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I have once again lost my flock. A hawk this time. They were roosting in the barn, and the hawk picked them off one by one. Now, I have 2 remaining. A rooster and a hen. They hang out around our cabin, and are the longest surviving pair. They roost under our front porch. I can never find her eggs. Rarely. I so want chickens, but nothing I make for them keeps them safe here. We are really in an animal rich area. So, free range. On average if your chickens are free range (just going where they please, roosting where they please) how many do you lose a year. How many should I have to create some safety in numbers? Thanks.
 

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I really do not know. I know many people who just gave up free ranging and build really really tight coops/runs with hardware cloth buried in the ground etc. I do not think there is safety in numbers. I had a neighbor who had 200 chickens and the local fox had chicken for dinner every day for a while. None survived.
 

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are the hawks picking them off during daylight hours? can you build a tight coop and lock them up at dusk? We have a ft knox coop and then a rather large pen that has a covered roof and deep buried chicken wire. we let them out during the day, put them in the pen in early eve and lock them up in the coop at dusk....
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>talia rose</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15381966"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">are the hawks picking them off during daylight hours? can you build a tight coop and lock them up at dusk? We have a ft knox coop and then a rather large pen that has a covered roof and deep buried chicken wire. we let them out during the day, put them in the pen in early eve and lock them up in the coop at dusk....</div>
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<br>
We have a similar set up.<br><br>
So far...so good.
 

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Our neighbors lost their flock over and over and over. It was really hard on them (to say nothing of the chickens!). I think they had about 20 at one point, along with a few guineas. Eventually they built a serious coop for night and scattered shelters around their property where the hens could hang out without hawk predation... so "sort of" free range. They still lose one or two every few months.<br><br>
But we're in a forested/predator rich setting.
 

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I hen herd when the chickens are outside of the dinky run I built for them with bird netting.I never leave them alone. I think loss will depend on the number of hawks,if they have young,and the other options they have for food.Ofcourse chickens are probably easy pickings.We have anywhere from 1-4 hawks scoping out the hens,but I start yelling when they fly low.<br><br>
Hope you find something that works!
 

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My birds free range 100%, but roost in the hen house by their choice.<br>
In past years, I've lost about 25% of my flock annually to hawks.<br>
Here, the hawks are drawn especially to smaller white hens.<br>
I string up fishing line overhead about 4 feet apart.<br>
The hawks can't judge if it's safe to fly in and get em.<br>
There is safety in numbers... I have more than 100.<br>
So I can't even tell if one's missing unless I see feathers.<br>
We have alot of range shelters... places the chickens can duck and<br>
hide when there's a flyover. It makes a huge difference.<br>
Good luck!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mtn.mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15385217"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">My birds free range 100%, but roost in the hen house by their choice.<br>
In past years, I've lost about 25% of my flock annually to hawks.<br>
Here, the hawks are drawn especially to smaller white hens.<br>
I string up fishing line overhead about 4 feet apart.<br>
The hawks can't judge if it's safe to fly in and get em.<br>
There is safety in numbers... I have more than 100.<br>
So I can't even tell if one's missing unless I see feathers.<br>
We have alot of range shelters... places the chickens can duck and<br>
hide when there's a flyover. It makes a huge difference.<br>
Good luck!</div>
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mtn.mama.. can you elaborate about the fishing line? i can't get a picture of what you're doing but i think it sounds like something good to try. thanks!
 

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We still don't have our coop built. Right now we have a huge fenced pen in our backyard, which is fenced in. We let the chickens out during the day to roam around the yard as they please, then we put them in the pen at night. We haven't lost (we have 13 plus 5 meat birds left that are ready to butcher).
 

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8 feet off the ground... fishing line strung like a spiderweb with no holes bigger than 4 feet
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mtn.mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15388543"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">8 feet off the ground... fishing line strung like a spiderweb with no holes bigger than 4 feet</div>
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They do this in Florida over the pools at my grandparents to keep the pelicans out too. But they only use 2 strings the length of the pool. I've never seen any birds in the pools yet. I never thought to use it to deter hawks from the chickens! good idea!
 

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Only problem with the fishing line is if a chicken flies up into it. It can make quite a mess of them (speaking from experience). Also not very nice for the not so bright predators who ignore it and fly into the lines too.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Tizzy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15391536"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Only problem with the fishing line is if a chicken flies up into it. It can make quite a mess of them (speaking from experience). Also not very nice for the not so bright predators who ignore it and fly into the lines too.</div>
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can you hang little strips or tags from them to let the chickens know they're there or would that disrupt the whole plan?
 
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