This winter they will return...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kino, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. Kino

    Kino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's right. A big hawk - and it has a family.
    Last winter, two of my Indian Runner ducks were torn a part in the middle of our yard.. I felt so horrible because it only takes a few seconds for this to happen! We were gone for about 30 minutes, and the thing had managed to kill one of my favorite ducks. It struck another time as well, and at the second time, we were angry. We have two dogs - but the temperatures get very low here, so we can't have them out all the time, or even if we're gone. Just before winter one of my hens went missing, too. It was near the end of fall, and I found some bones and feathers of her remains in a pile a little ways away from the scene of where both my ducks were killed.
    Any ideas? I was thinking maybe decoys - like owls or larger birds, maybe dogs/foxes/bears, etc. I could set them around my house to try and spook the raptors, and move them every now and then.
    I just know this thing will be back this winter, and I'd be extremely devastated if it went at my chickens and ducks again. It really irritated me. This summer we saw the same large hawk scanning our yard, and it had two more pals with it. This could be a severe episode if we don't get it figured out. Do decoys sound good? Are they efficient? Will the hawks be smart enough to just ignore them?

    P.S This thing killed three of my neighbor's Guinea Hens as well. We found their carcasses in different parts of the yard - killed the same way. We know 100% that it's a hawk because my mom saw it literally on top of one of those dead ducks it caught and eating it. She scared it off of course, but the damage had already been done. RIP my two ducks; Smokey and Salt, and my hen, Kiwi.
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    There is not much you can do EXCEPT. build a covered run for your ducks and chickens. Let them free range when you are outside with them. Not sure the decoys would help. Hawks are quite smart and they can see an object if it has life in it or not. They will observe for long periods of time and strike when most opportune. I have read threads in the past about hawk problems. One person had a solution but said it was illegal. We all knew where he was going. Hawks are Federally Protected, They are Magnificent birds with a Genuine purpose. I just wish they knew that they should be controlling the rodent population, and not our chickens, ducks , and in my case also pigeons. I get a few hawks cruising past my area every so often. The chickens run for the cover of bushes, and my pigeons scram as fast as possible and don't return for extended time. I lost both chickens and pigeons, but not many. The hawks are not nesting in the immediate area. 3 years ago, there was one nesting and had a young one in neighbors tree. After they left the nest, they found better areas , possibly in the forest preserve area. I live in urban area near Chicago.
    Your best solution would be overhead netting. Lightweight and less expense than wire and mesh.

    WISHING YOU BEST [​IMG]
     
  3. Kino

    Kino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for this information. And yeah, you cannot shoot hawks around here either - it is extremely illegal and you'll go to jail for it! It's understandable, but just annoying how they go after my birds. I'm not sure if we'll be able to set up a pen for them. They'd be very angry and try to escape, but we could try. Also yes, the hawks I expected would be smart enough to see if the decoys would be alive or not..
    Thanks anyways, this makes sense.
     
  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    Remember that a hawk will go for the easiest meal it can get. It has no malicious intent. Just needs to satisfy its hunger. [​IMG]
     
  5. Kino

    Kino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes. Our ducks are always exposed; or chickens usually stay inside and perch all day (but eat and drink of course.) The ducks are the main victims because they are easy to catch in the snow. Yeah, I think about that too. A fox almost snatched up one of my hens this summer, but I managed to chase it off and my hen only had a wound. I felt bad in a way because I chased the fox numerous times - it got one of my ducks, too, and I chased at it and it dropped it. I always interfered with it's meals and it was getting desperate. Eventually my neighbor shot it.. I almost felt horrible... It only wanted to survive, of course... That hawk finds easy pickings with my ducks because there are less mice, fish, rabbits, etc in winter, but my ducks love to nibble the snow and eat it. They're outside a lot. I have to do something about it (instead of shooting it which is super illegal).
     
  6. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would find a way to build a covered outdoor pen for your birds when the hawks are around. As long as they have a supply of food, they will stay around longer. I let my chickens and ducks roam a large fenced in yard as much as possible, but when the hawks show up, they stay locked up in a covered 15x15 run attached to the coop. Better safe than sorry.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  7. Kino

    Kino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice guys. The penning up makes the most sense for protection. Thank you!
     
  8. Weehopper

    Weehopper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have a friend whose chickens were visited by a bald eagle during it's nesting season every year. What he did was put the chickens under wire during that time every year. Eventually the eagle gave up.
    It's about all you can do. Birds of prey are important to the environment, and as such, are protected. Same with owls. Bad JuJu to kill them. Either put your birds under cover or be content to "give back" a little now and then.
     
  9. Kino

    Kino Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's not much of my chickens that I fear will be killed since they're in their coop all the time, but the ducks will wander off on their own.
    I know this is the only solution, I just don't think we'll be able to do it. I can try and figure something out though. Thank you.
     
  10. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Overrun With Chickens

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    That Bald Eagle should switch barbers in my opinion. [​IMG][​IMG]



    But on a serious note..... I agree with you TOTALLY. [​IMG]
     

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