How To Keep A Hawk Away From Chickens

Key Takeaway:

  • Understanding the predatory nature of hawks is important for protecting chickens. Knowing their prey preferences and tactics can help implement effective deterrent strategies.
  • Creating a secure enclosure or run, using chicken wire as an overhead cover, and utilizing reflective surfaces are effective strategies for protecting chickens from hawks.
  • Relocating feeders and waterers, utilizing roosters to protect hens, and incorporating additional deterrent methods like watchdogs, scarecrows, and owl/dragonfly decoys can further enhance hawk deterrence.


Hawks preying on chickens can be a major worry for poultry owners. These birds of prey are drawn to small animals, such as chickens, as potential food. To protect your flock, it is key to take steps that stop hawks targeting your chickens. Knowing the behaviors and habits of hawks, as well as using suitable preventive methods, can help you keep hawks away from your chickens.

Hawks are natural predators. They have sharp eyesight, sharp claws, and powerful flying powers. They often sit in high places, searching around for possible prey. To make hawks less likely to come near your chicken coop or free-ranging area, it is important to create a deterrent atmosphere. This can be done by giving enough cover, such as thick vegetation or structures, to block the hawks’ view. Also, making loud noises can shock hawks and make them cautious about approaching the chickens.

Additionally, the use of visual deterrents can be useful in pushing away hawks. Hanging reflective objects, like aluminum foil strips or CD discs, around the coop area can create flashes of light that mess up the hawks’ focus and make them uneasy. Scarecrow-like figures or models of predatory birds can also be used to simulate a flock guardian and keep hawks from coming too close. Moving these visual deterrents often can help make them more effective by stopping hawks from getting used to them.

Furthermore, having physical barriers is essential in keeping your chickens safe from hawk attacks. Building a strong fencing system, with netting or wire mesh, can stop hawks from swooping down and snatching chickens. Make sure the fence goes both above and below ground level to make hawks less likely to try and dig underneath it or fly over it. It is important to regularly check and look after these barriers to make sure they are working and secure.

In the end, the goal is to make an atmosphere that makes hawks see your chickens as hard or out of reach prey. By combining strategies, like giving cover, using visual deterrents, and having physical barriers, you can reduce the risk of hawk attacks on your chickens a lot. Looking after your flock needs consistent attention and taking a proactive approach to keeping them away from these aerial predators.

Understanding the Predatory Nature of Hawks

Understanding the Predatory Nature of Hawks

Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Edward Mitchell

Hawks’ Prey Preferences and Tactics

Hawks are known for hunting smaller animals such as chickens, rabbits, and rodents. They spot their prey with their amazing eyesight and swoop down with speed and precision. Even though hawks are legally protected, they can still be a threat to chicken owners.

To protect chickens from hawk attacks, chicken owners should:

  1. Use overhead covers made of chicken wire.
  2. Place reflective surfaces like mirrors or shiny objects near the coop area to scare away hawks.
  3. Additionally, roosters can detect potential threats and alert the flock.
  4. Utilize watchdogs, scarecrows, decoys resembling owls or dragonflies, and black chickens as deterrents.

By understanding hawks’ prey preferences and tactics and using multiple preventative measures, chicken owners can minimize the risk of loss to these predatory birds.

Hawks’ Legal Protection

Hawks are safeguarded by laws in many countries due to their ecological value and conservation status. This legal protection ensures their survival and helps maintain a balanced ecosystem.

  • No hunting: It is illegal to shoot, trap, or poison hawks without legal permits or licenses.
  • Nest sites: Laws also protect hawk nesting sites, disallowing any disturbances or destruction of their habitats during breeding periods.
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act: In the US, hawks are secured under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This law prohibits any disturbance, capture, or killing of migrating birds, including various species of hawks.

Still, there are times when particular permits or exemptions are allowed. This is for human safety or to protect livestock from hawk predation.

It is necessary to know and abide by these legal protections when managing interactions between hawks and chickens.

