Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by valreegrl, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. valreegrl

    valreegrl Songster

    May 7, 2009
    I feel like I am always posting warnings, and never BEFORE the fact [​IMG]

    Our coop runs are chainlink dog kennels. The kennels are against our shed on one side and have wires running across the top to keep the girls safe from hawks. And mind you, we live in a suburban neighborhood so hawks are not usually an issue.

    Friday morning my husband and I walked into the backyard to water the girls. They had only been let out of the coop from the night before for a few minutes. As we turned the corner up flew a HUGE hawk. It had been sitting on the coop roof before it flew off. Caught completely off guard it took a moment to process what it was. Quickly I pushed my husband away and ran for the coop as he watched the hawk land up high on a telephone pole a couple housed down.

    As I opened the gate to the kennel I saw the most horrific scene. My favorite girl, my birthday present from hubby last year.... Fraggle the Red Frizzle [​IMG] The hawk had gotten her but we must have startled it before it could fly off with her.

    This hawk had managed to get into a very small opening between wires to get to my girl. Something we read they wouldn't do. We were under the impression that they needed an open space to land and this hawk was BIG! And then he sat on his pole up high and called to us as we dealt with our loss.

    It was horrific and something I never want to see again. At 6:30am, before work, hubby and I were completely covering the tops of the kennels. We used dear netting which seemed to work well until we can figure something out more permanent.

    So please.....everyone.....if you have open top runs please cover them completely. The wires and hanging cd's in not enough. We have an inground swimming pool not 10 feet from the coop and the glare still didn't keep the hawk at bay.

    And after some research we found that a dump located miles from us were granted permission to import hawks to our area to take care of the seagull problem!!!

  2. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    sorry for your loss. it's hard. glad to hear that you're covering your run.
  3. shepherd

    shepherd In the Brooder

    Jun 19, 2010
    Ive had some hawk problems myself. Last year I lost almost half my flock to hawks and falcons. Almost every day I witnessed a hawk attack, but I ran to the rescue to chase the hawk off. This year they havent really been a problem.
    I free range my chickens so the top of my run doesnt really do anything, But before I free ranged I had a hawk do a nose dive right into the top of my run. He couldnt get threw my chicken wire. So my advise to you is use chicken wire for your run.
  4. NWChicks

    NWChicks Songster

    Mar 3, 2010
    Granite Falls, WA
    [​IMG] So sorry you lost your favorite girl and a b-day gift at that! [​IMG]

    I have a similar set up to yours but we covered the top of our run with 2x4 welded wire. We have hawks and bald eagles here that were circling above our run when we first put it up. I couldn't relax until we had the top wired!
  5. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chirping

    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    too bad most municipalities don't allow roosters. A rooster will instinctively call out a warning if there is danger and the hens will take cover. If rooster's are not a possibility, then by all means, cover your runs.
  6. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    I'm paranoid about hawks and eagles (we have bald eagles, osprey and golden eagles) and don't let my chickens loose or out in the outdoor run. My barn has fencing across the access points -- not perfect but will keep away hawks.

    Predators will do what they do best.[​IMG] Glad you've covered your pens.
  7. Keens2050

    Keens2050 In the Brooder

    Jul 24, 2010
    Narvon, PA
    So sorry to hear about your loss. [​IMG]
    Why is it the good ones always go first? We have similar (dog kennel fencing/one wall against shed)
    We purchased some deer netting and strung that across top. Hoping to keep our girls safe (as we have flying predators as well) we got ourselves a rooster. Hopefully he will help as well.
    All the best to you.

  8. That is why our run is covered. We have hawks in our neighborhood and I did not want to lose any of our chickens to them. We discussed 2x4 welded wire but decided it would be good to have a solid roof to keep rain and wild birds out of their feed plus provide shade.
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    oh so sorry to hear of your loss - it is always the favorites that go first. You did everything they say to do and it didn't work. Hope people pay attention to your warning.
  10. bigoakhunter

    bigoakhunter Songster

    Jul 29, 2009
    15 years ago we raised meat birds for the freezer. The first year we started with 50s and kept losing 2-3 a week. But the kicker was there where no dead birds to be found. We had a coop and a fenced in run with 6 foot high fence but no fencing covering top of run. One day we pulled into the driveway to see a large hawk fly out of the run with hen with it.

    After that we learned we had under estimated predators. Now we cover and secure all runs and coops.

    Sorry about your loss.


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