1 of 3 chickens killed by hawk... worried about remaining two

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by swiftchickcoop, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. swiftchickcoop

    swiftchickcoop New Egg

    Mar 26, 2015
    Our sweet barred rock was sadly killed by a hawk this evening. Terribly traumatic for my two other hens and myself but now trying to focus on how to keep the other two healthy and safe.

    One came running up to the door of our house when we ran out so I held her while my husband took care of the terrible thing that happened. She seemed absolutely terrified and cannot believe she came running up to me like that as the hen that was killed used to be the only one who would really run up to say hello every time I walked in the backyard. Now I am wondering though...

    1. Should I be concerned about the two hens (both barred rocks, about 25 weeks old) being traumatized by this and if so, what do I need to do about that?

    2. Will the two be okay just the two of them or should we start thining about getting another hen? If so, at this age and with this breed, does anyone have any advice about how to go about this? Do we get another barred rock or a different breed? What age? How do we introduce and when?

    3. I know that with free ranging things like this happen (still did not totally prepare me for how awful it was though!) and so now I am reconsidering free ranging them. We are thinking of constructing a very large run for them but is this horrible to do after letting them free range for so long?

    Really looking for any advice on how to keep the two remaining hens happy and healthy as we are heartbroken after losing our first one to the hawk tonight.

    Thanks so much.
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    The more hens the merrier, at least for the hawks but the longer the odds are that any one hen will fall victim to a hawk attack.
  3. jessr779

    jessr779 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 8, 2014
    I am sorry to hear about your barred rock. [​IMG] One of my barred rocks was just killed two weeks ago by a hawk and I too was not prepared for the heartache after this happened. Mine was 29 weeks, we had one other barred rock and a total of 6 chickens, all the same age at the time.

    Mine seemed a little sad for a couple days. The first few days after it happened i saw two of them look towards the part of the yard we buried her in and they made a sound that I never heard them make before that sounded to me like a cry. The other barred rock, who is also the head chick also seemed to be looking for her for a few days, they were best buddies. All of mine seemed mostly back to normal within a few days after it happened. They have been more wary of things in the sky, but I think that is probably a good thing. Yours will probably bounce back to normal in a few days, probably quicker than you.

    Unfortunately, the hawk by me has come back everyday since this happened so I have not let them free range since. Yesterday, two came by and were about to swoop down until I ran towards the chickens but looking straight at the hawks. Hopefully your hawk will move on to different parts quickly, but you should definitely keep an eye out in case it does return.

    I was only letting my girls out out a couple hours a day, but they seemed to get used to not being let out at within about 3-4 days. The barred rocks are pretty adaptable, I think they would be happy with a large run fairly quickly. This weekend I covered my vegetable garden and made a chicken tunnel for them to get to it, and they were ecstatic to be let out. Some other members on here have suggested tying grocery bags to the fence posts to scare the hawks when they blow in the wind, hang cd's in trees or invite loud children to play in the yard.

    I'm sorry I don't have any advice on replacing her, I am still trying to figure that out myself. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your remaining barred rocks.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015

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