“. . .as a backyard chicken owner I hated to see my chickens killed. I wanted to know exactly how to protect chickens from hawks. The red-tailed hawk is one of three species in the United States known as a chicken hawk. The other two are sharp shinned and Cooper’s hawks.” How to protect chickens from hawks Pam Freeman
Unfortunately, this chicken keeper’s experience is all too common. Hawks are a real threat to free range poultry across the country and with a rise in the number of backyard chickens, it is a problem begging for a solution. Some people resort to shooting these birds right out of the sky. Well, aside from it being needless killing, this is also illegal without proper permitting.
“ All hawks and owls are federally protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (16 USC, 703-711). These laws strictly prohibit the capture, killing, or possession of hawks or owls without special permit.”
In addition to this fact, “No repellents or toxicants are registered or recommended for controlling hawk or owl damage. In years past, raptors were killed by putting out carcasses laced with poison. This practice led to the indiscriminate killing of many nontarget animals. Concerns for human safety also prompted the banning of toxicants for raptor control.”(http://icwdm.org/handbook/birds/HawksOwls.asp)
So, what is a chicken keeper faced with this ongoing threat to do?
Well, that is what the creative folks at predatorpee.com have been researching for the past few years. And the result of those efforts have produced the Hawk Stopper – visual deflection net.
The concept was first used to protect salt-water salmon farms in the Gulf of Maine from predatory sea birds. Hawk Stopper now uses the same principles of visual deflection to protect free-range chickens, turkeys and ducks as well as koi, catfish and other inland pond or farm-raised fish.
How does Hawk Stopper work? When you call someone eagle eye, it’s because they have sharp eyesight. But in reality, no human’s eyesight comes even close to the visual capabilities of predatory raptors like hawks, eagles and falcons. These birds see about 8 times better than humans – they see things sharper and from a greater distance than anything we can imagine. Hawk Stopper uses the hawks’ incredible eyesight to turn an easy-to-handle, inexpensive, lightweight 1500 square foot mesh into a formidable and impenetrable barrier. What we see as almost invisible looks to hawk like jail cell door!
A peaceful, easy solution that will keep your hens safe and not harm the hawks either. It’s a win-win.