Recently, Oregon State Police brought us a red-tailed hawk. The bird had a traumatic injury – likely caused by a gun shot – because of the severe damage we chose to end this animal’s suffering through humane euthanasia. We normally do not post disappointing stories but we wanted to remind people that birds of prey are federally protected and it is illegal to shoot them. If you hear of illegal activity, please report to your local game enforcement officer.
If you, or someone you know is having a hard time with a bird of prey in your yard – perhaps they are after chickens – there are many tips available online about how to keep backyard chickens safe. We’ve shared a few of our favorite ideas below.
- Consider adding Ayam Cemani chickens to your flock. These chickens often do not have problems with hawks. The current guess is that since these chickens are all black that the hawks may perceive them to be like crows and ravens and they choose to avoid conflict with these natural rivals.
- You can hang shiny, moving objects around your chicken area to deter hawks. Some people will carefully tie old CDs up to move in the wind.
- Make sure that your chickens are locked up at night to protect them from owls.