Meth­ods to thwart birds of prey

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QI have re­cently seen birds of prey cir­cling close to my house. Are they a threat to my free-rang­ing hens?

AJulie Moore says: With the on­set of win­ter, food sources in the mead­ows and woods are at their barest, which makes your hens a prime ‘fast food’ tar­get for birds of prey. Free-rang­ing chick­ens are an easy tar­get for such birds. Shel­ter and cover may be dif­fi­cult to find on a small­hold­ing, while na­ture pro­vides plenty of places for preda­tors to perch and ob­serve. Are you able to pen your hens into a cov­ered area to dis­cour­age aerial preda­tors? If the land on which they free range is too large to net, you could hang CDs or re­flec­tive tape from trees. Re­flec­tive, mir­ror-like sur­faces have long been proved to be ef­fec­tive in spook­ing aerial preda­tors. Al­ter­na­tively, make a scare­crow that can be moved around reg­u­larly. Be­ware, how­ever: birds of prey will soon re­alise that it is not real if it re­mains in the same spot for too long. You should try to min­imise the land­ing area for a bird of prey by plant­ing trees, plac­ing gar­den fur­ni­ture or us­ing any ob­ject that blocks a low flight path for land­ing. The tra­di­tional role of a rooster is to pro­tect his flock. At the first sign of dan­ger, he will send out an alarm call that will send his hens scur­ry­ing to safety while he stands guard against the threat, real or per­ceived. Not ev­ery lo­cal author­ity al­lows for roost­ers, so check first be­fore adding one to your flock.

Plant­ing fruit trees will min­imise the land­ing area for a bird of prey and pro­vide chick­ens with some tasty treats

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.