Strategies for Protecting Chickens from Hawks

Strategies for Protecting Chickens from Hawks

Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Steven Scott

Creating a Secure Enclosure or Run

  1. Choose a spot: Pick an area far from dense foliage or trees. A place with visibility is the best option.
  2. Use sturdy fencing: Install strong fencing around the perimeter to stop hawks from entering. Check for gaps or loose parts.
  3. Cover the top: Put chicken wire or other material to create an overhead cover. This stops hawks from snatching chickens from above.
  4. Reinforce dug-in boundaries: Bury the bottom edges of the fencing at least 12 inches deep to stop predators from digging underneath.
  5. Consider electric fencing: Add electric fencing around the perimeter for extra protection.
  6. Provide shade and shelter: Include areas in the enclosure where chickens can get shade and shelter from bad weather or possible attacks.

Inspect and maintain the enclosure regularly. Repair any holes or damage in the fencing. To deter hawks, consider adding artificial decoys like scarecrows or owl/dragonfly decoys near the entrance. This creates the illusion of a predator, keeping hawks away, and protecting chickens effectively.

Using Chicken Wire as an Overhead Cover

Chicken wire can be a great overhead cover for your chickens to defend them from hawks. To use it, install a frame with support posts and attach the chicken wire tightly. If the area is bigger than one roll, overlap the mesh sections. Make sure all openings are closed off and inspect regularly for any damage. This should provide effective protection from hawks.

However, this should not be the only hawk deterrent. Use multiple methods for extra safety. Additionally, consider the unique needs of your flock when implementing strategies.

Utilizing Reflective Surfaces to Scare Hawks

Reflective surfaces can be used to ward off hawks from chickens. Such as aluminum foil, CD discs and Mylar balloons. Hang these reflective items around the coop or run area to scare off hawks. Put the reflective objects at varying heights for the flock. Also, mirrors create illusions of movement and flashlights to confuse and intimidate hawks. It’s important to rearrange the reflective surfaces regularly as hawks may become accustomed to it.

One chicken owner tried aluminum pie plates along the top railing of the coop. It created glimmers of light to scare away hawks and protected the flock.

Hawks won’t be happy with this, but it’s time to hide the feeders and waterers from them.

Relocating Feeders and Waterers

Protecting chickens from hawks can be achieved by relocating their feeders and waterers. Hawks are drawn to food sources, so moving them can reduce the risk of an attack. Here’s a 6-step guide:

  1. Choose an area away from open spaces and overhead perches.
  2. Make sure your chickens can reach the feeders/waterers without trouble.
  3. Use fencing/netting around the feeding/watering areas.
  4. Remove spilled feed/debris regularly.
  5. Observe hawk behaviour and adjust your chickens’ feeding times accordingly.
  6. Monitor changes in hawk activity to gauge the strategy’s effectiveness.

Incorporating black chickens into the flock is another measure that may discourage hawks. The National Audubon Society has found that hawks are adaptable predators.

The Role of Roosters in Protecting Hens

Roosters are a hawk’s worst enemy! They survey their surroundings for potential threats. With sharp eyesight, they can spot a hawk in the vicinity and alert the flock with loud alarm calls.

Hawks are predators and target smaller animals, like chickens. They employ tactics like swooping or surprise attacks. But, when faced with a rooster, hawks are intimidated by their aggressive behavior and sharp beaks and talons.

Roosters don’t just protect with physical defense. They also act as leaders and guide their flock to safe hiding places. Roosters prioritize the safety of their hens above all else.

We must recognize the valuable role of roosters in protecting hens from hawk attacks. Their vigilance, alarming calls, aggressive behavior, and leadership contribute significantly to creating a secure environment. To safeguard our beloved poultry from these predatory birds, we must understand and appreciate the collaboration between roosters and hens – and even put a chicken that knows kung fu in the mix!

Additional Tips and Strategies for Hawk Deterrence

Additional Tips and Strategies for Hawk Deterrence

Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Christian Ramirez

Adding a Watchdog as a Deterrent

A watchdog can be a great shield against hawks when it comes to protecting chickens. These four-legged guardians establish a reliable presence to ward off potential threats. Hawks are known as predators, and adding a watchdog to the flock can create a safe environment for the chickens.

  1. Make a Secure Compound or Run: Make sure the chickens’ area is fenced off and secure. This will stop the watchdog from running away and keep out any unwanted predators.
  2. Introduce the Watchdog Carefully: Bit by bit, introduce the watchdog to the chickens. This will let them become familiar with each other and build trust over time.
  3. Train the Watchdog: Train the watchdog so they understand their responsibility of safeguarding the chickens. This includes obedience training and teaching them commands related to security and alerting against threats.
  4. Give Adequate Supervision: Always have someone around to supervise the watchdog when they’re with the chickens. This will stop any harm caused by their protection instincts or aggressive behavior towards the flock.
  5. Assess Compatibility: Check if the breed or individual dog is suitable for this role based on their temperament and how they interact with chickens. Some breeds may have a strong prey drive and not be good for guarding poultry.

