This afternoon my husband and I walked down to the coop to check on our new hens, and what appeared before our eyes??? I already gave it away…yes, a hawk…
You know…one of those nice Oklahoma hawks that makes “lazy circles in the sky”.
But nice, isn’t what they are to hens…
The above photo is from Oklahoma Birds and Butterflies, and they have more photos and a nice article about hawks if you would like to read more.
So, how then do you protect your chickens from these predators? Because hawks do kill chickens, and not just baby chicks.
1. Don’t shoot the hawk. It’s illegal to shoot a hawk. Hawks are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.
2. Vary your routine with your chickens, so the hawk doesn’t know when you will let them out.
3. Get a fake owl and put it on a fence post. You will have to move him around too, so the hawk doesn’t see him in the same place all the time.
4. Put some kind of netting over your chicken yard. One man suggested bird netting, the kind that gardeners use to protect their fruit from birds.
5. Hang bright metallic objects around like aluminum pie plates or CDs.
6. Make sure you have a rooster or two, and/or some guineas. They make such loud warning noises…
7. All of the above and anything else you can think of!!!
We sure have some work to do. I really want my hens to be free range. A portable totally enclosed chicken run is probably what I will have to make.
I got most of this information from this really good article on Protecting Your Poultry from Predators.