Poultry birds are a good food source for chicken predators like raccoons and possums. Aerial birds of prey like hawks and vultures are very notorious. They will they strike like lightening and steal your friendliest chickens when ranging. Hawk netting is one way to keep these notorious predators for chickens out.
Chicks are the most vulnerable to predation. These little baby chickens are light in weight and will be easily picked and lifted off even by small prey birds like owls and kites.
So, how do you ensure your chickens are safe and free from predation? In this article, I am going to explain how hawk netting can help and also tell you how to put up a poultry netting.
What is hawk netting?
Hawk netting is the use of a poultry mesh net as a perimeter wall or a roof over your chicken run to act as a hawk deterrent.
To hawks and other birds of prey who have a taste on your chickens, the mesh netting looks very big and can be visible from a long distance above. This scares them away and they can’t dare get close to it because of fear.
Although a hawk netting will not provide 100% protection to your poultry, it prevents the chickens from roaming and scattering all over the barnyard where they are easily spotted by chicken hawks.
It will be wrong to define hawk netting and forget to mention a hawk net. Whereas hawk netting is the method, a hawk net is the object used to deter hawks and other common birds of prey away from chickens and other poultry birds.
Hawk nets vary in sizes, color and material used to make them. This factor also makes their prices vary depending on what you want.
How do you install hawk netting?
The first thing to do is buy the best hawk netting of your choice. These essential chicken raising tools are available on online stores and any tractor supply store near you. Some may prefer plastic nettings while some may go for a steel chicken wire.
The best thing with plastic is that it does not rust like a chicken mesh. However, when left exposed to the sun for long, it becomes brittle and weak hence breaks off easily leaving the chickens exposed and vulnerable to predation.
A chicken mesh can easily rust and break off. Additionally, it is expensive than plastic but works well if properly installed.
Most chicken coops have a solid roof made of iron or tiles. This helps keep the chickens confined and safe from harsh elements and predators.
However, hawk netting will still be good if put above the chicken coop to keep chicken hawks away. In addition to that, the same netting will work well as a perimeter wall to give chickens a wide and secure area to range during the day when most predators are active.
Installing hawk netting or a chicken wire mesh
Buy an anti hawk netting or a chicken mesh of your choice depending on the area that you want it to cover. If you have a large area, by a large netting.
Hawks and other birds of prey prefer wood populate areas because they can stalk the prey from the cover of branches and tree canopy.
Also, the height of the hawk netting fence may vary depending with different chicken breeds or different types of poultry birds you intend to keep.
For the small species of poultry like Cuba Pigeons and Coturnix quails, ensure that the pigeon netting you use has very tiny spaces because these birds can easily escape through small openings due to their body sizes.
Have enough zip ties and poles to hold and secure the hawk netting in place. After putting the poles at your desired space interval, start securing the hawk netting from the chicken coop wall with your zip ties.
You may choose to have the chicken coop in the middle or at one of the corners which is just fine. Do not let the mesh or the hawk netting hang loose above the ground. Raccoons and possums may use this as a loop hole to prey on your birds.
To prevent the netting from hanging, it is good if you burry it some inches below the surface and cover with soil. This way, notorious digging predators will not get to the birds.
Along the poles, put zip ties at intervals of 30cm so that the netting is firmly held. This way, the hawk netting will be firmly held and predators can’t get in.
If you have enough hawk proof netting, I would recommend you put some of it as a roof over the perimeter chicken run. This way, no attacks can happen from above and your birds will be safe throughout.
What other methods act as predator deterrent?
There are a host of other means that you can use to deter hawks apart from hawk netting or a chicken wire. These are:
For centuries, dogs have been domesticated and became man’s best friend. Up to date, dogs are used in many parts of the world to provide security to other domestic animals.
Once they sense any potential intruders, dogs will bark fiercely and even attack ferociously. Dogs can scare away hawks especially if chickens make noise and alert them.
Roosters are an excellent choice to keep predators away. These male chickens are big and their body size can intimidate hawks and other predators away.
Chicken breeds like Campine and Anconas have roosters that are very predator savvy. While ranging, roosters constantly look on the sky for any threat and alert other chickens to run for safety if the enemy is around.
Cocks will attack and fend of predators when defending hens and chicks. Some roosters are extremely aggressive that they are not good near children or other home pets like puppies.
Use of scarecrows
Scare crows are another cheap way of deterring predators. These human-like figures mimic a guardian human and predators think someone is out there watching over the flock.
However, scarecrows will require to be carried from one position to another. This way hawks can’t notice that these figures are just there to scare them away.
Human eye balloons and solar eye lights
Solar eye lights get power from the sun during the day but work at night. These lights go on at dusk and they resemble scary human eyes.
