What are best hawk deterrents? Have a situation here!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jjthink, Feb 5, 2007.

  1. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    A friend's place with a large uncovered run that has never had a hawk problem before now has a hawk visiting - 2 hen deaths already in the past week and now the hawk comes back everyday. They chased it away yesterday but know it will be back. The chickens are indoors in lockdown but that can't go on indefinitely. If covering a run is not an option, and I don't think it is in this case, what sorts of things might help? Radio on? Fake cats, fake people etc. in the run, moved to different locations each day? (or would the hawk just laugh?) I also read a post about crow kites - might they help? Any suggestions would be most appreciated. From everything I read, that hawk will visit again and again. Some very much loved birds are in lockdown in that barn...
     
  2. Mike_Winters

    Mike_Winters Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 30, 2007
    Connecticut
    cover your pen is the best choice. the other answer only starts trouble around here [​IMG]
     
  3. soonerdog

    soonerdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Author: soonerdog

    I use a live bait trap and capture and relocate as many critters as I can....opossums, raccoons, etc. I have caught a few skunks which of course had to be killed. I don't like to kill them, but who is going to relocate a captured skunk? Not me! So, on occasion I think we are forced to practice SSS. In case anyone doesn't know what that is: Shoot, Shovel, Shut-up! I think one should try to avoid this if at all possible. My relocating works good for me, except for when I capture skunks. I feel I do try to do the correct thing by the critters with a main goal of protecting my birds. As upsetting as it is for some to hear, I have had to practice the SSS method a few times. Probably more folks do than admit.
     
  4. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Western Montana
    Shooting a hawk is a federal offense (International Migratory Bird Treaty violation) punishable by up to 10 years in jail. Baaaaaad idea. Really bad.

    One good idea is to get a big, plastic, Great Horned Owl sculpture (sometimes garden stores have them for keeping pigeons off buildings) and put it where the hawk can see it clearly. They are often very afraid of owls and might decide the chickens are not worth it.

    Also- covering the pen sounds necessary! Make sure the netting/covering is fairly visible from above- might want to tie some ribbons in it for the first week. The very, very last thing you want is the hawk to not see the netting until too late, get tangled, and then you have a screaming violent wild bird wrapped in your netting above your panicky chickens. And getting that hawk out of the net? Ooooh not fun.

    -MTchick

    (editted to add net warning)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2007
  5. Mike_Winters

    Mike_Winters Out Of The Brooder

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    Lets tell people how to deal with hawks. not be childish and crying wolf to big brother or starting fights because some one says SSS. so get on topic please
     
  6. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Even with a very large run you should be able to go to the feed store and buy a roll of baling string or twine made for large round hay bales. The string can then be criss-crossed back and forth over the run until it makes spaces too small for a hawk to get through. Someone on the old ezBYC has even posted pics of how she did this. I prefer using deer netting over mine with cheap pie pans tied underneath that blow around in the wind. It kinda freaked the chickens for a day or two but it wasn't long till they got used to it. Now the red-tailed hawks just fly around over head or sit in the nearby piney woods and watch and then fly away. Praise God I have not had another bird killed by the hawks and they have not even tried to get into the run.
     
  7. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    There are several solutions....

    If putting netting over the run is not possible (this is the best option) then I would get some shiny whirly kites to put up. This has helped my sister tremendously.

    This is also a time for lots of raptors MIGRATING...which means it may be temporary. Locking up your chickens for several days to a week, will get them moving on as their "easy meal ticket" is effectively expired.

    Using fake owls/cats/etc...can be helpful, but usually are very temporary as the raptors figure them out.

    Take any easy to perch poles away, or make them less friendly to perch on---a carpet full of nails attached upside down on a favorite post will not be a favorite very long!

    Hope your friend figures it out soon!
    Sandra
     
  8. soonerdog

    soonerdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've never had a hawk problem. All of my chickens are in flight pens, overcovered. We certainly do have hawks around......a lot of them too. BIG ONEs!!! But, like I say my birds are in covered flight pens. I have no problem with the hawks even though they are ever present. My problem critters dig under and get into my pens and kill my birds! Or at least they did until I started captures with my live bait trap and my relocating. Knock on wood!!! I haven't lost any birds now in over two or three years. I relocate these critters to a wildlife area 40 or more miles away south of the city, across the lake twice, so I don't think any will come back home to me. I hope not anyway! Johnny
     
  9. falconer

    falconer New Egg

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    Feb 5, 2007
    You may want to first identify the type of hawk that you have.
    Then get hold of your local falconer, every town has one, then have the falconer come out and trap the bird and move it for you. They will be more than happy to do it free of charge.
     
  10. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I really appreciate the help with deterrent ideas. Thank you so very much. If anyone has additional ideas, I'd be grateful.

    p.s. This run is fenced with maybe a 4 foot fence and couldn't be easily covered as it is also very large and so while most effective, my sense is that other deterrents would be more readily and quickly employed. I believe there is a large plastic owl so the hawk did figure out it was a sleeper. Maybe if there were more of them it might worry just a tad..don't know. I wondered what would happen if a fake person was propped in a chair in the run and moved daily whether that might help -this is getting fancy, but if a radio set on talk radio was stuffed in the fake person maybe it would seem more real...My imagination runneth over.

    Predators are very intelligent so I just don't know if fake anythings would work as much as I want them to!
     

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