Adding a watchdog is a great way to protect chickens from hawks. The continuous presence of a watchful canine can scare off potential predators and stop them from attacking the flock. But it’s important to evaluate compatibility and provide proper supervision as not all dogs can guard poultry without causing unintentional harm.

Using Scarecrows and Owl/Dragonfly Decoys

  1. Scarecrows and owl/dragonfly decoys can be an effective way to keep hawks away from chickens. These decoys create the illusion of predators, which can scare the hawks off.
  2. Put the scarecrows in and around the chicken enclosure.
  3. Place owl decoys on perches or near the chicken coop. The realistic appearance and movement of these decoys can help deter hawks.
  4. Strategically place the decoys in open areas with a clear line of sight.
  5. Keep moving and repositioning them so the hawks don’t get used to them.
  6. Use other strategies too, like reflective surfaces and a secure enclosure.

A true story shows how effective scarecrows and decoys can be. Jenny from rural Pennsylvania had been struggling with hawk attacks on her flock. After using owl decoys, the hawk attacks stopped. Protecting chickens from hawks is like playing chess, but with feathers and beaks instead of pawns.

Incorporating Black Chickens into the Flock

Hawks can be a real danger to chickens. One way to keep them away is by having black chickens in the flock. Things like Ayam Cemani or Black Australorp breeds are great options.

Black chickens have a special advantage when it comes to hawks. Their feathers are dark and make them harder to spot from above. This natural camouflage can confuse and deter hawks.

Also, black chickens add an element of unpredictability to the flock. Hawks avoid chickens that are easy to catch. By introducing black chickens, it makes it more uncertain for hawks.

Moreover, black chickens may act as sentries. They can alert other chickens if they sense danger. This extra protection can help keep the flock safe from hawk attacks.

In conclusion, incorporating black chickens into the flock is a great way to deter hawks. These birds can provide natural camouflage and increase unpredictability. Plus, they can offer additional protection. By diversifying your flock with black chickens, you create a safer environment for all your chickens.

Improving Visibility and Removing Cover for Hawks

Hawks are skilled hunters that use surprise and ambush to catch their prey. So, if you want to protect your chickens, it is important to reduce hiding spots for hawks and increase the visibility near the chicken’s coop or run.

  • Clear vegetation: Cut away any thick shrubs or tall grasses around the chicken coop or run that can hide hawks. Keeping the area clear will make it harder for hawks to go unnoticed.
  • Trim trees: Cut tree branches that hang low over the chicken enclosure. This will reduce the chances of hawks swooping down without being seen.
  • Fencing: Use strong fencing materials with small gaps, so hawks can’t get in. This will create a safe environment for your chickens.

These strategies not only help you spot hawks more easily, but also let your chickens roam without feeling threatened. To keep hawks away, use every possible method.

Implementing Multiple Deterrent Methods Simultaneously

Chickens can be kept safe from hawks by creating a secure enclosure or run. Chicken wire can also be put overhead as a net-like barrier. To scare hawks away, reflective surfaces like aluminum foil strips or CDs can be hung around the chicken area. All of these strategies should be used together for a comprehensive defense against hawk attacks.



Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Stephen Hall

Keeping hawks away from chickens needs effective strategies. Provide shelter and protection with a strong coop and a covered run. Also, cover crops and dense shrubs can create a natural barrier, discouraging hawks.

Visual deterrents like shiny objects or aluminum foil can make hawks uneasy. Scarecrows and owl decoys can suggest predators and stop hawks.

Auditory deterrents like distress and predator calls can warn hawks. Change the sounds and use them occasionally for effectiveness.

In the end, use many preventive measures to protect chickens. Secure shelter, visual and auditory deterrents, and a natural barrier can minimize hawk attacks. These strategies will keep chickens safe.



Photo Credits: Chipperbirds.Com by Gregory Moore

The article “How To Keep A Hawk Away From Chickens” refers to 6 sources.

Firstly, keeping an eye on the flock and recognizing hawk behavior is advised. This allows one to take necessary steps to protect chickens.

