Hawks and Chickens

We have been raising chickens for quite a few years now with no problems. Recently we have lost two chickens in a two week span.

there are several predators that love chicken as much as Colonel Sanders. They can be broken down into land based and airborne predators. Owls hunt by night. We were mainly concerned about these because of their prevalence in our area. They seem to like the tall pine trees we have for a place to roost. I first got introduced to them when I was building my cabin. I was staying in a small tent under these same trees one night after about 18 hours hammering nails. I woke up in the middle of the night to the most horrible screeching that I had ever heard. I have not been fond of owls since.

We thought we were safe because we always lock the chickens in the coop before dusk. Most of their predators hunt at night. The coop is sitting in a grove of very large trees with large tree limbs covering the enclosure. This keeps them safe from eagles but not hawks. Hawks do not attack from high above like eagles. They fly to a perch in a tree, on a roof or anyplace that gives them a good vantage point. Unfortunately a good vantage point is in one of the trees that I thought would hide the chickens from these predators.

We did find an inexpensive solution to this problem. Anti-bird netting is a extremely light netting that is hung over the chicken run. We got the first piece put up yesterday and will finish the job when the rest of the netting arrives today. I’ll post some pictures when it is done.

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