Will dogs keep hawks away?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by senrabruk, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. senrabruk

    senrabruk In the Brooder

    Sep 2, 2010
    I have 12 bantams that I would like to let free range but we have hawks.
    I have two aussies that are ASOME with my birds I have two duck that they are out with all day and the ducks are in charge! [​IMG]
    do you think that having them out there will keep the hawks away?

  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Get a rocket backpack for the dog, and sure, they'll be able to chase away the hawks. But until they can fly ...
  3. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    My dogs keep pretty much everything away. Hawks, squirrels, owls, neighbor dogs, cats, even other birds. We have all those preds, but I have never seen one come into my yard, just have seen a few casing the place, and never see them again when I let the dogs out. Maybe my "luck" will run out.... but no issues here and I attribute it to the dogs.
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    The dog will help, but get a goose or a peacock, or a couple of guineas, or a rooster or two to help
    warn the little ones. If you can, hang CD's around; hawks dislike the flashing reflected light. CD's need to be able to spin. And remember, you might lose some anyhow. Hawks regard the chooks as food, which, technically, they are.
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    I have had literally dozens and dozens of hawk incursions into my yard (landing on the ground or swooping to grab something on the ground), while I'm standing there. However, it has never happened while my dog was also in the yard. They sit on the utility poles or lines and the trees and wait. The closest confrontation I witnessed was a Cooper's on the 6' wall around my property, hiding behind a large cactus so my dog couldn't get at it. I would note that my dog spends most of her outside time looking for what we call, "bad birds." I wouldn't say it's a completely dependable deterrent, but I'm sure it helps. The effectiveness would also depend on the vigilance of the dog.

  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Hawks in my experience do not frequently target chickens in close proximity to dogs. Dogs, as far as hawks are concerned, are a potential threat you do not want to ignore. They look like foxes, coyotes and wolves that will break your back to consume you and the prey item you might have just caught. The relative size of hawk and chicken may also be a factor. My brother has black and tan coon hounds chained amongst his chicken pens. Only Coopers hawks take chickens and they are always young. Hens that wean chicks early to re-nest most likely to loose previous brood. The hawks would only take chicks when they wander well away from dogs. Interesting situation as dogs, if they got loose would make short work of chickens they can catch. Despite this, the young birds spend so much time around dogs that plants and insects are grazed to almost nothing.

    Some parties have reported that hawks will sit on and consume a chicken too large to fly away with. That system will not work if a dog can lumber over. Hawks are pretty good at assessing weather a site is suitable for hunting. Potential threats need not even be of a lethal sort. Threats that damage your feathers or result in high risk of loosing your catch may also be consideration.
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    My older dog would actually jump up into the air at any low flying large bird, be it crow, buzzard or hawk. I knew just how effective all that was when she started to suffer from arthritis and could not do her job as well anymore....I lost two hens to hawk predation.

    I free range at all times and I have dogs in the yard. I also have two mated pairs of red tailed hawks on the mountains on either side of my property. I'm the only person with chickens for miles and miles. Two hens lost in the past four years is not bad odds when you do the math.

    My conclusion? YES, dogs do help keep hawks away if they are a constant presence in your yard/pasture. If they are only out to do their business and live indoors most of the time, I would say that this is considerably lessened.
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    My first hawk loss occurred when my 2 dogs, myself and my daughter were hanging out less then 50 feet away from my hens. We never saw anything. We never heard anything. My hen was shredded.

    Unless your dog is specifically trained to deal with aerial predators then I wouldn't put too much faith in its ability to deal with them or deter them.
  9. senrabruk

    senrabruk In the Brooder

    Sep 2, 2010
    Thanks everyone for the great insite!!!
    soo roos will help to great!
    I have three.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010

  10. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I would think it would help, although there's certainly no guarantee. My dogs will bark and growl at any large birds that get near our yard, and I've watch my golden chase (along the fence) hawks in our back field. It makes me feel better/safer.

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