A hawk attacked Panda a couple weeks ago.

Panda came out ok. The hawk’s talons left huge scrape marks on either side of her back, cutting the skin but not enough to bleed. She has a bald spot now, though it’s already growing in. She’s been fine and perky, but all the hens have been acting more wary. The moment they see me come out the front door they all make a beeline for me and follow me around the yard.

Thank goodness for her thick feathers that protected her. I didn’t even know anything had happened (though I wondered why the chickens cowered in the henhouse all day) until the next morning, when I found a huge poof of feathers on the ground and, startled, inspected each of the hens more closely.

So I took measures. I spent hours in the cold, my numb fingers stringing up a wire “net” from tree to tree above the open space of the chicken yard.

Now that the half-finished fence seems to persuade the hens to stay in the woods for the most part, I feel better about their safety. Before, they were just running around our lawn all the time.

Now if only I could get going and finish the fence that might help protect against foxes, too.

5 Responses to “Predator”

  1. heidi Says:

    Not to disparage all your work, but wouldn’t the hawks just use the wires to perch closer to the chickens before diving?They need to be very thin wires, incapable of holding a hawks weight.
    Here is one website I found, rather funny, but they are trying to save their chickens too.

  2. Autumn Says:

    My grandmother has had countless chickens be carried off by hawks & eagles. The wire is a really great preventative measure. When I finally get chickens, they are going to be kept with my goat. I’ve heard big animals like goats can help keep hawks away.

  3. diana Says:

    Mama: The wires are much too thin to support the hawks. I had to use the flash for it just to show up in the picture. They cruise from on high looking for chicken dinners, then get close and see it flash. It is an actual over-under type net, not just long stringers, so even if they DID manage to get a grip on one they couldn’t dive bomb well through the squares and they couldn’t take off again through it afterwards.
    Autumn: Huh, goats? Well, add that to the looong list of reasons why I want to get a my goat dairy on! Plus they’re great goat companions as they will scratch up all the feed those messy, messy goats scatter all over the ground. :)

  4. Amy Says:

    an alpaca would be big enough to scare a hawk away…… just sayin 😀

  5. diana Says:

    Oh I know Amy – and it’s not like I don’t want one! But I looked into getting a Suri doe and they are $15,000!!!!!!!!!!!! At least from this one place. I saw that number and didn’t look farther. But I WAS thinking about maybe getting mohair goats too!

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