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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RW19290, Nov 29, 2008.
cute cow : )
If you can actually spot the hawk what about bottle rockets or an air horn?
Or fly a really large American flag?
That or send him a really stern and threatening letter
I read somewhere, probably on this forum, about someone who free ranged their chickens in with their goats and that the presence of the goats kept birds of prey at bay. If you have room for the goats you could protect the girls and get some milk and make some cheese in the process.
That is interesting, about the goats and birds of prey. My chickens free range with my goats, and we have at least 3 hawks that frequent our property. I see them all the time, they really like to watch the bird feeder for doves. Although I worry about the chickens, we have lots of trees, roosters, their coop, and silver flagging strung across the pasture, so I hope they are safe. I never thought that the goats might deter the hawks as well. I hope that is true. Now if only the goats would deter coyotes...hmmm. Not much hope of that.
And some people may have no problems at all free ranging thier adult hens and bantams even with Red Tailed hawks using the cedars in thier yard as thier daytime lookouts. We have hawks and kestrals in our yard daily - most of the day, really. The only thing the hawks have gone after are baby chicks, but that problem was was easy to solve, no chicks allowed to free range. (That's a good policy anyway) Every day I let out my hens to free range under the watchful eye of the resident hawks. With no attacks in 5 years at this property. None at the previous one either, and we free ranged chickens and ducks there for over a decade. I'm just saying, just having hawks does not automatically gaurantee that you will have a problem with them eating your adult chickens.
We've had a few hawks visiting our property for the last week. It's stepping up our chicken tractor plans, but it was so nice free ranging while the hawks seemed to not notice us! We had a murder of crows roosting nearby all winter, but they seem to have moved on now that it is spring.
The hawks come in pairs, circle over where our chickens hang out and move on. I wish I were confident in knowing what exactly they're after. It seems that if they were serious, they'd have made a kill by now. We have chicks in a large pen, which is mostly where they circle, but they can't get in there, nor have they tried.
When the children see them, they run toward the hen house, cawing like crows. Apparently, the pullets pay attention to the sky, at least. Any time the hawks are around, the pullets aren't to be found. But I can't help but think the hawks have to know where they are. We have four hens, too, but they are warier all around, staying under cover most of the day. The pullets hang around the barns and hen house, but are much more willing to forage out in the open.
The only thing that has swooped down was a kestrel, but it was half the size of the chickens. It almost flew into me as I was coming around the corner of the barn, or I'd have never known it was there!
(And I think it is probably most likely that the kestrel was after the voles rather than the chickens, anyway. Maybe the red-taileds are as well, I don't know. We have a huge vole issue on that side of the property. The cat spends most of her time over there and drags me home presents constantly.)
Quote:I had guinnea keets last year, 6 weeks old and a hawk got 2 of them.
I swear by this but then it may be my big loud mouth and voice that can carry for 2 miles in Northern Maine...when ever I see a pesky bird of pray hovering be it over my little dogs or free ranging chickens I start cawing like a mad deranged crow and I mean screeching loud with flapping arms charging about to protect them. I have scared away quite a few hovering predatory birds and I cannot help but think that is what keeps these birds of pray at bay. I have heard pie pans, crow decoys, CD's strung about, frequently moved scarecrows and very loud noises can help thwart attacks but the best tried and true method is an enclosed day yard....a sad truth for most of us who like to free range our birds .
Let me just add to this that shooting or HARASSING a raptor is illegal... so your bottle rockets and fireworks are also illegal... In the US raptors are protected and that means also harassing them.
I understand that we don't want them eating our chickens. Shoot I am a falconer and I don't want them eating my chickens... and found this thread to try and figure out how to keep these guys from grabbing my chickens while we build the covered pen but even I don't want my chickens harmed... but I just wanted to add the bit about harassment....