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What to do about hawks?

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by Jungleexplorer, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I live out in the country and I want to start a dove and pigeon hutch. My dad lives in the city and has tons of collard doves and pigeons around. I bought a trap down at Gebo's and in a few days had over 30 collard doves and pigeons. I built a small hutch and enclosed cage to train them before releasing them. All went well until I released them. When I released them they just flew to the nearest tree and landed. A little while later they were back in their hutch. I was so happy. The next day I went down to check on them and I found a massacre. Piles of feather everywhere. Over half of them had been killed by owls and hawks. Within three days, not a single one remained. I caught five more and kept them penned, but the hawks kept attacking the cage until they would get them. Last night only two remained. I decided to let go so I opened the hutch last night. I went out at 7:00 am this morning and both had been killed by hawks. This is just crazy. I have hawks and owls coming out my ears here. They killed off all my doves and pigeons almost instantly. What can I do?
     
  2. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    First and foremost build yourself a predator proof loft or hutch. Next try and encourage crows around your property they will ward off hawks and owls. Good luck!
    Jungleexplorer.
     
  3. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 19, 2012
    Abilene, Texas
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  4. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    New Brunswick,Canada
  5. albert w

    albert w Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You definitely have to figure out how the hawks are getting in and fix it.
    This is a bad time of year to fly your pigeons. Hawks are migrating and wintering in the warmer states. Most everyone locks their pigeons in this time of year. I had to lock mine up in October and won't be flying them until March or April.
    Good luck!
     
  6. sport14692

    sport14692 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a ton of Hawks that fly around my place all year long !!
     
  7. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Abilene, Texas
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    Funny thing is, I almost never saw a hawk until I brought the pigeons. The hawks are getting them through the fence. They get them all excited and flying around and then nail them when they are close to the fence. I have seen up to three hawks working together.
     
  8. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    I had a hawk attack my matriarch of the flock two days ago. I had given her up for dead. Then a neighbour came to the door today and told me she had an injured dove at her house. I went up and sure enough it was her. Her mate was over joyed at her return. I never noticed any open wounds or broken bones. However she can not fly. I am hoping it is just exhaustion. I will check her over more closely in the morning. My homers can out fly an eagle or most hawks. She was pursued by a pigeon size falcon this time that really gave her a run for the money.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2012
  9. Faith SL

    Faith SL Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry to hear about your troubles with the birds of prey and loss of so many doves and pigeons.

    You might want to use smaller wire so the hawks cannot reach through to get to the pigeons! I use 1/2 " by 1" wire mesh for most of the birds and it has so far kept everything out besides bugs.

    Also, I would recommend checking for and plugging up/secure any holes or openings in your loft larger than a hole in chicken wire fencing if you know of any non-flying pigeon predators being in your area. The worst predator around here which murders pigeons in their lofts is the ringtail cat (miner's cat, similar to a weasel), and I found out the hard way that they can manage to squeeze through very small openings for their size. They are also very nasty and will go on a killing spree for seemingly no reason, actually using or taking only a fraction of what they kill.

    There are hawks here from late summer until mid spring, but they have never been brazen enough to try and attack pigeons in their lofts. A cooper did pin one of my Homing pigeons down on the ground right in front of the young bird loft a couple of weeks ago, though. [​IMG] For most areas, summer is the safer time of year to fly pigeons as the birds of prey are not migrating during that time.

    I hope you can find a good solution for housing if you decide to get other pigeons and/or doves.
     
  10. Jungleexplorer

    Jungleexplorer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is not my objective to have a penned up flock of doves and pigeons. These are wild birds I am capturin. My objective is to train them to live on my farm and my pen is just a temporary place to keep them so they can establish a habit of where to sleep and get food and water. It was actually quite easy to train them. What I did not realize is that their cooing would atract hawks like a screeming rabbit would attract a pack of starving coyotes. My problem is bigger then just doves though. I have worked for years trying to improve tje local habitate to increase the quail and rabbit population on my land with very little success. I now understand why. What I need is creative ways to keep the hawks at bay. Land predators are not a problem because I can simply trap them if they become a problem. Not so with hawks.

    My problem is not a hawk taking a dove now and then. My problem is that I could release a hundred birds and not a one of them would survive a week. There has to be a way to balance this out. I need to figure out what hawks are afraid of.
     

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