We have a well-fenced chicken yard and our flock is in a predator-proof building at night. We have had a hawk eat at least one of our birds (we saw it happen.) Does anyone have experience with guard geese for aerial daytime predators? Thanks!
No, not I, but I have often wondered whether they might be good deterrents to aerial attack. Since I accidentally acquired a couple of roosters which are much more alert than the hens, none of my chickens have been taken by hawks. Previously I suffered three successful hawk attacks to my flock that I know of.
Even in town here the hawks sometimes hang around. Not that I know that they have taken any, but I had my cockatiels in a cage outside and a hawk stood on the cage looking down at them. Gorgeous hawk, but my goodness!
Yup, I _had_ a bunch :(. Robb is right, they are predator magnets. Especially the White crested varities. Really give the hawks something to aim for. I didn't get them intentionally, but the were thrust upon me. Unfortunately, I became quite fond of them, and it really hurts to lose them. There are not many left.
I will likely get some again, but only after I have a predator safe environment for them to spend their days. I have ideas.
I'll take this time to thank everyone for all I've learned here at Dave's. I won't be resubscribing, not because of the cost, but because I seldom come here anymore. I have found more active places to talk about chickens (and other things) so will be moving on. I hope to see you all in the future, It was fun :)
Just saw this thread. We keep a pair of geese in with our chickens and have found that it really does reduce aerial predator attacks. During periods when we've separated the geese out for one reason or another the hawks seem to find our chickens much easier prey. We still lose a chicken once in a while with the geese but no more than one every year or so, if that.
I have Pomeranian geese, which are excellent watch-birds. They are loud and quite intelligent. We had to move one male out by the poultry yard in early April because it was being attacked by the other geese during breeding season. This beautiful 30 pound male befriended our lonly rabbit and meanwhile detered preditors for several months, so we let them stay together. The large poultry yard next to them is covered in fencing and we have not encountered any hawk casualties for several years. All of our pountry including the goose, are put away before dusk, and let out around 8 AM, and today, around noon, we found the goose dead, uneaten, face down and clearly attacked from the back. I am confident that it was another bird. We are in NY state and have turkey vultures and red tailed hawks, so perhaps it was one of those birds. Meanwhile, my other geese located on a different part of the property are incredibly quiet today. Since geese are exceptionally sensitive, I am certain that they know what occured, and are clearly frightened. So, in a nutshell, I think a strong pen is the way to go, rather than geese as watch-birds.
I don't know how much our geese weighed but a couple of years ago we lost both geese to an opossum, one one night and the other a night or two later. It doesn't matter what size the geese are since the possums jump on their backs. It was awful.