What's the best defense against hawks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by aceriderbetty, Apr 19, 2009.

  1. aceriderbetty

    aceriderbetty Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2009
    I have just finished building a 40 x 60 foot run this weekend and I would like to know the best way to protect against hawks for a run this size. I never noticed hawks before I became interested in chickens.
  2. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    I've heard that those fake owls with the moving heads and scarecrows work well, but you have to move them around the yard to make them look real.
  3. emilyweck

    emilyweck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2009
    Eugene, Oregon
    Wow, that is one big run! Great job. However, I wouldn't even know where to start with covering that huge area.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    In my opinion, nothing works 100% against hawks in a run that size. You can do a few things that will improve your odds, however.

    Give your chickens something to hide under. Bushes and low-limbed trees help. Some people put things in the run the chickens can get under if they see a hawk. One person used a satellite dish. You can put something, wood,metal, up on cinder blocks.

    Some people recommend hanging CD's, aluminum plates, something shiny over or around their run. The something shiny reflects sunlight which supposedly keeps hawks away.

    Some people try criss-crossing string over their run.

    One guy on here said he never had hawk problems after he put a full-grown tom turkey in with his chickens.

    I've seen a recommendation that you install purple martin gourds for a hawk deterrent. Supposedly the purple martins will run off any hawk that approaches.

    As I said, I don't think anything is guaranteed to work but maybe some of this will help.

    Good luck.
  5. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    I have a tom turkey that does the job for me but also I placed an 8 ft. windmill in the area too. Supposedly hawks don't like movement. I also read they dont like reflecting things. Perhaps one of those garden reflecting balls would help. Keep it high enough so the chickens won't peck it and break it tho'. Areas for them to run under helps too. I have the coop, trees, large shrubs and a 4x4 platform for them to run under.
    good luck
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  6. skywatcher

    skywatcher Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2009
    My chicken yard is fenced and covered with netting
    however its only 24 ft.x24ft. I stay outdoors or listen closely when i turn chickens out to free range have my hawks in this area. My shotgun scares them off but only for moment wish i was a better shot. Anyway i was wondering if a goose might protect a flock of chickens from the hawk? I notice the sparrows blackbirds doves and song birds dissappear when mr hawk arrives . Luckly I have lots of norway spruce trees to shelter the small flying birds.
    I don't have time for a dog so that option is out maybe someone will tell us their best hawk remedy.
  7. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    It's a huge run but to protect against hawks you need to cover it.
  8. jrleader99

    jrleader99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    The best protection that I have come up with was either deer netting or bird netting used to cover garden plants. I just covered my chicken run (about 10 x 50 ft and wraps around the coop) and my duck run (20 x 30 ft). The chicken run was easier to cover since it was more narrow. The duck run is more of less a rectangle. I used 1/2 PVC piping and made a greenhouse type structure to hold the netting up. The maximum height is about 8-9 ft in the center but comes down on the edge to around 4 ft. It is raining, yet again, here in NJ so I will have to get pictures and post them up here.

    Oh yeah the bird and deer netting will also trap other birds inside too. I had a bluebird trapped in the duck run yesterday [​IMG] so I had to get him out and that is always fun especially with the height of the top.[​IMG]
  9. CrazyBirdLady

    CrazyBirdLady Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 20, 2009
    Salem / Redgranite
    Lots of good options available in the posts below. I'd like to add that pigeons, if your area will sustain them, are great for hawks. Hawks like to catch their prey in flight so if you can start a family of wild pigeons (they breed like rats and rabbits, I hear) the hawks will be more interested in preying on the pigeons and should leave the chickens alone. Good luck!

    <edit> I should also add that I've read about people putting a bigger animal in or around their coops to deter predators. Some people mentioned turkeys, or even a goose (Chinese geese are good "watch birds"), but I had read about a goat or a sheep, or perhaps even a donkey or a horse. I don't know if it would do anything for hawks though.

    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  10. aceriderbetty

    aceriderbetty Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2009
    Thanks so much for the suggestions.

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