So does hawk netting really work to protect backyard chickens? Keep reading to learn more.
If you are thinking of keeping your backyard flock safe from hawks, you have come to the right place. This article will discuss ways in which you can prevent hawks from attacking your chickens.
Hawks are a big problem in many places. They are predatory birds that hunt during the day when the birds in the flock are running around, pecking, and scratching as they forage for worms, insects, and seeds.
They have keen eyesight and can perch high in a tree where your birds may not even notice their presence until they swoop down to strike.
So, to answer this question, yes, hawk netting stops hawks and other predatory birds from accessing birds.
Since hawks are protected by federal law, chicken keepers are not allowed to harm them physically, no matter how devastating they are to chickens.
However, there are several ways to prevent hawks from accessing your flock. For instance, you can add a rooster to your flock or use a watchdog to keep away hawks.
How To Protect Chickens From Predatory Hawks
The best way to keep your birds safe from hawks is to keep their roaming area covered with strong netting, chicken wire, or hardware cloth.
Depending on how much you are willing to spend and how many chickens you have, you can try the following ways to keep your chickens safe from predators.
Secure The Coop
Whether you buy a chicken coop or build one from scratch, securing it is one of the best ways of protecting your flock from hawks and other predatory birds.
If the coop is too narrow, your birds will not be able to get away from the age. This will make them easy prey for hawks and other predators.
However, if you have a broader coop, your birds will have a bigger space to move about. They will also have a better chance of escaping the predators.
If you are constructing a chicken coop, you should be sure to incorporate a hardware mesh that will keep the predators out.
To create some security for your flock, you will need to bury the hardware mesh about 6 inches deep in the ground.
Install a Roof
Covering your chicken coop will also help to keep your flock safe from hawks and other predatory birds. Many chicken keepers prefer having a solid roof on their coops.
You can use chicken wire to cover the run and prevent predators from attacking your flock. Besides, you can use a tap sheet, which offers protection as well as shade.
There are several things you will need to consider before deciding on the type of roof to install on your coop. For instance, how much are you willing to spend?
Do you want a permanent or temporary solution? Do you want to provide both shade and protection, or just protection?
If you are looking for a permanent solution, you can use chicken wire. Hawks that try to dive through it get entangled.
This will give your birds enough time to run to safety. You can also use a brightly-colored wire to completely deter the hawks.
Secure The Chickens’ Feeding Area
Most birds of prey, like hawks, usually target the chickens’ feeding area, not because of their food but for the flock.
Chickens are normally vulnerable when feeding because they are relaxed and not alert. Therefore, protecting your chickens’ feeding area will go a long when in keeping them safe from hawks.
You can put a piece of chicken wire over the area.
Add A Rooster To The Flock
One of the easiest ways to protect your chickens is by adding a rooster to the flock.
Roosters are natural protectors who will do everything possible to protect the rest of the flock and keep them out of harm’s way.
When your rooster sees a hawk or any other predatory bird, he will sound an alarm and gather the rest of the flock in a safe place.
He will move in front of the flock, securing them until the predator is gone.
However, it is important to understand that not all roosters can do this. Roosters of some chicken breeds are generally docile and will rarely protect the rest of the flock from predators.
Therefore, you should find a rooster that can protect your flock from predators and other intruders.
If roosters are not allowed in your location, you can check other birds’ laws. Guard geese and Guinea fowl serve the same purpose as roosters.
They are active birds that are always on the lookout for danger. They will sound the alarm at first sight of any danger.
However, these noisy birds can also be bothersome to neighbors. Therefore, you will need to be considerate when using them to prevent hawks from attacking your chickens.
Add a Black Chicken to the Flock
Adding a black chicken to your backyard flock will help to keep hawks away. Crows are natural enemies of hawks.
By adding a black chicken to the flock, the hawk will mistake it for a crow and stay away from the flock. No hawk will enjoy a hot pursuit by a flock of crows.
Increasing the Visibility in the Area
Hawks usually perch on tree branches, waiting for an opportunity to attack chickens.
Detecting their presence can be very difficult, especially when you have tall grass and bushes around your coop or backyard.
Therefore, you can keep your birds safe from hawks by cutting tall grass and bushes in your backyard.
However, having shrubs and bushes around your backyard can also help to protect your birds.
Your birds reduce their exposure to predatory birds by quickly taking cover in the thickets whenever they see them nearby.
Therefore, when increasing visibility in your area, be sure to only clear out bushes that can protect prowling hawks.
This is one of the oldest tricks of scaring away predatory birds. Making a scarecrow is not as hard as you may think.
You can make them by hanging old human clothes on nailed wood and placing them in your poultry farm or backyard.
You will need to change the position of the scarecrow now and then so that the hawk does not figure out your ruse.
In addition, you can mount an owl-shaped object on the farm, and no hawk will dare come close to your birds.
Use a Watchdog
Another way of protecting your birds from predatory birds, like hawks, is by having a watchdog out with your flock when they are foraging or roaming outdoors.
Hawks will think twice about attacking the flock when a dog is nearby. In addition, hawks tend to find the smell of dogs unpleasant and will try to stay away from them.
You should let your dog out at different times of the day so the predator does not precisely pinpoint your dog’s schedule.
You can also take a walk with your furry friend just to remind the hawks that they are in danger.
Hanging Shiny Objects on the Farm
Since hawks do not like bright, blazing lights, you can use that to your advantage. Their sharp eyesight means their eyes are sensitive to bright objects.
You can hang old CDs and other reflective objects around your backyard or garden to keep off hawks. The objects will give off blinding reflections from the sun, thus keeping the hawks away.
However, you should avoid putting up mirrors in your garden or backyard as they can be potentially harmful to your birds.
While you cannot stop hawks from being predators, you can prevent them from attacking your chickens and eating them.
One of the best ways to protect your backyard flock from predatory birds is through hawk netting. This method will ensure that hawks do not attack your chickens as they roam around in the backyard.
The other ways of keeping your backyard flock safe from hawks are increasing the visibility area, securing the feeding area, getting a watchdog or guard animal, and adding a rooster to the flock.
You can also use decoys like, shiny items, scarecrows, and black chickens to keep off hawks.