Tips for deterring hawks?

hollyhock17

Chirping
Sep 15, 2021
83
242
96
near Chicago, IL
As it turns out, one of the giant pine trees not 75 feet from my property is home to a group of hawks! We think they had babies sometime over the summer and taught them how to hunt using our chickens! We used to see the smaller ones sitting around in our yard staring into our coop. I know letting my girls out to free range is unsafe but I feel super horrible keeping them locked up in their coop/run. I know I can't completely prevent hawk attacks, but is there any way to maybe deter them a bit? We raise our chickens as pets and they're helping me get through college, truly my best friends, I would be devastated if something were to happen.

If it matters, I believe they are red-tailed hawks, but I do not know for certain. I have seen red tails in the area but haven't gotten a close enough look at the ones living in the tree. I am not sure what others are in my area.

None of my chickens are fully grown yet so they are all pretty small plus two bantams. No hawk has ever tried to get at them, but they do fly overhead and I freak out and get everyone into the coop as fast as I can. I highly doubt they're oblivious to the chickens' presence though.

I also don't have a boy and I am not sure how my pullets would respond to seeing a hawk. I do not plan on waiting and finding out.

Edit: on another note, does anyone know if hawks stay year round? We haven't had any issues with them until basically November. We've had our girls since May.

Thanks! 🐔 🐔 🐔
 

hollyhock17

Chirping
Sep 15, 2021
83
242
96
near Chicago, IL
I have dogs as well, this is what they look like. I let them out with me supervised with the chickens, they leave them alone but would they be any help with deterring hawks? I don't know hawks I don't know if they would be nervous around loudmouth dogs or not 😅
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swamphiker

Crowing
Feb 24, 2020
751
2,367
251
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Some dogs will do a good job of deterring predators, others won't. Similarly, some hawks are more skittish than others. It's worth trying to see if the dogs will spook the hawks. If it were me, I would protect the chickens from the hawks in the meantime, especially while your chicks are still growing. The hawks in my area certainly keep a close eye on my full-grown standard chickens, but none of them have made a serious attempt at taking the chickens, though YMMV. I don't have any bantams and my chickens have lots of shrubs and other cover to hide from the hawks which helps.
 
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cmom

Hilltop Farm
14 Years
Nov 18, 2007
30,009
31,907
971
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
A couple of times I have had a hawk kill a bird right next to me. It happened so fast I didn't have time to react. Now my birds are in nice large covered pens. There are ways to entertain birds in pens. Now when I let them out they may come out briefly but soon are back in their pens where they feel safe. Birds are creatures of habit. Good luck...
 

Nashv755

Songster
Apr 10, 2020
134
363
116
I'd like to try a chicken statue. Legend has it hawks leave the chickens alone once they attack the statue a time or two lol

I don't really have much trouble out of hawks with adult birds. But they really go after the chicks under 2-3months old. With the big roosters in the yard I think they don't want to attack something they cant cary off.
 

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ccoscina

Chirping
Nov 10, 2021
48
117
64
I also have hawks that live in my trees and fly overhead. I'm not sure whether it is one hawk or a family of hawks. I spend alot of time outside with a chicken named Speckles which flaps it's wings and runs under bushes if it notices the hawk.

One thing I noticed this year in my garden is alot of my peppers and tomatoes were being eaten by birds. They would perch on my tomato cages and start pecking away. I read online that shiny objects like CDs or DVDs can scare them away, like a scarecrow. So I tried it, I hung CDs on my tomato cages and ever since then the birds didn't peck my tomatoes or peppers. Not even once, and before that they were pecking my plants almost daily. They say this technique can also work on hawks. I can't guarantee this will work and I suggest trying a combination of strategies but it might help.
 

Amy Polka

Chirping
May 18, 2017
22
54
93
I'd like to try a chicken statue. Legend has it hawks leave the chickens alone once they attack the statue a time or two lol

I don't really have much trouble out of hawks with adult birds. But they really go after the chicks under 2-3months old. With the big roosters in the yard I think they don't want to attack something they cant cary off.
Your rooster is gorgeous. Btw, I think hawks are smarter than to fall for the statue, but if it works, please provide an update. What if the hawk picks a real chicken over the statue first? I've learned that hawks don't necessarily carry prey away. I had one kill and eat part of my silkie chicken in my yard a couple years ago. A W F U L. Their initial attack strategy is to smash into its prey, grab and squeeze. Chickens be fragile. 😔
 

Nashv755

Songster
Apr 10, 2020
134
363
116
Your rooster is gorgeous. Btw, I think hawks are smarter than to fall for the statue, but if it works, please provide an update. What if the hawk picks a real chicken over the statue first? I've learned that hawks don't necessarily carry prey away. I had one kill and eat part of my silkie chicken in my yard a couple years ago. A W F U L. Their initial attack strategy is to smash into its prey, grab and squeeze. Chickens be fragile. 😔
Hawks will go after the easiest target and statues don't run. I'll admit I haven't tried it but I've read a couple of post somewhere where the statues had to be stood back up because something hit it and the hawk hadn't been back.

A hawk had better carry it's catch away in my yard or it's going to be dealing with one of the roosters on patrol. That was my point. The Liege fighters are not your everyday chickens. These are game birds that get about 13lb and just shy of 3ft tall. Friendly to people but not to strange birds. 1st picture is a stock online image, 2nd is one of mine. His toes are as big as my fingers if that gives any scale. Hawks are smart enough to weigh the chances of getting hurt because that's a death sentence to a bird of prey. Sure one could get a hen down but then he's at the mercy of the rooster on the ground. Just like a hawk wouldn't take down a rabbit in the middle of a pack of dogs.
 

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Amy Polka

Chirping
May 18, 2017
22
54
93
Hawks will go after the easiest target and statues don't run. I'll admit I haven't tried it but I've read a couple of post somewhere where the statues had to be stood back up because something hit it and the hawk hadn't been back.

A hawk had better carry it's catch away in my yard or it's going to be dealing with one of the roosters on patrol. That was my point. The Liege fighters are not your everyday chickens. These are game birds that get about 13lb and just shy of 3ft tall. Friendly to people but not to strange birds. 1st picture is a stock online image, 2nd is one of mine. His toes are as big as my fingers if that gives any scale. Hawks are smart enough to weigh the chances of getting hurt because that's a death sentence to a bird of prey. Sure one could get a hen down but then he's at the mercy of the rooster on the ground. Just like a hawk wouldn't take down a rabbit in the middle of a pack of dogs.
Holy talons. What a sweet face! I had an exhibition brahma rooster once and he was big, but not 13 lbs big. It seriously felt like I had Big Bird as a pet in my backyard. He was really shy though and the hens were all pretty mean to him. I now have a six month old Speckled Sussex who takes his rooster duties more seriously. He's not exceptionally large, but he is protective of his ladies. I'm totally Googling Liege roosters now.
 

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