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Author Topic: losing laying hens to a buzzard  (Read 5875 times)

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
losing laying hens to a buzzard
« on: October 14, 2015, 09:02:52 am »
Think I've lost 4 now - just brought in another 25 so I dont want to be losing my good layers.  What can I do?  Is there are kite flying kit that works? Anyone have experience of what works before it wipes out my flock?
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kelly58

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Highlands, Scotland
  • Home is were my animals are.
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2015, 09:17:37 am »
Strange, you sure its a buzzard ? They usually eat carrion.  We have buzzards and they have never touched ours chucks ?

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2015, 09:22:48 am »
I havent seen them but have been told by a few experienced people that the evidence is there.  Whether its a buzzard or hawk - just need to find a deterrent as they are free range.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • East Yorkshire
  • visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
    • www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2015, 09:23:17 am »
I'm amusing that you are sure its the buzzard? I have a buzzards nest at the very edge of my land and what with them and the red kites circling my hens are always running for cover. They are big birds and seem to take advantage of poultry in the open so free cover, netting on a pen etc seems to help.
visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2015, 10:12:01 am »
Well its something big as its killing them and eating the breast meat on the ground - I was told it was a buzzard by two others however Im not really bothered who it is I am looking for ways of stopping it.  I cant net over it is a free range organic system on a moveable caravan system.  This problem has only started 4 weeks ago.  I am looking to see if the Pro Hawk Kites work as a deterrent.

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2015, 10:16:31 am »
Can I also assume that have tree coverage would stop this?  I dont have any fields with mass tree cover only on the perimeter.  If I put a small goat shed type of thing in the area would they be more likely to run to this or is it too late?  We are (fingers crossed) having a solar farm built which would provide good coverage.

Somewhere_by_the_river

  • Joined Dec 2013
  • Near Llandeilo
    • Angela French Graphite Artist
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Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2015, 10:22:19 am »
As you are in SE Wales I would say it's more than possible it's goshawk (OH got amasing footage of one just the other day in the Towy valley). If as you say you can't cover the area it's a bit tricky. OH suggested trying scarecrows (could be fun if nothing else!) as goshawks are rather people shy...

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2015, 10:23:50 am »
Difficult to dissuade buzzards once they know where the restaurant is.  Our neighbour had a similar problem with buzzards coming down into the farmyard and taking growers one year, even though there were six sheepdogs in the yard.  Predatory birds often pluck their prey before eating.  Is this happening?  Otherwise might it be polecat, mink, ferret or stoat?

sabrina

  • Joined Nov 2008
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2015, 10:28:21 am »
I had a buzzard take two of my young Indian Runner ducks and  a friend ended up building runs for his chickens as the buzzards were picking them of each morning as soon as he let them out.They were some small breed that he bred to sell.

Buffy the eggs layer

  • Joined Jun 2010
  • East Yorkshire
  • visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
    • www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2015, 10:37:49 am »
It could very well be a bird of prey and the buzzards and kites here have killed my neighbours blackrocks and lesft them just as you describe. So Im not disputing your theory. So far they have only killed wood pigeon on my land and have a very distinctive style as described.




Sounds like netting isnt an option then.... :thinking:


I have lots of buildings, fencing, trees. garden furniture, shrubs,  orchard etc and suspect ( I may be proved wrong ) That they dont find it easy to hunt in this kind of "cluttered" environment. If they dive bomb a hen and end up ploughing into a tree branch, pig wire or a cast iron table leg they will be seriously injured. So I think this kind of environment gives some protection to my hens.


When they circle and screech the hens dart for cover so I think anything that makes hunting harder for the birds to target their prey would help. 



visit my blogspot at www.thechickenwhisperer.co.uk

Cosmore

  • Joined Jun 2015
  • Dorset
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2015, 10:56:07 am »
Just a suggestion, try some stakes or thin poles around 5/6 feet high in the ground about 20 or so feet apart, run a line between them and hang quite a few old CD or DVD discs on the line so they glitter and move in the wind, it may deter the predators.

We have a lot of buzzards round here, we often see them circling on the thermals for hours but they've never bothered our chickens - the geese probably put them off. We have had the occasional shrew/vole or field mouse dropped on our lawns when they lost their grip!

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2015, 11:28:38 am »
Good suggestion about the CDs. We had crows coming into the lambing shed and raiding the hayracks for eggs (never did manage to train those hens to use a nestbox) and hung CDs and bunches of strips of tinfoil from the beams across the entrance, which worked.  The tinfoil waves about in the slightest breeze.

Clansman

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Ayrshire
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2015, 12:36:17 pm »
I am a falconer so have a bit of experience here  ;D

Is the chicken being plucked first? Large amount of feathers around?

There are many different birds of prey and other predators that could be killing them, if only the breast is being removed and you are only losing one bird per week then it sounds like quite a small predator, stoats/weasel around?

It's obviously too small to move the kill to a safe place.

a buzzard would probably eat a fairly large amount and if you left the carcass out it would probably clear it in 2 or 3 days.

If it is a bird of prey you either need to remove the food source or get a larger predator around, dogs are good, and a large plastic owl etc may work.

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2015, 01:24:26 pm »
thanks all food for thought on this. Like the CDs idea plenty of kids ones around.


The predator has done some plucking and the flesh area nicely eaten.  There is a big electric fence around the site.


I havent any evidence of poles, stoats etc around here and the egg marketing man (prev a chicken farmer) was convinced it was a buzzard but it could be any hawks as there are quite a few around and prev over the years we have lost big birds.

Sbom

  • Joined Jul 2012
  • Staffordshire
Re: losing laying hens to a buzzard
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2015, 01:36:11 pm »
My mum has had a buzzard killing her Guinea fowl, caught it in the act twice!
She shut remaining ones up for a week or two so hopefully it'll forget.......

 

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