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Red tailed hawk spotted

post #1 of 6
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Yesterday, we saw a red tailed hawk fly over my chicken coop. I have 4 hens. They have a secure coop at night, and in the day, they have a run they hangout in. Yesterday, when the hawk flew above, all the chickens ran under the bush. My coop is set up in such a way, that there is no easy way for a hawk to swoop down real quick, grab it, and come back up. There's also a tree that covers a fourth of the run. Are they safe, or not?
post #2 of 6

 

You might want to consider putting a netting material over the top of the area. Like we have done with ours.

post #3 of 6

My experience with Red Tails, even as large as some can be, they're incapable of swooping down and snatching up a full-size chicken.  Instead, hawks will kill and eat on the ground.  As the other poster suggested, you might want to look into covering the run.  Unless your run is electrified, most ground predators are quite adept at climbing.  Good luck.

 

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post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5lovelyhens View Post
 There's also a tree that covers a fourth of the run. Are they safe, or not?

They're less safe than if they were freeranging.

 

 

The thing to remember about runs and coops is that if other animals can get in, and the birds can't get out, you've basically created a feeding station. Free ranging birds can at least scatter.

 

Cover the run.

post #5 of 6

Depending on your area there is likely no reason for the hawks to attack your birds. I'm surrounded by fields and woods. Hawks regularly perch on the power line leading up to the house not 200 yards where my birds are in an open electric fence. They've trees and bushes for shelter but the hawks are more preoccupied with snakes and field mice to pay them attention anyhow.

 

Young birds are kept in a grow out pen that has a cover. Small birds attract attention of hawks for sure.

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.

 

-Charles Dudley Warner

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post #6 of 6

Maybe that's the case in your area. Lucky you. This morning I went outside to open up my coop, and scared off a red-tail from the tree right outside the coop. On the ground was one drake (I have chickens and ducks) that did not make it into the coop the night before. I had of course closed up the coop last night, but it's extremely dark back there and the drake is black (Cayuga). That hawk killed it that evening, obviously when the birds were putting themselves to bed. They go in on their own. They free range on my acre with plenty of cover. Now I'm stepping up my yard patrol during the day (I work from home) and will hang out in the evening while they go in the coop. I feel if I do that consistently for a while the hawk will get the idea the buffet is closed. 

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