Contents: How To Keep Hawks Away From Chickens
What Will Keep Hawks Away From Chickens?
Of all the predators that will go after your free-ranging chickens, hawks are one of the most challenging to deal with. So, I put together my top tips for keeping your backyard chickens safe from hawks.
Fake owls, also called owl decoys (Amazon), are a common method used by farmers to stop hawks from attacking their chickens.
By placing a fake owl near the chicken coop or where the chicken free range, chicken keepers can deter hawks from attacking their chickens. Fake owls work by making the hawks believe that there is another predator in the area, which will make them less likely to attack the chickens.
There are a few things to keep in mind when using fake owls to deter hawks. First, make sure that the fake owl is large enough to scare off the hawks.
Second, make sure to move your fake owls around every couple of days. You don’t want the hawks to figure out your decoys aren’t real owls.
Shiny hanging objects can confuse hawks. People use things like scare tape (Amazon), pie tins, disco balls, strips of aluminum foil, and old CDs/DVDs as deterrents. Just hang these from things like tree branches and posts.
If you don’t want your yard to look too much like a junkyard while hanging these things, you might want to buy something that looks nice. Check out things like bird-repellent scare rods (Amazon) or these sound-emitting, reflective owls (Amazon).
Don’t use mirrors. They might catch something on fire!
Roosters can make great bodyguards. Some roosters may even attack and fight off hawks!
If a rooster sees a predator, he’ll usually crow and steer the hens in a safer place. Then, he’ll typically pace in front of them, keeping them together until the hawk is gone.
But before you get a rooster, make sure you’re not breaking any local bylaws and ordinances. Roosters can be rather noisy and annoying to neighbors.
Well-trained dogs can be great at guarding chickens against hawks. Just make sure that your dog is gentle with your chickens before you leave them alone!
If a hawk is near and the chickens are far away from their coop, it’s important that they can run into a shelter and hide.
You can make shelters with almost anything. Be creative!
I use little, colorful dog houses. But you can also use things like lawn chairs, wooden boxes, ladders, and barrels.
Cover Their Run
If you have a run or some kind of enclosure for your chickens, make sure it’s covered. Hardware cloth (Amazon) or chicken wire works great for this because it’ll protect your chickens from hawks and other flying predators, but they’ll still be able to see through it and enjoy their surroundings.
You can also use tarps if you want to give your chickens some shade.
Another great idea is to get a pen for your chickens (Amazon), just so they can be outside their run for an adventure while keeping them safe from hawks.
Cover Feeding & Watering Stations
There’s nothing easier for hawks than to go hunting for chickens when they’re all gathered together to eat their feed or treats. So, it’s a good idea to make a covered feeders and waterers to protect your chickens when they’re trying to eat.
You can run a fishing line (Amazon) from tree to tree (at about 7 feet high) where the chickens free-range. Run the fishing line in a diamond pattern, forming a web, with the spaces between the lines at about four feet or so. It won’t work 100% of the time, but it helps to reduce hawk attacks.
You can also use netting (Amazon).
Fishing line deteriorates. So, make sure you keep an eye out for broken lines.
If hawks are often spotted and a real threat to your chickens, I also recommend to only free-range your chickens when you can be there to supervise them. You’re the best scarecrow!
I often supervise my hens much more when I see hawks in the spring. For some reason, they’re a real problem for me and my chickens each morning, in spring.
Will a Black Chicken Keep Hawks Away?
In some cases, hawks avoid attacking black chickens, as they believe these chickens are crows. However, this avoidance behavior may not be enough to protect chickens from hawks in all situations.
In some cases, hawks may attack and kill poultry regardless of their color. It seems that you need to be living in an area where there are a lot of crows living in your area, naturally, in order for this to work.
Chicken keepers who are concerned about hawks preying on their chickens should take extra steps to protect their flocks, such as keeping them in a secure coop or pen.
Do Hawks Eat Full-Grown Chickens?
Hawks are known to eat small prey, such as rodents and birds. But do these predators also go after full-grown chickens?
The answer is yes – and they can do so quite easily.
Hawks typically attack by swooping down on their target from above. This gives them a clear advantage, as the chicken has no time to react or escape. Once the hawk has its talons around the chicken, it will quickly kill it and carry it off to eat.
So if you have chickens, it’s important to be aware of these predators and take steps to protect your flock.
Conclusion: How To Deter Hawks From Chickens
Having only one method of keeping predatory birds away from your chicken coop is not ideal. Hawks are constantly finding new ways to get to their prey, so it is important to have multiple layers of protection.
- One layer of protection could be placing owl decoys or installing shiny objects around the chicken coop or wherever your chickens free-range.
- Another layer of protection could be to get a rooster or dog to protect your hens.
- Also make sure that your chickens always have a way to protect themselves from hawks by hiding under some kind of shelter.
- Finally, add fishing line or some kind of netting to protect your chickens from hawks.
Without a doubt, having multiple layers of protection is the most effective way to keep your chickens safe from hawks.