Repeated hawk attacks - can't cover yard....distractions?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by NellaBean, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    7,261
    12
    261
    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I have had repeated hawk attacks over the last month. Had a few in a row a few weeks ago......and then let a bunch of roosters out of the rooster pen to help with hawk calls and hadn't had any problems lately. Or so I thought. Lost a bird on Friday or Saturday and the hawk was back again yesterday. I caught it sitting on the ground in the back of my yard, near where the last kill had happened. Two attacks have occurred while I was outside but not near the bird being attacked.

    However, once I was out there yesterday, it flew off and stayed away.

    My birds range over a half acre. No way to cover this area and there are way too many birds to lock into a smaller pen to cover.

    The majority of my attacks have happened in the back portion of the yard, near the treeline.

    I am wondering if putting scarecrows of sorts out there will help "scare them away". I could put them out on posts and them move them a bit every day or so.

    Michaels has 5 foot tall scarecrows on sale............they are a harvest decoration so not "scary" looking, but maybe that will be enough? If I bought 3 or 4 of those and moved them around the yard. I was also thinking about something that moves. Windmill type decoration, windsock, flag, etc.

    I know people talk about stringing up fishing line or netting....can't do that, way too large of a space. Would a random string of cds across a few feet of the yard actually make a difference or just a waste of time?
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  2. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    759
    13
    151
    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    I have heard hanging shiny objects like old CD's from trees is helpful. I have done this in the open part of our run and though I sometimes hear hawks in the distance, none have ever come around. If we are home and hear hawks, we will often just go out and walk around the chicken area - hoping our presence acts as a deterrent. Not sure if any of this really helps, but I do know I have caught the glint of the sun on a swinging CD out of the corner of my eye and it has startled me - and I know what it is. They also look kind of eerie in the moonlight. So far, fingers crossed, no losses to hawks or any other predators.
     
  3. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    7,187
    22
    271
    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I used to house sit for a man who kept eagles and falcons. All I can say is, those birds are EXTREMELY intelligent and able to problem solve and are super strong drive to catch and eat stuff. I don't think scarecrows will work for more than a day. CD's either. Maybe you could do rotational grazing with your flock, intense tractor management? Or maybe just put your very best birds in a tractor to protect them. You are officially open for business as fast food for predators, now that they know where you are and what is available. Maybe a dog? Border Collie?
     
  4. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    7,261
    12
    261
    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I have 2 dogs that are chicken "friendly.....1 of which is completely chicken safe without supervision. However, he is a lot more interested in running the front fenceline barking at my neighbors and their dogs than scanning the BACK part of the yard. He is so friendly to "birds" now that I don't think a hawk would bother him.

    I did buy 4 scarecrows today and may put them on stepin posts and move them around the yard everyday. The plan is to eventually get all the bantams under cover.....this is a very small hawk and both times he attacked a full sized large fowl bird, the bird was okay. It'll take time to get all of my smaller birds undercover (as in, weeks if not a month or more). The ones that are being picked off are the birds who like to hang out at the back of the yard. The ones that stay higher up on the frontside of the garage seem to fare better.
     
  5. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    There really isn't much of anything that you can do to discourage hawk attacks other than keep your birds in a covered run or coop. I believe you will find the hawks sitting on your scarecrows heads using them as perches to attack your birds. Predatory birds are way to intelligent to be scared off by scarecrows and shiny CDs or pie tins.
    I would keep the birds up for a week or so and hope that the hawks forget about them and move on.

    Good luck to you. I hope they migrate out of your area.
     
  6. ga_goat

    ga_goat Chillin' With My Peeps

    424
    0
    119
    Apr 7, 2010
    Lowndes County Ga
    Try setting some posts in the ground about 6 to 8 feet apart in rows across the range and tie some hi color builders twine tight from post to post , put the rows about 12 to 15 ft apart and this should foil the hawk's attack angle it may frustrate it . may have to put some crossing .
     
  7. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    7,261
    12
    261
    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I am trying the scarecrows for now.

    [​IMG]


    I put up 4 in the portion of the yard that seems to be the most under attack. You can't see one that is back behind the run to the right.

    Maybe it'll only work for a day.....maybe it won't work at all.....can't hurt to try!
     
  8. cheri222

    cheri222 Chillin' With My Peeps

    327
    0
    119
    May 12, 2010
    Erie PA
    Nothing is working with the hawks. So far no kills but very close. The hawk tried to get a bird not 10 feet from me and tried another within 20 ft of the dog. So the gang is locked up for ????? I have a good covered run but they have free ranged about 1/2 acre since July so they are not happy. Everyone says its migration but these are the ones that are here all the time. They even sit on the fence and eat their prey in front of us. Anyone with ideas
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,955
    2,628
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    System I am using that seems to work involves tilting a poorly made chicken tractor so that one end is about 1 foot above the ground. When hawk alarm given they run for cover under tractor. Key to working is birds must stay close so they can beat hawk to cover. My waterers and feeders placed so birds not inclined to range far.

    Hawks have harassed my chickens and caught several of my neighbors birds that are only a couple hundred yards away. Not caught mine yet with chicken tractor setup, just a chick that was associated with pen in front yard.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,955
    2,628
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:What kind of hawk is involved?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by