They are ideal for nocturnal animals that move in search of food under the cover of darkness like barn owls and possums.
Use of electric poultry netting
Electric poultry netting is one of the most effective ways to deter predators. Here, hot wires are used to repel predators away by electrocuting them with an electric current.
This method is very effective and near 100% accurate. However, electric poultry netting is not the best solution to people who are not connected to electricity.
Although you can use solar power to charge the fence, people living in areas that experience long winter seasons may not benefit from it.
Additionally, installation is expensive because it requires more money and it can also be dangerous to those who have small children with them.
What is the Best product for Hawk Netting?
Wild birds will bring diseases to your Blue hens while hawks, raccoons, foxes and other predators will steal your chickens for food. I am sure you do not want this.
So, what you need is a good hawk netting that will ensure your flock is safe even when you are not around. For this reason, I have decided to review some of the best products for hawk netting for you.
I have reviewed these products out of experience I have gained after using some of them. Those that I have not used, I have scoured through the internet and went through the comments of first hand users.
1 Predator Pee Hawk Stopper
- This is a good formidable and impenetrable barrier that will keep off hawks from chickens. The hawks keen eyesight will see it from miles up in the sky and repel this bird of prey by making it give up.
- It comes with a 100ft long rope making it easy to install. In addition to the rope, the netting is 1500sq. ft. which makes it good enough for a big chicken run.
- Predator pee hawk netting is 20ft by 75ft allowing you to cut it into sections that will fit precisely where you want.
2 Excursions Aviary Netting Heavy Knotted 1 inch Poultry Net (25ft by 25ft)
- This poultry netting is black in color and 1 inch thick making it nearly invisible to aerial birds of prey.
- It is made with 85lbs tensile strength which is hard for a chicken hawk to break into even if it flies directly into it.
- These nets will protect all types of poultry like ducks, geese, chickens Cuba pigeons and Silver pheasants.
- It can withstand high temperatures of 150F and low temperatures of -10F.
- To install is easy for you. It has a picture giving you directions on how to lay it over your pond or a pallet chicken coop.
3 Amaranth Nets 50 by 50 Bird Netting with 1.5 by 1.5 Mesh Size
- Amaranth nets are easy to tangle and will save you frustrations and time. They unwind freely making it easy for you to lay them over the chicken house.
- This netting is very durable and will last long. No need of you to buy a new netting each year when this can last as long as you want it to serve you.
- It is has a good polyethylene material. This is a high quality type of plastic that does not rust nor corrode.
4 ZL 25 by 50 Net Netting for Bird Poultry Aviary Game Pens New 2.4 inch Square Mesh Size
- This netting is very easy to install. It also allows you to trim it down to the desired size so that it can fit well.
- These nettings are very durable because they are UV resistant.
- They are black in color making it easy for birds of chicken hawks to spot them from a distance.
5 Bird Netting 50 by 50 Garden Netting with 1 inch Square Mesh Nylon Netting for Chicken Coop
- Don’t let hawks sneak in your chicken coop and steal your birds. This nylon netting will repel them away and keep your chickens safe and secure.
- Worry no more about rust and corrosion. It is made of a high quality nylon that is durable and will last for long.
- The 1 inch mesh size provides enough protection even for your small poultry like Icelandic pigeons.
- It has 30pcs cable ties and 6 stakes to ensure that you attach it firmly.
Factors to consider when buying a hawk netting
Before swiping your card, it is very important you consider some important things. This will help you ensure that you get the right value for your money by purchasing the best item.
So, what do you need to consider?
The quality of the netting you buy for your chicken run is very important. It will not only give you the right value for your hard earned cash but it will ensure that the netting lasts longer.
Quality products are durable and worth. However, most quality things have a tag on them because they are pricy and more expensive than others.
The size of the netting is another important factor. A big poultry netting will cover a larger area compared to a small one. In addition to this, it will also serve a large number of poultry.
Go for a big netting because you can cut it into half and spare one piece for next time.
Cost will determine the type, size and quality of the chicken netting for run you are going to buy. Cheap things are expensive and are likely not going to be durable.
However, buy a chicken netting that you can afford.
Type of poultry
If you intend to buy a netting for large poultry like geese, choose one that has wide mesh. In addition to this, go for one with more tensile strength.
Small poultry alike pigeons and aviary birds like parrots will require a thin netting that has tiny mesh spaces.
Hawk netting is an effective way to keep your flock safe and secure from predators. This method can be used to make permanent or temporary chicken runs.
For those who cannot afford to use this method, other means such as dogs and electric poultry netting can be applied instead.