Joel Katz

Joel Katz

Joel Katz

LAMBOURN, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 17: Free-range chickens of breed Isa 257 roam freely at Sheepdrove Organic Farm, Lambourn, England. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)

As you’ve probably heard, coyotes came onto Martha Stewart’s Connecticut property and ate six of her peacocks including her favorite bird. She posted, ”The coyotes came in broad daylight and devoured him and five others including the magnificent White Boy. Any solutions for getting rid of six large and aggressive coyotes who have expensive tastes when it comes to poultry?”

If you’re a regular listener to “Joel and Maryann in the Morning” you know that Maryann has a chicken coop in her backyard. She has all types of chickens that she has no plan to eat, but to keep as pets and harvest some eggs. She’s brought some hard-boiled eggs to work to share; they really do taste better than the ones you buy at the supermarket. Unfortunately, live chickens attract live hawks. Not the kind of chicken hawk you may recall from Saturday morning cartoons, but the kind that attack, kill, and devour chickens right here in Central Jersey. All told, chicken hawks are responsible for “removing” close to forty of Maryann’s little peckers.

With her birthday approaching, I thought it might be a nice idea to help her save the surviving chickens.

I did some research to help prevent this tragedy from happening again. My first thought was to exterminate the hawks, but after doing a little research I learned that hawks are protected by federal law, so that’s not an option. Next, I thought I’d make a sign that reads, “No hawks allowed!” Of course, I quickly realized that birds can’t read. Thanks to my friends at, I learned many ways to prevent hawks from poaching Maryann’s poultry. Here are some of them…


  • Get a Rooster!

    The website says, “The males of the species are fierce protectors.”


    ANTALYA, TURKIYE – JUNE 14: A comb of rooster which is an indicator of health for chickens family in Antalya, Turkiye on June 14, 2022. While the red comb in chickens and roosters indicates that the animal is healthy, the change in colors on comb indicates disease. (Photo by Mustafa Ciftci/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

  • Get a Guard Dog!

    I know Maryann already has dogs, so that’s obviously not working.

    German Shepard

    NEW YORK, NY – FEBRUARY 14: Rumor the German Shepherd poses for photos after winning Best In Show at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden, February 14, 2017 in New York City. There are 2874 dogs entered in this show with a total entry of 2908 in 200 different breeds or varieties, including 23 obedience entries. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

  • Put Them in a Covered Chicken Coop

    Also, already been done. They’ve got their chickens cooped up. They’ve got a net to “keep hawks from swooping.” However, the hawks chewed through the net to reach the chickens.

    chicken coop

    CASTLE ROCK, CO – JANUARY 7: Crystal Black walks past the chicken coop after collecting eggs at Sky Cliff Center in Castle Rock, Colorado on January 7, 2016. The Sky Cliff Center is a past recipient of the Philip S. Miller grant. The deadline is fast approaching to apply for 2016 Philip S. Miller grants in Douglas County, meant to strengthen the social safety net in the county. (Photo by Seth McConnell/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

  • Get A Hawk Repelling Decoy

    I decided to buy her an owl. Not a real one, but a fake, a decoy.  I’m sure you’ve seen one in a friend or neighbor’s backyard or near their garden. Here’s the one I found on Amazon and decided would be a fantastic birthday present. I’ll keep you posted on how well it works.


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