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#88225 - 02/14/10 08:14 PM Re: Hawk proof Poultry? [Re: D. Pollock]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Well, just face it--there are no hawk-proof chickens, waterfowl or other winged creatures. If we own them, it is up to US to keep them safe from all kinds of predators--or consider that they are simply "sacrificial birds. Eventually, that devoted mother-hen will lose her life for her chicks, that guard rooster will make a wrong move and lose his life, the guard-dog will be on the other side of the coop and miss the varmint that has taken aim on the birds. Eventually, all the best preventatives will fail and our favorite bird will likely be the one that we lose. It will happen. It is part of the poultry experience. GOOD LUCK, CJR

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#88226 - 02/14/10 08:47 PM Re: Hawk proof Poultry? [Re: CJR]
D. Pollock Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 11/16/08
Posts: 400
Loc: USA
Oh, so true... Oh, so painfully True! But indeed, 'Tis The Way Of Life'.

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#88327 - 02/24/10 01:32 AM Re: Hawk proof Poultry? [Re: Chip]
Rogo Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 469
Loc: Arizona
My poultry have always roamed free on my acreage within the perimeter fence. In all these years I've only lost one bird to a hawk. That was many years ago. Since that time, my dogs have protected all my stock, not just the poultry. No pens/corrals here--all roam free.

A rooster is no protection for all the predators here. Folks have told me their roosters have been taken.


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#88328 - 02/24/10 06:04 AM Re: Hawk proof Poultry? [Re: C. G. McCary]
Mike Livingston Offline
New Egg

Registered: 02/08/10
Posts: 3
Loc: Southwest Michigan
I put up an imitation owl over the chicken yard where the light Brahmas forage and haven't lost any more of them. I've lost about 10 bantams. The predator attacks during the late morning on sunny days. It kills the chicken and eats all the flesh off the neck and head. On a small bird it takes part of the breast.

Do owls hunt in the day time? I thought they were more of an early evening and very early morning hunter. Generally, the dead chickens are up against the front of the garage or by the foundation of the house. The attacks come about once a week.

I try to go out and move around the place in the morning, and I think it helps. But one time I was feeding some scratch feed to the Brahmas and a small hawk killed a bantam on the other side of the barn and flew off before I could run around the barn. I saw it flying away. It had about a 3-foot wing span. I know because the uprights on the side of the barn are on 4-foot centers, and the bird soared between them with a few inches clearance on each wing. I closed in the barn for the winter and will open it up for air flow in the summer.

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#88329 - 02/24/10 07:59 AM Re: Hawk proof Poultry? [Re: Mike Livingston]
Bushman Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 1047
Loc: Wisconsin
Owls are nocturnal. Sounds like you have a hawk problem. A good dog to guard the birds would be one possible solution.
_________________________
Pilgrim in a foreign land and true believer.
1st John 5:11-12

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#88336 - 02/24/10 07:10 PM Re: Hawk proof Poultry? [Re: Mike Livingston]
Rogo Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 12/05/03
Posts: 469
Loc: Arizona

Not all species of owls are night hunters; some are out in the daytime. I've had them swoop down out of trees and dang near knock me out of the saddle while out riding my mount.

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#88464 - 03/04/10 05:58 PM Re: Hawk proof Poultry? [Re: Chip]
Wieslaw Online   content
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3769
Loc: Denmark
I can't discuss red-tailed hawks as we don't have them in Europe. The only bird of prey that would attack and succeed in killing an adult hen here is the goshawk, but I think the methods of attacking their prey is very similar. While 'there is no hawk-proof poultry' is still valid, there are things that make a difference in my expierence. The choice of the breeds for free ranging is actually quite important. It's not the size and colour that is decisive. It's the alertness, speed and agility that are helpful. Orpington and cochin are not the best choice, they will be the first to go. You should rather forget everything slow, with a big crest, feathers on the feet and so on. The method of attacking described by Uno is mainly typical for peregrine falcons hunting in the air. The speed of the hawk hunting on the ground is not high enough(the bird would risk loosing its own life too.) What happens here is that the prey must be literally caught and the talons must be pierced into a vital organ to kill the prey. The first attack is often not succesful, a hawk can sometimes only catch a bunch of feathers, so it's important to have something where the hens can hide under and be safe. Last place where I lived I had a shed in my orchard.The shed was standing on stones, and under the shed there was a perfect place to hide for the hens. A big dog house can do the trick too, as can some groups of very, very dense bushes. When I was at school I had 12 brown and silver leghorns, which survived totally unsupervised on free range for more than a year(my parents were only feeding and watering them) Many birds of prey have a habit of patrolling their districts on regular basis the same route , so if you experienced an attack at noon, the next one will probably happen at the same time.
Interesting video of an unsuccesful hawk attack can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KE_4QpSC1hY&NR=1 ,but with a crow (not for the timid ones)

wieslaw

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#88471 - 03/05/10 09:10 AM Re: Hawk proof Poultry? [Re: Wieslaw]
IPF Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 04/08/08
Posts: 466
Loc: Canada
I still believe good, big roosters are your best defense. Birds of prey are very wary of being damaged and will avoid confontation with an aggresive rooster. To guard our 55 hens we have five flock roosters, several quite large and all protective. We let our entire flock out to roam our four acres after noon each day when most of the laying (of eggs at least) has been done. There are bald eagles that watch from trees overhanging the property boundary, and cooper's hawks (and other smaller hawks) that make regular passes to check things out. Only times I've lost birds were when bantams jumped the fence in the morning with no male to escort them; I've lost three that way.

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#88569 - 03/12/10 02:02 PM Re: Hawk proof Poultry? [Re: IPF]
Oakie Man Offline
New Egg

Registered: 02/06/10
Posts: 4
Loc: Oklahoma
I had a Red Tail hawk swoop down and break the back of my 5-month-old male Muscovy. I had to go ahead and butcher him because he was in so much pain.

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#94253 - 02/01/11 09:38 AM Re: Hawk proof Poultry? [Re: Wieslaw]
Wieslaw Online   content
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3769
Loc: Denmark
Originally Posted By: Wieslaw
I can't discuss red-tailed hawks as we don't have them in Europe. The only bird of prey that would attack and succeed in killing an adult hen here is the goshawk, but I think the methods of attacking their prey is very similar. While 'there is no hawk-proof poultry' is still valid, there are things that make a difference in my expierence. The choice of the breeds for free ranging is actually quite important. It's not the size and colour that is decisive. It's the alertness, speed and agility that are helpful. Orpington and cochin are not the best choice, they will be the first to go. You should rather forget everything slow, with a big crest, feathers on the feet and so on.


It is from my posting in March last year. To show you what I meant by speed and bushes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQdOIDKTRng

I don't think a Cochin or Brahma would make it.....

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