Here's some tips that worked well for me/other with a roofless pen.

    1. A rooster. I don't know if this is true of drakes but a good rooster is a master of spotting hawks and getting their flock to cover. If you don't have a rooster it's possible that you could get one and your ducks could learn to respond to rooster warning calls. I lose SO many fewer birds with a rooster around.

    2. Fake owls. Some people swear by them but I have had little experience with them. Rotate its location on a regular basis to make it look real. Every few days give it a new branch or tree or fence to call home.

    3. Hanging CDs. Old AOL cds, blank cds, as long as they reflect light well (so no CDs like old PS1 discs that are black for example). Hanging these throughout the pen out in the open where they can sway or spin in the wind can create dancing lights the hawks hate. Rotate the locations of these as well if you can.

    4. Encourage jays, crows and other aggressive non predatory birds to take roost in your trees with things like squirrel proof bird feeders and native plants and nesting materials that meet their needs. They hate hawks and will not only make a ruckus when they see one they will often harry them and drive them away. (Warning, they may choose to dive-bomb you too though!)

    5. If you can't put up a full roof give them a partial top by hanging something like flaggery/fladry in occasional locations across the pen, out of reach of nosy fowl and well within view of the hawks.

    6. Make LOTS of hiding spots. You never want your birds to be more than a few feet away from good cover if you can help it. Even large scattered branches to duck under helps them get away in a pinch.

    7. Harry the hawks yourself. Deliberately injuring or killing a hawk is illegal. But contrary to popular belief harassing them IS legal. You can spray them with a hose, shoot bottle rockets in their general direction, hit the branches of the trees they're in, fire old-timey cap guns, probably even plonk one with a nerf dart. In fact this is a legal REQUIREMENT for a depredation permit, so tally hoe on the aggressive but non harmful scaring away methods!

    The hawks in Ohio become much more active in the fall and winter in my experience so take extra care to recheck everything in the early fall even if you've had a quiet summer. And I also find the hawks most active first thing in the morning so consider keeping the birds in an extra hour past sunrise if you can swing it.

    That's about all I've got for you but I hope it helps!
     
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  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Enabler

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    I was not sure this was legal, so Never suggested it publicly.
     
  5. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

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    https://www.fws.gov/forms/3-200-13.pdf
    The depredation permit requires you to list things you've done to chase off the birds and how often and they include suggestions like "horns, propane cannons, and pyrotechnics". As long as the bottle rocket doesn't HIT the bird, as long as you're aiming to deliberately miss the bird, it's fine.

    Here's an article on the various effectiveness of common hazing techniques.
    http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1051&context=icwdmother
    It includes things like rockets, electric shockers, fixed projectiles, fireworks of all sorts, and even an entire category of "gas operated exploders".
    And another;
    https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/pdf/21638.pdf

    Most of these discuss non predatory migratory birds but the rules are very similar.

    Additionally on the depredation FAQ;
    "3. What activities can I do without a depredation permit? You do not need a federal depredation permit to simply harass or scare birds (except eagles and federally listed threatened or endangered species), provided (a) birds are not killed or injured and (b) birds sitting on active nests (nests with eggs or chicks present) are not disturbed to the point that it causes the eggs to not hatch or the chicks to die or become injured."

    So for hawks, bottle rockets that are not intended to and do not hit the bird are fair game. So are literal actual fireworks, cap guns and just about any non lethal/harmful methodology.
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    The ducks won't go under the coop?

    Might be time for some bird netting.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. ChocolateMouse

    ChocolateMouse Crowing

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    Ey, I said SOME people swear by em, not you! XD

    And when you're roofless, you're scraping the bottom of the barrel for ANY ideas.
     
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