Secondly, using deterrents like scarecrows or reflective objects helps prevent hawks from coming close.

Thirdly, providing cover with shrubs, trees and structures makes it harder for hawks to strike.

Fourth, maintaining a vigilant and responsive environment is a must. Loud noises and physical intervention during hawk sightings discourage them from attacking the coop.

Fifth, a sturdy fence around the chicken area gives extra protection.

Lastly, companion animals such as dogs or geese can act as a natural deterrent.

It is important to note that each situation is different. Factors such as hawk species, coop layout, and local environment should be taken into account when deciding which methods to use. Combining the above techniques helps keep chickens safe.

Some Facts About How To Keep A Hawk Away From Chickens:

  • ✅ Hawks are protected by federal law, making it illegal to harm or kill them. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Adding a rooster to the flock can provide protection for hens by alerting them to predators and giving an alarm call. (Source: Pams Backyard Chickens)
  • ✅ Hanging shiny objects like CDs or reflective tape can scare away hawks by emitting flashes of light. (Source: My Chicken Guide)
  • ✅ Creating a covered run or enclosure connected to the chicken coop can provide protection from hawk attacks. (Source: Hobby Farms)
  • ✅ Increasing visibility by trimming bushes and cutting tall grass can make it difficult for hawks to hide and ambush chickens. (Source: Fresh Eggs Daily)

FAQs about How To Keep A Hawk Away From Chickens

How can I keep hawks away from my chickens?

To keep hawks away from your chickens, you can implement various strategies. First, consider adding a rooster to your flock, as they can act as natural protectors and give an alarm call when they spot a predator. You can also hang shiny objects like old CDs or reflective tape to deter hawks with flashes of light. Another option is to use decoy owls or hawk statues, as hawks are predators of these birds and may be scared away. Providing ample cover, such as a chicken coop with mesh wires and a roof, can also prevent hawk attacks. Additionally, consider covering feeding points and placing feeders in an inaccessible location to protect chickens while they are vulnerable.

What are some protection methods against hawk attacks?

To protect your chickens from hawk attacks, you can take several measures. One effective method is to create an enclosure or run connected to the coop, using welded wire or plastic bird netting to keep out predators. Another option is to use chicken wire as an overhead cover for runs to deter hawks. You can also relocate feeders and waterers inside coops or build a covered feeding station in the run to prevent hawk attacks. Additionally, reflective surfaces like CDs or reflective tape can be used to scare away hawks. It is worth noting that roosters can play a protective role in guarding hens against predators, but it is important to check local bylaws and ordinances before adding a rooster to your flock.

How do hawks prey on chickens?

Hawks are keen hunters and predators of chickens. They typically watch the chickens from a vantage point and then swoop down to attack. Hawks will continue to attack until deterred, and they have sharp talons that can cause fatal injuries. They may carry chickens away or eat them live. It is important to protect your chickens from hawk attacks as they can cause serious damage to your flock.

Are there any tactics to deter hawks from approaching my chickens?

Yes, there are several tactics you can use to deter hawks from approaching your chickens. One effective method is adding a rooster to your flock, as they can provide natural protection and alert the other chickens of a predator. Dogs can also be a great deterrent against hawks due to their size, sound, and unpleasant smell. Hanging up scarecrows, shiny objects like old CDs or reflective tape, and decoy owls can also scare away predatory birds. Additionally, providing ample cover in the form of a chicken coop with mesh wires and a roof can prevent hawk attacks.

Is it legal to harm or kill hawks to protect my chickens?

No, it is illegal to harm or kill hawks and other birds of prey as they are protected wildlife under federal laws. It is important to find alternative methods to protect your chickens from hawk attacks without physically harming the hawks. Implementing deterrent tactics and creating a safe environment for your chickens can help reduce the risk of hawk predation.

What should I do if the suggested measures do not work in deterring hawks?

If the suggested measures do not effectively deter hawks from attacking your chickens, it is recommended to contact the local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or your state’s department of agriculture for assistance. They can provide guidance and further support in dealing with hawk predation. It is important to rely on expert advice and adhere to legal regulations while protecting your chickens from hawk attacks.

Julian Goldie - Owner of

Julian Goldie

I'm a bird enthusiast and creator of Chipper Birds, a blog sharing my experience caring for birds. I've traveled the world bird watching and I'm committed to helping others with bird care. Contact me at [email protected] for assistance.