Hawks are the common predators that hunt down most chicken during the day. Therefore, you need to provide maximum safety to your chickens to ensure that they live without fear of any danger. Hawks hunt the chickens as they are scratching and running around the yard looking for food. They have sharp eyesight that enables them to spot the chicken at a distance. The sharp nails allow them to strike at your chicken in less time. Their adaptation should not give you stress as one must learn how to live with this predator. The guide below will help you in rearing your chicken successfully without having to worry about hawks.
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- 1 Methods of protecting chicken from hawks
Methods of protecting chicken from hawks
You don’t have to kill the hawk; the best safety measure is to keep your chickens secure. However, you need not worry about the hawks anymore, as there are ways you can keep your chicken safe. These methods are many, and you only have to choose one that meets your demands. All measures are affordable and readily available. The following are methods that you can use to protect your chicken from the hawks.
Coop your chicken
Free-ranging chicken is a common practice for most people. However, this practice poses risks to your chicken since you never know when the hawk is watching and waiting for the right moment to strike. This practice is not bad as well, but you should consider connecting a run to a coop to keep your chicken safe.
These runs provide a large room for your chicken to roam about without having any worries. However, you can also use a movable chicken tractor since it allows the chicken to enjoy staying in your yard while protecting them from the flying predator.
Add a roaster to the chickens
Although this is a traditional practice, it works effectively. Roosters in the flock protect any predator. This natural way safeguards your chicken all through. Because of their aggressiveness, they ensure that the hens safe.
Whenever a rooster senses danger, it makes a high-pitched sound to the flock members and alerts them to take cover. The rooster continues making its chucks scare away the hawk; hence the chicken remains safe. It’s advisable to introduce a rooster to provide safety to your flock.
Cover the feeders
Some hawk species target the feeders since it’s obvious that the chicken will come to feed on there. When the chickens are feeding, they lower their heads down; thus, they won’t get to see the hawk approaching. In this case, the hawks get to identify the prey since they are feeding together. Therefore, it’s necessary to cover the feeders to keep your chicken safe.
With a secure cover of your feeder, you don’t have to worry more. However, you can also build your feeder in an enclosed area inside your run such that it will not be visible from outside. By doing so, the hawks won’t be able to locate the feeders for them to strike.
Protect the chicken run using wires
It’s essential to use a wire mesh or clothes as a barrier to the run since it works effectively. The hawk will, therefore, not get a chance to penetrate the chicken run. It becomes entangled whenever it tries to grasp; hence, the chicken will have enough time to run for their safety.
One can also use brightly colored netting or mesh to cover the chicken run. The hawk can identify the bright color at a distance, thus gets discouraged from striking the chicken. Ensure that you use a protective barrier that has no gaps to prevent the entry of the hawks.
Hang flashy tapes around your chicken coop
The flashy tapes act as an effective deterrent to hawks. When blown by the wind, the flashy tapes make noise, thus scares away the hawks. The combination of the unexpected sound and bright flashes acts effectively as the hawks see them as a trap.
This method provides maximum safety of your chicken since no hawk will come around when lights are flashing around. With this, you are sure that the chicken will live peacefully in their coops. However, you can also hang old CDs in tree posts around the coop. The sun will reflect the CDs hence distracting the hawks.
Secure the run with a guard dog
Look for a well-trained dog to watch for your coop, and your chicken will forever remain secure. The guard dog performs the same role as a rooster only that it does scare the hawks. It’s sturdy and large thus, and it will threaten the hawk away. The dog acts as a guardian to the chicken.
The guard dogs are excellent deterrents since they become hostile when they sense danger. Therefore, your chickens are kept secure by the presence of a dog. No hawk will try the wrath of a dog by striking at your chicken. With a guard dog, you need not worry about the chicken’s safety as they are secure all the time.
Make safety shelters for the chicken.
Sometimes, the hawks get desperate; any can strike anywhere. Therefore, it’s essential to make safety shelters around the run for your chicken to run for cover. You can install these shelters using a plastic drum, and in times of danger, the chicken will have a place to hide.
While in the safety shelters, the hawks will have nowhere to penetrate to strike at the chicken. This method is most useful for people with ample space for the chicken runs. However, those with limited space, ensure installing a safety shelter inside the coop where the chicken can hide for the hawks.
Erect standard decoys in your chicken run
Decoys are known to make significant deterrents if used appropriately. You need to create unfamiliar shapes to frighten away the hawks. Some lures include the scarecrow. However, one must ensure the scarecrow swings frequently.
Take note that hawks can get used to unmoving objects. They no longer feel threatened when the scarecrow remains stationary for an extended period. It’s, therefore, essential to ensure you change them often to make them useful.