Yesterday, the girls were tormented by a juvenile Red Tailed Hawk for a few hours. Either myself or one of the contractors would chase it away, only to find it returned and perched upon the coop. Finally, I had remembered something that I had seen and learned about from Terry Golson during her Chicken Workshop. She had strung old CDs across her pullets’ open top run to ward off flying predators. It had worked beautifully.
I took a long piece of twine and strung it between two trees across the top of the my coop. From that string I hung 5 shiny round CDs from separate pieces of twine. I was glad to see the hawk sat perched high in a nearby tree but did not venture to the top of the coop. Finally, I was convinced that it had given up and flown away realizing that my chickens were not going to be dinner. Or so I thought.
This morning as I was still getting ready, I heard one of the contractors calling for me. I went outside and there, high up on a dead branch in a nearby tree, was the hawk. The chickens were sounding the alarm and I could not believe my eyes. As it preened itself, it was getting ready for its next meal. Then I heard a second hawk in the yard. “You’ve got to be kidding me”, I thought as I racked my brain for another solution. It was not a good scene. The chicken alarm was going off and the girls were all scared for their lives in the coop.
I went into the garage and grabbed the beach blanket. I covered the run and then I coaxed the girls out with treats. It worked. No longer seeing each other, the chickens quickly became side tracked and the hawk left. About an hour later, I uncovered the girls. The hawk did not return today. The girls did not free range. Everyone was safe and Fifi finally did lay her first egg.