BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Predators and Pests › My bantam hen almost got caught by a hawk. What should I look for to make sure she's ok?
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My bantam hen almost got caught by a hawk. What should I look for to make sure she's ok?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

My chickens were out in the yard and after I stepped inside for a few minutes I heard a ruckus. My dog and I ran outside quickly and I noticed a small hawk flying away. My little bantam, Pippy, was laying on her back, feet up, very still. When I approached her, I saw her blink, thankfully! I gently picked her up and put her in the house in my dog's kennel while I gathered up the other chickens. Thankfully they were all fine!

 

Pippy has no obvious signs of physical damage - no blood and she hold up her neck and stand up, although is not very steady on her feet yet. She was shivering a lot when I picked her up, but is only shivering a little bit now, after almost an hour. She's holding up her head and looking around. She swallowed some water droplets that I put on her beak, but won't drink out of a bowl yet. That doesn't surprise me as I suspect she's still traumatized. She's holding her beak open a lot and moving her tongue around.  I don't know what that's about. She's peeping periodically, too, which seems like a good sign. She also stretched out her neck a few times and turned it as if the hawk might have hurt it, but thankfully didn't snap it! 

 

Do you have any advice or thoughts as to what I should look for as danger signs as I keep an eye on her? I think I'll keep her in the house tonight to keep her warm and hopefully calm. 

post #2 of 7

I would give her some electrolytes and keep her in a dark warm cage.

 

Before that, do a super thorough examination peering past her feathers so you can see the skin.  Usually hawks pick up chickens from the top on the back, so look around the wing and shoulder area especially.

 

If you see blood, apply some nustock or antibiotic ointment.

 

She will be fine, I've had chickens with serious puncture wounds from hawks recover.  She is in shock, though, so warm, calm, and dark.

Today's Forecast:  Happy, with a chance of amazing
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Today's Forecast:  Happy, with a chance of amazing
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you! Sounds like great advice from an experienced chicken owner. I appreciate it!!
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
My bantam, Pippy is doing much better! She started eating & drinking yesterday & continued to improve with another quiet, restful and warm day inside, so I put her back outside in the chicken tractor with the others today. Thanks again for your help!
post #5 of 7
I had a very scary moment today with my flock. Let them out for alittle free ranging because it was nice ouside and I could hang out and enjoy the weather and foraging. Within 10 minutes, as the birds were taking to there favorite tree, a Cooper's hawk swoops down right next me and starts thrashing Gladys, my ayam cemani!! I instantly panic of course and within 10 seconds, had the hawk in my hands! I yet again panic and release the beast and it flies to a nearby tree, thankfully empty "handed."
I managed to heard my panicked flock into there cage as the hawk watched on. I used a dead tree branch to reach at and threaten the hawk to show I meant business. However, Gladys and her best friend, blue -mottled Cochin, Gertrude, were missing. hmm.png After some searching I found the battered Gladys buried deep in the thickets were the hawk released her. Her tiny all black body was just laying there I thought she was dead. Thankfully when trying to pick her up I heard her cry out alittle. And resist. But she was okay! Just panicked. I quickly checked for blood but no sign. She did lose 3 or 4 deep wing feathers though and slightly favors it. I found Gertrude 5 min later playing dead in a pile of leaves. Thankfully unharmed. I still can't believe this happened! And right in front of me. Another 10 seconds and I think my prized chicken would be toast. hmm.png anyways, Hawks suck
Edited by chickenchaser10 - 1/31/16 at 10:48am
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Oh my gosh, that had to be scary! I had my chickens out in the yard today but I didn't get a whole lot of work done outside because every few minutes I was searching for them to do a head count. I'm a bit nervous, especially after reading your post. I'm considering asking my husband to help me build some kind of chicken run for them so they'll have more land to run around on but still be inside of an enclosure for safety. I just have five chickens - I lost my 6th to a hawk a couple weeks ago. I'm considering having the enosure divided in half so I can rotate where the chickens forage in order to always have vegetation for them. Any thoughts or advice?
post #7 of 7
If hawks are your only issue, aviary netting makes for a great defense against flying predators. You can buy a variety of sizes on eBay, Amazon. however, the netting only protects against Hawks and not any four legged predator... although one time I managed to catch a ferrel cat in the netting but that was luck.
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Predators and Pests › My bantam hen almost got caught by a hawk. What should I look for to make sure she's ok?