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Hawks

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

So yesterday I had the girls out of their run in my fenced in back yard. They were enjoying themselves tearing up my grass and garden. Suddenly I see four of my girls dash back to the run like chickens with their heads cut off. I see them all glaring up into the sky so I know something up. So I get up and look to a hawk up on the telephone pole staring down at my fifth chicken which was all alone (shes the smallest). I ended up throwing a rock up at the hawk which made him fly away. I then ended up putting my girls away for a little. The hawk wasn't very big, he maybe only stood a foot tall. Should I be worried about him attacking my girls? And why didn't my smallest girl run with the rest of the flock?     

Darla ~ Buff Orpington

Peggy-Sue ~ Plymouth Barred Rock

Gg ~ Black Sex-link

Summer ~ Welsummer

Piper ~ Black Australorp

Sidney ~ Golden Retriever

 

My Swap Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/peggy-sues-swap-page

 

BYC Where a chicken is not "just a chicken"

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Darla ~ Buff Orpington

Peggy-Sue ~ Plymouth Barred Rock

Gg ~ Black Sex-link

Summer ~ Welsummer

Piper ~ Black Australorp

Sidney ~ Golden Retriever

 

My Swap Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/peggy-sues-swap-page

 

BYC Where a chicken is not "just a chicken"

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post #2 of 31

The hawks in my area are total opportunists. Because of this year's drought I think there is less easy prey for them so my chickens are the next best thing. I would be worried about more attacks if I were you. I wouldn't let them out to free range unless you or someone is available to keep a reasonable watch on them. Usually running out is enough to scare it away, but it will definitely try again. I've been told that roosters are good at watching for danger and that they will sound the alarm to the hens, and in some cases they will fight the other bird to the death. 

As to why your little one didn't run, who can know the minds of chickens? She might not have seen him and if the others weren't squawking the alarm she might have just been unaware of the danger. Also, something strange I've noticed with my birds, they think that if they are in the shade, then they must be under something that will protect them from the sky. Whenever I watch them run for cover they go to the shade of the barn, not into the barn. I guess that goes back to hiding under a tree from an attack. She might have thought she was out of view because she was in a shady spot. 

post #3 of 31

I feel for you.  We don't have big hawks in this part of TX but one of the locals got my silver laced wyandotte today.  Nothing left but feathers.  She was the smallest of my 6 and I think the others are a little to big now to be hawk bait, but they sure are staying under cover right now.  My Mom and I saw a hawk circling while working outside and I am willing to bet that's who got my SLW.  My chicks are free ranging inside a 6 ft chain link fence yard so I don't have problem with dogs and in 13 yrs here I have yet to see a raccoon.  I have more babies coming next week including a rooster and I will be glad for the alarm.  Had my dogs been outside the hawk likely would have stayed away but I wasn't home at the time.  Sucks but it happens.

 

Good Luck

Alice

post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

That's terrible! When they are outside of their run I am usually sitting on the porch or working in the garden and I am always looking out for them. I'm like their rooster, when I do see danger like a hawk I give a cockadoodal and they go running back to the run. Sometimes I do it to get them all back in. I don't think I'll be letting them outside of their run as much as I do.

Darla ~ Buff Orpington

Peggy-Sue ~ Plymouth Barred Rock

Gg ~ Black Sex-link

Summer ~ Welsummer

Piper ~ Black Australorp

Sidney ~ Golden Retriever

 

My Swap Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/peggy-sues-swap-page

 

BYC Where a chicken is not "just a chicken"

Reply

Darla ~ Buff Orpington

Peggy-Sue ~ Plymouth Barred Rock

Gg ~ Black Sex-link

Summer ~ Welsummer

Piper ~ Black Australorp

Sidney ~ Golden Retriever

 

My Swap Page: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/peggy-sues-swap-page

 

BYC Where a chicken is not "just a chicken"

Reply
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peggy-Sue View Post

So yesterday I had the girls out of their run in my fenced in back yard. They were enjoying themselves tearing up my grass and garden. Suddenly I see four of my girls dash back to the run like chickens with their heads cut off. I see them all glaring up into the sky so I know something up. So I get up and look to a hawk up on the telephone pole staring down at my fifth chicken which was all alone (shes the smallest). I ended up throwing a rock up at the hawk which made him fly away. I then ended up putting my girls away for a little. The hawk wasn't very big, he maybe only stood a foot tall. Should I be worried about him attacking my girls? And why didn't my smallest girl run with the rest of the flock?     

If the bird you saw was that small then you most likely saw some type of falcon rather then a hawk.  Not a threat unless you have chicks. 

wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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post #6 of 31

If it was about a foot tall it was probably a Coopers Hawk or Sharp-shinned Hawk. Both are hunters of chickens, that is how they earned the nickname "chicken hawk" They ambush the chickens. They use trees to get close and fly very well through tree branches, so tree coverage is not safe for them. I have solid objects all over my yard for them to get under that a diving hawk would have trouble getting into without landing first, then my LGD would be all over it. He is very protective of the chickens. Won't even let my cats get near them and they would never take on an adult chicken. And I also practice the three S method if the dog can't get a predator. Shoot, Shovel, Shut-up.

Married to wife of 19yrs, 20yo and 17yo boys(One EOD in Army, other in HS), Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog mix, 2 dumb cats that hate each other(at least the fighting stopped), 28+ chickens

 

Jesus is Lord, I am not!!!!

 

ASBC member

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Married to wife of 19yrs, 20yo and 17yo boys(One EOD in Army, other in HS), Australian Shepherd, Australian Cattle Dog mix, 2 dumb cats that hate each other(at least the fighting stopped), 28+ chickens

 

Jesus is Lord, I am not!!!!

 

ASBC member

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post #7 of 31

Hawks are migrating right now, and those passing through are HUNGRY.  Spring and fall you may want to keep your girls in for a few weeks until the migrators have passed through.  And smaller hawks (and falcons) can take on a surprisingly large chicken.

Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 



My Chickens
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Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 



My Chickens
Reply
post #8 of 31

I saw a large hawk fly over today. He didn't slow down so I didn't bother running for the shotgun. I watched to see if he'd perch, but he flew on out of sight.

 

I saw a migrating group two weeks ago. The sky seemed to be covered with them in spots.

post #9 of 31

I've lost two chickens this week. They've been happy free range backyard chickens for two years... we lost a small girl last year. Now two this week. Terrible. Not sure what to do. Is there a good breed of dog that is good with chickens and can protect them? Or someone suggested getting a goose. Any experience with that?
 

post #10 of 31

Hi, A week ago a Hawk got my Bantam rooster, so I didn't let the girls out for a few days. I read everything I could find on how to protect from Hawks. I put up metal pie tins,

tin foil hanging from branches, Bells, bought and put up two Owls and a scarecrow. Sad to say nothing worked. He or they got a Cornish hen almost full grown and a Bantam.

I don't have a Roo but have heard that some will protect and some won't. Most of my girls are almost full grown, some are laying some are not. I am totally sad over losing three

of them. All I can think of is only letting them out while I am down there and doing it about an hour before they roost. It will soon be too cold here to stay out much longer than

about an hour. Just letting you know all the things I have tried so you don't take any chances like I have done. I hate it because I wanted them to have their freedom and they

have finally started running to me and eating out of my hand:>(
 

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