This may be ridiculous, but I have a question about protecting chickens during free-range days.

KerriChick

Songster
Aug 5, 2020
107
318
136
East Bay, CA
Our girls are pros at alarm calling and finding cover when free ranging. We have a large trampoline, lots of bushes and a netted run that stays open that they can retreat to. Since we moved to our new house, they haven't needed to because our yard in the back is sloped and bowl shaped down to the sliver of level yard at the bottom, and naturally forms a protective little glen for them to forage in by their coop! We are moving them up top as soon as our coop arrives, and then we will have to see if being just a little further from the house makes any creatures braver...def going to make sure the new giant coop is well fortified!

The crows around here also are excellent at keeping raptors away, so I would def encourage them to be around if you have a family nearby. They will actually protect chickens directly from hawks in some instances.
 
Nov 11, 2020
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West Virginia
We have a 5’ fence around the back of our yard (~2/3 acre). When we’re fooling around in the garden or during any other time we let the birds out of their run (the run will be covered completely in 1/2” x 1/2” HW cloth), do I need my husband to keep his shotgun on him and watch for hawks, buzzards, etc., or is our mere presence enough to scare ‘em off? We’re in a small subdivision but it’s somewhat out in the country.

Now we’re totally new so sorry if this is a dumb question.

Thanks!
If you plan on shooting a Hawk or other Federally protected bird with a shot gun maybe you shouldn't post it on BYC because killing one will land you in jail not to mention the fine they'll impose. You can live in peace with predators if you use electric fence and netting or get livestock guardian dogs to protect your chicken or put 1/2" on top of their runs.
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
30,009
31,897
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
As others have mentioned, it is illegal to shoot birds of prey. If you want to free range sad to say it's a risk you take. Many lessons learned the hard way. A couple of times over the years I have had hawks come out of nowhere with me standing right next to the birds and kill them. It happened so fast I didn't have time to react. Now my birds all have nice large pens with electric wires around them and good heavy duty netting covering the pens and concrete under the gates, all due to losses in the past. Good luck...
 

hysop

No Resolution. Just 50 Squats Daily.
Premium Feather Member
Sep 16, 2019
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SW Georgia
Whenever I see a hawk flying up ahead I will run toward it and flap my arms like a crazy lady. (They are like 50 feet up in the air but I guess since they see me act a fool they decide to go somewhere else).

But me just standing there doesn't do anything. And besides the law prohibiting you to shoot a bird of prey I really wouldn’t want to anyway because I don't want to be overrun by mice and rats.
 

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