What are some successful methods to deter hawks?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by aychbe, Mar 5, 2014.

  1. aychbe

    aychbe Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
    Hello all!

    I had a close run in with a hawk today. Fortunately, my ducks are all safe.

    I have 6 ducks total (2 males, 4 females... assorted breeds) and I free range them. My place is in a valley between 2 hills, small yard (way less than an acre), with decent tree cover on the right side and rear of my property and 1 larger magnolia tree in the front. The ducks free range in the yard, mostly in the front of the yard although they do like to come up around back and chase my dogs (I have 2 chihuahuas).

    I built them a very secure house with an enclosed coop area where I keep them at night. I used a galvanized mesh (1/2 holes... I think it's called rabbit wire) for the enclosure which I know is more than enough to keep hawks out.

    By chance coincidence I was in my kitchen area when the ducks started yelling. I looked out to see a hawk (I'm not sure what species, it was big enough to take my largest Rouen) diving towards the flock so I ran out and yelled at it before it made it past the magnolia tree. It perched there for a moment. I rushed the tree and it flew across the street and perched on a telephone pole. It sat there for about 5 minutes, lost interest and then flew off. I immediately moved the ducks into their house.

    I did a little reading about hawks and it said that they typically go after the easiest prey which makes me think that my solution is to make the ducks the most difficult to get. I highly doubt my running out at the right moment is enough to make the hawk say "Ehh, this isn't worth my time" and it'll give up. Also, I know there has to be more than 1 hawk as I've seen them circling in the general area, although not over my place since I've gotten the ducks last spring. I'm guessing that maybe some of their typical sources of food may be running low because of the time of the year so additionally I'm concerned for the safety of my chihuahuas. I had considered using netting but I realize that I'd likely have to cover my entire yard to keep both the ducks and my dogs safe so I'm looking for a brainstorm session to come up with ideas on how best to keep everything safe. I know that when spring rolls around, there will be more food sources as well as foliage on the trees to make them less visible but I'd like to come up with a permanent solution. Is there a product on the market like those Nite Guard lights that is made for daylight predators?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Finny

    Finny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is predtor tape that you can order on amazon that is supposed to keep away hawks. I ordered it after one of my ducks was taken by a hawk. It is reflective and makes a noise when the wind hits it. So far it has worked for me. Good luck :).
     
  3. allenk44

    allenk44 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 3, 2014
    I might be able to get ducks for my bday in May n I'm just wondering what kind I should get
    -needs to be a good egg layer
    - pretty
    - quiet
    Are girls or boys nicer? Whatever one is than that one
    - not so messy my mom will get mad
    Any suggestion is appreciated thanks
     
  4. aychbe

    aychbe Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
    Thank you!

    I see that they have the same tape for sale on Nite Guard's website. I'm going to order some and just keep the ducks in the coop when unsupervised for the time being. They're going to be ****** off at me but at least they'll be alive to be mad!

    According to Nite Guard's site, it says to cut the tape into 30' strips and place 6-7' above the area you're looking to protect in 20-25' intervals. Did you use it like that or another way? I want to maximize it's effectiveness.

    Also, if anyone else knows of any other measures, please let me know. I'd rather go a little overboard with it than to have something happen.
     
  5. Finny

    Finny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have any thing I can put the tape on over my duck pen, so I just looped it around the outside of the pen on the sides and put a strip of it across the top. I would use it the way the package says too, that is probably the most effective.

    After my duck was taken by a hawk, I also only let my ducks free range when I can supervise them. They don't seem to mind much though. I think is it because they spend most of their time huddled in their duck house to stay off the cold snow anyways, but during the spring and summer I think they will be mad at me!
     
  6. mominoz

    mominoz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Georgia
    Or get a nice large goose or turkey. My ducks have geese out with them and I have hawks, vultures and even eagles not far and haven't lost any to sky predators....
     
  7. creaturelife

    creaturelife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    get a turkey my turkey saw a hawk and was going after it when it landed in our tree
     
  8. aychbe

    aychbe Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
    Thanks guys!

    I do live in a semi-urban area but there are quite a few wild turkeys that wander my neighborhood. I'm not sure if that's a good idea since the wild Toms are quite nasty when in rut and that may pose an issue with a domesticated turkey. I've seen the wild ones fight each other to death & then consume the carcass. I'd imagine a new bird would be seen as an enemy to them and they can fly on to my property. Ironically, my male chihuahua keeps the turkeys off my property and if I were to have a domesticated turkey and if it were to pattern it's behavior with the dogs like my male ducks, it would chase the dogs around also...hahaha!

    I'm also on the fence about a goose because I know it wouldn't fit into the duck house coop's door. I personally think large geese are really cool but when I built the opening in the house & coop, I made the doors a little over a foot high. The goose would likely bond with the ducks but be forced to sleep on it's own. Plus, there's rumors of a wild dog, possibly a coyote, that lives in the woods up the street on the hill behind me. Apparently it got a wild turkey a few nights ago. The duck house and coop are very secure but if the goose couldn't get in, I'd be putting its life at risk.

    I saw online these balloons that are supposed to simulate predator's eyes. Has anyone used these to any avail?

    Thanks again for your ideas and if anyone else has any, please chime in!
     

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