Red-tailed hawks with a taste for chicken...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wildocean, Dec 30, 2014.

  1. wildocean

    wildocean New Egg

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    Dec 30, 2014
    I have free ranging chickens and a pair of red-tailed hawk with a 'taste' for chicken :(

    I am wondering what options I should consider (besides having the chickens in an enclosed pen or run).

    Would a rooster help? (At least in terms of providing warning?)

    I have 26 hens, so on a somewhat related note, I am curious what the pros/cons of adding a rooster to my flock would be.

    Thanks!
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Rooster will be most effective if ample cover present. From that he might be able fight back but not out in the open with hawk above him.

    He cost a little bit to feed is biggest negative.

    Dog better but more expensive by a lot. Dog and rooster with cover best. Keep an additional rooster as backup. With a backyard flock such as yours I would consider 3 roosters. They will scrap among themselves but will also be more likely to repel hawks.

    Do not forget importance of cover.
     
  3. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a hawk problem several years ago. Once one knew there was food, more and more hawks showed up.

    The ONLY way I could protect my flock was either with a chicken-protector trained dog or cover a large yard for the girls. I went with the cover. Also keeps the night-time predators away.

    It may not be practical for you, but I carved out a 25' x 75' x 15' yard with one coop inside and several trees and bushes. It's covered on all sides with hardware cloth and dug 1.5 'f into the ground around the edges.

    I sleep well at night and never worry during the day.

    If I do let them out to the larger yard..I call it a "field trip" I'm out there with them doing yard work, etc.

    Hope this helps.

    Geri
     
  4. gotthefever

    gotthefever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "Field Trip" ha ha.

    Told chickens today, have to go shopping, so it's indoor recess".


    I have a covered run. Free range when we will be home all day. They do not want to go back to the pen for my shopping, errand convenience, so now my errands are scheduled for the AM when they can be out the rest of the afternoon or a least a couple hours a day - With a baby monitor on, so I don't have to sit out, too cold for me!!! So far so good.

    SO wove a poly rope net on his giant run like 40X60.

    I like the idea of a pool leaf cover, large cargo net, or sports netting..... these come in custom sizes and are very sturdy. A lot of people use bird netting. I am only afraid the hawks would not see it and get tangled.


    Someone please invent a force field!
     
  5. orumpoultry

    orumpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had hawks tangled before... Not fun to undo. Most that's can see netting, though, before they dive . This was a hungry juvenile.
     
  6. chickenboy190

    chickenboy190 Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a hawk problem right now also. It got 2 of my chickens so far. I have 4 roosters and so far they haven't helped. All that I can really do now is keep them in a covered run. Both times when the hawk got both my chickens I was home as soon as they started going crazy and clucking I ran outside but it had already got them. I hope you have luck with your chickens and those hawks.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    How big are your chickens and what kind of hawk is involved?
     
  8. kateseidel

    kateseidel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Roosters did not help protect my flock from hawks, and in fact, became such a nuisance we had to get rid of them.

    Dogs do a great job if they are in the immediate vicinity but with 7 acres, they only need to be gone for 5 minutes for the hawks to hit.

    Here, the Cooper's Hawk is the worst of them, and quite frankly, I wish they would get tangled in something so I could get a clear shot and face the fine. I am so tired of losing my chickens that for now, they are on lock-down (they have a 22x48 foot enclosed run off their 10x14 foot coop, so they have plenty of room.

    For a while, we were okay as long as the hens stayed in the horse paddock, but the hawks have figured out how to swoop into the run in, hit a chicken, and drag it out (they are too big for the hawks to carry off). Nursing an injured hen now, still not sure if she is going to make it.
     
  9. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's frustrating, I know.

    Before I built "Chicken Alcratraz" I had bright orange poultry netting. Kept the hawks away, but it was ugly. The problem came after a while when the raccoons can eat right through it as it's just plastic. Kept the hawks away for the day, but did nothing at night, hence the new yard with all hardware cloth, coop inside. What is nice for me now is whether the chickens sleep in the coop or not, the entire yard is now "Predator proof" unless a bear comes to town. We don't have too many bears roaming Palo Alto. [​IMG]
     
  10. kateseidel

    kateseidel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jajika - nice coop!! I love that you have trees inside for the ladies!!

    Sunny today, and did I get an earful from the hens wanting out! Not budging, spent the day working in the garden listening to the Coopers Hawks cruising for a meal....

    [​IMG]
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