1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Shelter from hawks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dixiegal62, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. dixiegal62

    dixiegal62 Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    4
    91
    Mar 11, 2012
    Arab Alabama
    Pretty much think its impossible.After lossing almost half of my free rang flock in one day to hawks a few years go they stay in a run now. Our coop and run is in our horse pasture so the only cover is around the fence line. In other words chickens are sitting ducks. Planting bushes in the pasture for cover wouldnt work cause the horses would eat them. I was thinking of making small little A frame houses and putting a few around for them to run to cover but not sure if it would help and it would look messy. Just seems a shame to keep my flock cooped up all the time. I need a chicken shepard to watch over my flock while out.
     
  2. blueferral

    blueferral Chillin' With My Peeps

    129
    2
    81
    Feb 15, 2012
    Simpsonville, SC
    Plant the bushes in the pasture. Just put a fence around the bushes far enough away the horses cant reach the bush, but close enough they will prune it for you :). Make sure you use a fence the chickens can get through. The initial investment is alot cheaper than replacing half a flock every year, and the free range is much better for the birds.
     
  3. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    5,314
    58
    291
    Aug 12, 2009
    I have been planting rose of sharon and various ornamental grasses all over the yard for cover.
     
  4. dixiegal62

    dixiegal62 Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    4
    91
    Mar 11, 2012
    Arab Alabama
    A simple solution I never thought of, I'll run it by DH today and see what he thinks
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,459
    2,088
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    Also consider in the little fenced in areas alternative plant species such as osage orange and brambles. They both provide excellent cover and latter also provides harvestable fruit. Several smaller plants is also better than one large one. Stems also provide obstruction to hawk. For me, cover patches need to be at least 10 feet in diameter to effectively obstruct a red-tailed hawk. Smaller patches and hawk will sometimes try to enter.
     
  6. blueferral

    blueferral Chillin' With My Peeps

    129
    2
    81
    Feb 15, 2012
    Simpsonville, SC
    My horses LOVED to keep the rose bushes trimmed. Any new growth they could reach ... gone! Made for an extremely gnarled dense rosebush. My free rangers love to hide in holy bushes. Dense on the outside, fairly clear on the inside. Also, they are evergreen so all year long shade/protection.
     
  7. AliceMae

    AliceMae Out Of The Brooder

    55
    1
    30
    Jan 27, 2012
    'The Boonies' Minnesota
    Have any of you actually seen a hawk swoop down and pick up a chicken? Every once in a while one of my 'girls' would be missing for the evening head count. I never saw any coyotes or hawks or anything. Do they really carry whole, live chickens away??? Just can't imagine that ?!?!?! :bow
     
  8. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    181
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    A red tailed Hawk, which is a very large hawk, will weigh between 1.5 pounds and 3.5 pounds. A 3.5 pound hawk would be exceptionally large.

    A hawk can carry about 25% of it's own body weight.

    How much do your chickens weigh?
     
  9. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    5,532
    181
    273
    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon




    OK. here you go. I looked it up for you:



    Quote: Ferruginous Hawk, the Biggest Hawk in the United States


    The Ferruginous Hawk (Buteo regalis) is the largest hawk in the US. This large bird of prey reaches an average length of 23 inches, with a 56 inch wingspan, and tends to weigh around 3.5 lbs. .......... This big raptor bird of America feeds on rodents, small birds, and snakes.

    Hawks are not carrying away whole chickens, unless you have juvenile Seramas running unattended in your yard.

     
  10. dixiegal62

    dixiegal62 Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    4
    91
    Mar 11, 2012
    Arab Alabama

    I'm going to have to disagree with you here. I've seen a red tail hawk with one of my hens before. They where free ranging and me and my son pulled into our driveway and I saw something out of the corner of my eye. It was a red tail with my hen looking like he was going to fly right into my tahoe. He was flying low and couldn't get enough height with the hen to clear my tahoe and dropped her. We have red tail hawks, black hawks and bald eagles here.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by