Originally Posted by SillyMissLily
I'm wondering if chicken owners out there have ever witnessed a hawk or eagle carrying off an adult chicken. I have chickens myself and have studied wildlife for years, my specialty being sage grouse. A sage grouse is about the same size as an average standard (not bantam) hen chicken. When a grouse was eaten by an avian predator, the remains had telltale clues: prey was flipped onto it's back, innards gone, musculature stripped away from tough tendons, head/wings/legs usually remaining attached or near the victim. I was under the impression that most hawks are not big enough to carry off a chicken (or grouse, for that matter), but eagles are. Would anyone like to share what you've witnessed? Include breed/size of chicken, species of hawk, and any other info possible.
Mostly we have red tails in our area with some cooper's and sharpshins, but the latter two aren't a problem as far as chickens are concerned.
We had a flock of Rhode Island Red pullets only and saw direct hawk hits, where the hawk would eat the bird on the ground or the result of a hawk hit.
When we decided to get more chickens we researched breeds and decided to stick with larger breeds (Have since amended this) and have always kept at least one rooster with the flock.
Twice I've witnessed hawk attacks on juvenile birds but both were misses, In one case a less than two month old Easter Egger who was able to dive under a deck and another time a clutch of birds the same age and all ducked under a nearby evergreen. We have lots of shrubbery and hiding places and it seems thankfully we haven't had the problems with hawks we had previously, but we do still see them.
BTW, I've read that Iowa blue roosters are supposed to be "hawk fighters" and have thought of adding several both pullets and cockerels to the flock, a project for another year.
Edited by dekel18042 - 5/20/16 at 6:47am