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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm loosing birds to hawks, is there anything I can do? I'm am only there on weekends. 3 roosters and down to like 30sih hens. Its hard for me to count. I'm hoping that the birds that live will learn to not be hawk food.

The coop is secured. Auto door that opens every morning and closes every night. Right now, my plan is keep my incubator full. I'm hoping with your wisdom I can up date that plan.
 

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I'm loosing birds to hawks, is there anything I can do? I'm am only there on weekends. 3 roosters and down to like 30sih hens. Its hard for me to count. I'm hoping that the birds that live will learn to not be hawk food.

The coop is secured. Auto door that opens every morning and closes every night. Right now, my plan is keep my incubator full. I'm hoping with your wisdom I can up date that plan.
Gosh that stinks! Do you have some structures for the birds to hide under in case they are foraging any distance from the coup? Can they get under the coup? Maybe a couple of wooden tables or something. Just an idea.

We occasionally have trouble with hawks too, but our rooster has become really great about allerting the girls that there is trouble. They all make a run for the chicken tractor and hide underneath.

Hope this helps.
 

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Close the top of the run, random wires strung across the open area then hang tin foil so it blows in the breeze and flashes.
Our bantam rooster acts as an alarm when he sounds off all the hens head for cover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I saw the the hawk swoop down at them this weekend. There coop is 600 squ ft with a metal roof. There is NO RUN, they free range over part of the property, but they stay within a quarter mile of the coop. I have not lost any roosters or the 4 old birds.
 

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Some years ago they you could call the Game Warden and he would tell you to kill it . Now they have permits for this and in most States the State or Feds can issue permits . But probably hard to get now it used to be easy with a photo of a dead chicken . Call the Game Warden and ask. .....They also have live trapping permits for trapping and releasing somewhere else.
I have done all of the above and the easiest was the jump trap on top a tall pole .
 

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I'm loosing birds to hawks, is there anything I can do? I'm am only there on weekends. 3 roosters and down to like 30sih hens. Its hard for me to count. I'm hoping that the birds that live will learn to not be hawk food.
Do you live along one of the migration routes?

http://www.wbu.com/chipperwoods/photos/hawkmig.htm

Hawks are migrating this time of year. Chances are the raptor was passing through.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm right in the middle of that. :thumb:

I'll see what the game warden says, but the chickens and ducks are disappearing completely. I've yet to find a duck or chicken. It seems to be mostly younger birds, but also a full grown big Peking duck.

I was standing next to the window looking out at the birds and then the big dark bird blurs by. They instantly take cover in a big fig tree. Then work there way back to the coop. You could look at them and tell they were shook up.
 

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We have a couple hundred chickens, so I'm more tolerant of hawks than I used to be. I allow them to snatch a few before I determine whether or not this is a random bird just migrating through or it's one who thinks he (or she) has found his "happy hunting ground."

If it's the latter, I grab my 12-gauge Saiga loaded with some magnum turkey shot and start stalking. The birds are pretty good at letting me know when something is up and it's always after a gorgeous hawk is standing atop his fresh kill -- one of my hens. I absolutely **hate** killing one of these beautiful, majestic creatures, and I know he's just doing his what he was designed to do, but after a handful of daily kills I just can't allow him to continue his murderous ways, so I do what I must...

...sadly and with great reluctance and reservation.

Chickens are cheap and easily replaced. Beautiful, mature raptors are not. Tolerate some loss, but if it's consistent and continues unabated you have two choices -- lose all of your livestock (a legitimate option, IMHO) or terminate the predator.
 

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Are hawks federally protected? I thought we couldn't kill them. Most of my bird friends figure hawks and eagles are very, very off limits. Hate to see the IRS or the EPA SWAT teams on your property.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm not interested in building a run. If I get down under 20 chickens, I will simply unplug the door and leave them in there 600 squ ft coop. (20ft x 30ft) My incubator will build the numbers back up (over 40). Then back out they go.

I will ask the game warden about the process of obtaining a permit, and if possible, I may go that route. I'd really rather not and most certainly will not break the law.

I'm thinking that natural selection will improve the flocks ability not to be hawk food. I've seen there behavior change. They run at full speed through open areas and seem to be more aware of there surroundings.

I'm thinking about a scare crow.
 

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Are hawks federally protected? I thought we couldn't kill them. Most of my bird friends figure hawks and eagles are very, very off limits. Hate to see the IRS or the EPA SWAT teams on your property.
IRS and EPA are not normally the ones that enforce the laws applying to federally protected wildlife. A friend once had a truck that was similar to one used by a couple yahoos that stopped on the shoulder of an I-10 interchange (connected to I-110 Pensacola) to open fire on migrating geese on a stormwater pond. Friend had just come off that same intersection to use a bank at the exit and locals recorded his plate number because he had also stopped to view the geese. Wildlife officers did come to his home and found some duck feathers and blood in his pickup truck. They took the feathers for testing by the Smithsonian and his shotgun finding that his shotgun did not match the shells at the scene and that the feathers were those of geese.
If you shoot the hawks, best to not be observed doing it.
 

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Build small wood structures for them to get under. It doesn't have to be fancy, just a piece of wood with 4 legs. That way, once the alarm is sounded by the lookouts, the flock can get under something.

Other than the things always suggested like covering your run, etc.... the only other thing I can suggest is to try to attract a raven flock to your area. I see ravens in my area a few times a month sitting and mingled in with my flock. They are majestic and beautiful creatures...and they also seem to keep the hawks away.

edit: On the raven thought... they aren't predatory to my chickens. They will eat their food and I have seen the littler ones playing with the poults. I think they have been a regular visitor to my area so often now that my birds aren't afraid of them. They are so majestic though. They are bigger than some of my silkies.
 

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Barnetmill,

I was kidding about the IRS and EPA. I do hear they've been buying quite a lot of ammo. That might just be internet rumor.
"If you shoot the hawks, best to not be observed doing it." Good advice.
 
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