We've been noticing that our flock is getting smaller. The chickens were making quite a chatter outside so I went out to investigate and saw a huge hawk sitting on my bird feeder. I've got a feeling that hawk has been coming here for breakfast. Grrrr! Is it legal to kill a hawk? I've called the DNR and left a message but no response yet. :(
I used mylar baloons and mylar ribbon. I tied the ribbon to the top of the fence and trees and put a couple of the baloons in their pasture. They lasted a long time and seemed to work on the eagle too.
The DNR finally called back and It IS illegal to kill a hawk. My son suggested catching it in a trap and clipping his wings...that way the coyote killed it not us.; :( Well, I don't want to do that but I'll be standing by with my shoes to throw, mylar streamers and a scarecrow. Although I have to say that my mighty little bantam rooster (Diego De La Vega) has been very good about protecting his hens and when he gives a call out they all scoot to the bushes. So far I haven't noticed any missing. Worried about the bantams though because they started roosting in the trees at night. What can I do about that?! LOL
Loon, loved your comment on shoot and shovel! LOL! very funny!
IA, "SSS" (Shoot, Shovel, Shut up) is a common saying among people whose critters are threathened by things like neighborhood dogs gone bad. It's generally legal to shoot things that attack your livestock, but Raptors are in a different class.
As to sleeping in trees, I have a bunch of new arrivals, and they were used to sleeping in trees. Most of them go happily inside to roost, but there are a few holdouts. I put them in every night. Not a big deal, except for the time I was trying to get them as a thunderstorm began. The combination of aluminum ladder under a big 'ol pecan tree, and me climbing it was a bit un-nerving. They got in though, and so did I.
If you could lock the chickens in for a week or so they'd probably get the idea again, but that's not usually feasible. I have a long piece of thin PVC pipe that I call my Chicken Pole, and i use that to try to push them out of the tree early on, and some go inside where I want them, but some just hang on tight.
Let me know what solution you come up with, there's got to be a better way:)
i took a long pole & attached a plastic bag to it with air blown into it. I'd shake it at them, scare the crud outta them & away they would run for the coop. :) called it my chicken stick. worked wonders 2 winters ago getting them out of a tree.
In case of rain they fluff up and sit there...
I was missing one little hen last night, and eventually found her under the coop. I could not make her understand that just because _I_ couldn't reach her, didn't mean the Bad Critters couldn't !!
I did eventually get her out. She was fine, I was filthy...
I'm sure people around here subscribe to SSS, but we have found that geese are great deterrents to winged predators. As long as we have our pair of geese in with the chickens we seem to get off without any red-tailed or Cooper's hawks taking our birds, but whenever the geese are in a different pasture for a while the hawks come back. So far the eagles haven't noticed them; they would probably not be turned off by a pair of Toulouse geese!