Would a dog deter hawks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Zahboo, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    I want to have my chickens roam my 40x30 pen, and am thinking of begging mom for a puppy for Christmas to raise around the chickens. Do dogs deter hawks? I was just wondering if a dog would help with the main predator here.

  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Puppy? Are you willing to spend many hours a day to train a pup to hunt hawks and not chickens? For about 2 years or more?

    It would be cheaper and far easier to cover the run with wire or fabric, not to mention the not having to housebreak a puppy! [​IMG]

    For a 40 x 30 pen, ask for several rolls of chicken wire to keep the chickens in and the hawks out. And as Grandmother Lucy would say, don't beg, it's unbecoming! [​IMG]
  3. Hens4Fun

    Hens4Fun Songster

    Nov 18, 2009
    Sacramento, California
    That's a good question, and I hope someone has a definitive answer. My experience with hawks though, was that they sat in our trees until the time was right and dived bombed the chickens .... even with my 6'3" husband standing right there!! And the time they did get one of the chickens the hawk swooped down and broke it's neck in a matter of seconds. I was out there fast enough that it didn't reap the rewards of it's attack, but my chicken was still dead [​IMG] We also at time have 20 crows chasing the hawk(s) away ... but when the crows are not around .... by golly there are the hawks! My feeling is that I can only protect my chickens from the hawks by have them enclosed with a netting on top.
    [​IMG] Those hawks are insidious and smart!
  4. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Unless your dog lived in the chicken pen, I don't think he would help much. My birds free range and have plenty of duck and cover places, and for many years I didn't loose any to hawks~and I'm right in the middle of hawk central. Then I killed my old roo and kept my younger, more timid and less experienced roo. I noticed he didn't sound the "hawk alarm" much and wasn't a real good flock master.

    I have seen my dogs actually leap into the air at low flying buzzards and hawks, but they aren't always scanning the sky.

    As a result of my young roo and inattentive dogs, I've lost two hens this year to hawks. But then, this is not a bad record for the many years I've kept free ranged chickens.

    I think a combination of things helps deter hawks but the netting may be the only thing that actually prevents attacks from the air altogether.

    For me it is cover, roo, dogs and this has worked pretty well, considering how many hawks we have around here.
  5. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Depends on the dog. Really, any can be trained for it but they would have to be trained for sure. The rarity is the "comes by it naturally"...it happen.
  6. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Quote:I do not know that it would deter a hawk unless the run/yard small. One thing is sure tho, the dog would have lots of trail treats (poop) to nibble on all day! [​IMG] On a more serious note tho, the bird netting at Home Depot is inexpensive and comes in 14 x 45 rolls. Two of those would do a good job of covering the run.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2009
  7. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    A dog isn't a deterant for a hawk. They'll swoop right down when a human is standing there (happened to me too! I was like 6 feet away!) so a dog sleeping in the run not paying attention won't do much.

    There's also the risk of the dog going after the chickens, and realistically it will do more harm than good. Better to protect the chickens totally from airborne attacks and not rely on a puppy/dog to *maybe* deter them.

    I just have this image in my head of the dog sleeping until the hawk comes in, scattering and panicing the chickens, the dog waking up, and going after chickens in the chaos, totally ignoring the hawk because of the excitement level.

  8. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    I didn't know if the fact a larger animal was in the pen would help, but if they attack with humans right there, I'm guessing it won't help!
  9. LizFM

    LizFM Songster

    Dec 15, 2009
    I bet way more chickens get killed by family dogs every year than by hawks.
  10. kota1369

    kota1369 Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    I have two dogs that I let out with the chickens when they are free ranging. One of them will normally stay within about 4 feet of them. I have had a hawk fly over and I jumped up and sent both of those dogs out into the yard and then I had to go find my hiding chickens and put them up in the coop. I think my dogs out in the yard guarding the chickens is more affective for cats and stray dogs. If a hawk is brazen enough to grab one with a human right there it will most likely do it with a dog right there. The dog however has a better chance of jumping in the air after it.
    I have 4 dogs by choice. Not to protect my chickens. Two of them are totally safe with them. One of them is very high energy rottie with obsessive issues. She is allowed outside with them on a leash only! She has been taught not to look at them and does not mess with them when in their coop. She used to go after them in the coop and it took about 3 months of constant work with her around the coop. I have also let her outside when I did not know the chickens were loose, and fortunately her recall is great. She does not get the luxury of hanging out with chickens like my boys. Then I have a greman shepherd puppy who is 5 months old who has been around the chickens sinse she was 4 weeks old. ( I fostered Mom who had 10 puppies) She is being taught to ignore the chickens and not look at them also. She helps me herd chickens when they are tough to get in. All on leash. I have a lot of experiance training dogs so I know what I am doing. Raising a puppy is a full time job and lots of work. I do not recommend getting one to protect your chickens from hawks.
    I would be shocked if one of my boys went after a hawk as they know not to mess with birds.

    The lady with the 4 dogs and 4 city chickens

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