SOOO Frustrated! Hawk rant...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Cloverleaf Farm, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    Let me start by saying that I USED to LIKE hawks. Now I hate them. [​IMG] Don't get me wrong, I completely understand that they are just doing what comes naturally to them, BUT....

    I purposely do not free range my birds. I have hawks, owls, coyotes, and bald eagles that would all LOVE to eat my birds. There are a few that are super easy to catch that I will let out in the yard when I am out there, and when I have already checked the field next door and the sky for potential threats. SO, when I spend a couple hundred dollars on 1/2" x 1" welded wire to enclose my tractor runs, I expect my birds to be safe. I am wrong. I had a cooper's hawk kill 3 silkies through 1" chicken wire a year ago. So when I built my 2 new tractors this year, I used the welded wire. I just went outside to see a cooper's hawk flying away from the tractor that has my lavender ameraucana chicks in it. I ran right over to find a dead baby in the corner of the run. I pulled it out, expecting to see one kill shot on the head. HOLY COW was I surpised to find SEVERAL spots on the head (the whole thing is one big bruise) a chunk missing from the neck, and peck marks over one shoulder and under the wing. HOW IN THE HECK DID A HAWK THAT SIZE DO THAT THROUGH WIRE THAT SMALL? Not only are the spaces in the wire small, but because of the framing, there is a 2" drop from the wire to the ground, where the solid 2x2 sits. As it turns out, I am lucky I only lost one chick, I checked on all the other chicks (which had all since run inside) and there are 4 more with bloody combs where they got pecked by the hawk too. They are all too freaked out to let me doctor them right now, so hopefully they don't do more damage to each other before it gets dark tonight when I can deal with them. These are 6 week old babies, three of the others that got pecked are LF, the 4th and the one I lost were bantams.

    I just feel really frustrated - apparently there is NOTHING I can do to protect my babies from the G-D*%# hawks! [​IMG]

  2. rrgrassi

    rrgrassi Chirping

    Jun 19, 2010
    Royse City
    Sorry for your loss!! How about adding 1/2"x1/2" hardware cloth to the welded wire?
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    WOW! I am sure surprised that a hawk was able to get through that small of openings! Unless your babies could stick their heads out? Which seems unlikely. Maybe line the interior with 1/4 or 1/8 in hardware cloth? Or even insect screening?
  4. MysticScorpio82

    MysticScorpio82 Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Maine, USA
    omg! I am SO sorry for your loss! That is horrible that they were still able to peck through the wire and kill a 6wk old and injure 4 more... [​IMG] I wish I had some advice to give you... [​IMG]
  5. Debbi

    Debbi Crowing

    May 2, 2010
    Think I'd get some electric netting and hang it there for a few weeks at least. Let Mr. Hawk get his beak and feet fried a couple of times, that may stop that! So sorry for your loss. Just when we think we've done our best....surprise [​IMG]
  6. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    I have all my pens lined with 1/2 inch hardware cloth, so they cant stick their heads out. Its just just hawks, raccoons can reach thru chicken wire also. I havent lost one chick since using hardware cloth.

    I only have it lined on the bottom of the dog kennel, 4 foot high, and that is enough to deter predators.
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

    May 19, 2008
    Western MA
    Quote:Good idea about the insect screen.. or even window screening...
    I think you can buy it in rolls...

  8. GrumpyOldMan

    GrumpyOldMan Chirping

    Jun 7, 2010
    SE Louisiana
    RAREROO told me about 1” x 1” plastic bird netting from Home Depot for a problem I was having. My Home Depot only had ½” x ½” and that did the trick for me. If you can find the 1” x 1” or even a little larger and drape your coupe / tractor with it the SOB may get tangled in it and you can solve the problem.

    And it’s cheep! Under $10.00 for a 50’ x 50’ role.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2010
  9. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    Thanks everyone for your replies and ideas! I appreciate it! [​IMG]
  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Hey folks, she already has 1/2x1, 1x1 is larger; if a hawk can peck through 1/2x1, it can do a lot more damage through a 1x1, and 1/2x/1/2 is not much better than 1/2x1. The 1/2x1 is almost certainly stronger as the wire is a heavier gauge than is usual for hardware cloth. She does not have chicken wire.

    I don't think electric fence would deter a hawk. I'd like to be wrong, but...

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