There are always unexpected challenges on the homestead. This winter, a great horned owl decided that it wanted to take up residence in and around our chicken coop. For about a week, everyday when we would need to go the chicken coop for chores, the owl was perched on a post that is located next to our barn. To get to the chicken coop we needed to walk past his perch. He would let us get uncomfortably close before flying away. I don’t think the owl was as uncomfortabe as I was.
Our area has lots of eagles, owls, and hawks. Last year our neighbor free ranged his chickens and lost quite a few to predator birds, so we knew that they were around, but this was the first time we were having issues with them. We were not concerned about the chickens since they are locked in a secure coop, we were more concerned for our own safety. Regardless of why we needed the bird gone, it had to go. So, how did we get rid of them?
After doing some research, we read that owls and other predatory birds do not like reflective materials. We did not want to spend any money on this project so we thought about what reflective materials we had laying around and we came up with old compact discs. As a deterrent we strung the old CDs together. We hung them on the entrance to the coop and other places around the area where the owl was hanging out. Hanging the CDs made us feel a little crazy but as soon as we did, the owl was gone. After six months the owls are still staying away! I would say that this is a success. Not only did this work, it did not cost us anything to make.