what chicken breed for hawk infested area

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by molliescollies, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. molliescollies

    molliescollies Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi all. I hope I have posted this in the proper place. I am interested in knowing what type of egg-laying chicken breeds do people have if they have free-range chickens where there are large (golden eagle and large red-tailed hawk) raptors? We have lost two chickens [​IMG] in the last week. We have now put all the girls in the coop 24-7. One of the hens taken was our very large light Brahma. I was considering replacing our "lost" chickens with the more agile leghorns. Any ideas?? Thanks for all your input!
     
  2. Bantimna

    Bantimna Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2009
    South Africa
    BR? Barred Rocks, Dominique?
     
  3. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

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    The only chickens to have in an area with a high raptor population is the kind with a roof or net over them.
     
  4. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately, no chicken is safe if there are hawks in the area. They must be covered to be 100% safe from hawks.
     
  5. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hey, Molliescollies, you've come to the right place.

    And I agree with everyone else. netting over the birds, or escort your girls out to their free range, and then be ready to defend them because the hawks just might ignore your presence when they're hunting.

    On the other hand, I've heard that the hamburgs are pretty good at eluding predators. I had one once, and it could fly like a kite. Of course, you have to understand that the hamburgs are nervy birds and not very friendly. it's the very thing that makes them good at eluding predators, but not the most fun thing to have if you want your birds to be at least approachable.

    Have you thought about a chicken tractor? It's a moveable pen, and you can move them around from day to day so they have fresh ground to scratch, but they're still protected.

    maggie
     
  6. smarsh2

    smarsh2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the more alert/flighty breeds; games, leghorns, hamburgs are more likely to notice and elude a hawk. Of course most people go for the more docile bird for their backyard flock, for the friendliness. On the other hand, the larger breeds may be less likely to be preyed on. All animals of prey size up their quarry. At least the smaller hawks are not as likely to prey on a chicken that out weighs them significantly. Hunger versus chances of getting hurt are always in play. A Red-tailed Hawk weighs about 3lb and a Cooper's only 1lb. I would think taking down a large black Jersey would be a rather daunting task. Has anyone ever had a goose or turkey killed by a hawk?
     
  7. davidb

    davidb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The best type for free ranging to avoid predators is a game breed, There seasonal layers and you will still lose some but not as many as the other types
     
  8. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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  9. Wanda

    Wanda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree that they are never going to be safe free-ranging and you need to have them protected with netting or something stronger.

    Also, a white chicken, like a leghorn, is going to be more noticable then a darker one, therefore a bigger target.

    As far as size goes, I have read postings where the hawks will still kill the large chickens, even if they can't pick them up, they will dive bomb
    them and break their necks then eat them on the spot.
     
  10. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    If you have golden eagles, you might consider ostrich or emu. [​IMG]
     

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