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Turkey Vultures, Crows, and possibly a hawk.

post #1 of 2
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I went to go let my chickens out this morning, they are free range, I heard about 5 or 6 crows all making quite a lot of noise. At closer inspection it looked like they were attacking two or three fairly large birds of prey. I originally thought it was hawks. But as the larger birds settled into trees I noticed their heads - bald and red. Turkey Vultures. There was two of them that rested on the same branch, then they would fly over the chicken coop, then back to the branch. Eventually the crows settled down, a couple even in the same tree. But the third bird I saw was gone.It was more of a red color than the deep brown of the vultures, and was a bit smaller.

Will the turkey vultures eat live chickens? I know they eat mostly carrion, but will sometimes attack live animals if they are hungry enough. My chickens are aprox. 4 months old. So they are not full grown, but not itty bitty chicks either. The hawk population around my house is all but non existent, there are a large number of crows in the area. Since the crows came back around about a month ago I have not seen a single hawk, other than the third mystery bird this morning.

post #2 of 2

Vultures won't usually bother live animals unless they are very very hungry, and even then it's usually going to be something small and sick/injured.  They're not terribly capable predators and I wouldn't worry much about them so much as I would the crows.

 

Crows attack vultures and birds of prey all of the time, for fun.  Sometimes it's to drive potential predators away from nests, but usually it's just because they can and they have nothing better to do.  I've read that they'll sometimes have a go at chickens for this purpose, but not often.  However, they may attack a small bird if they're really hungry.  At 4 months, they probably won't bother, but chicks would definitely be a potential risk.

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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Predators and Pests › Turkey Vultures, Crows, and possibly a hawk.