4 Black Vultures on ground by pens.


In the Brooder
10 Years
Aug 15, 2009
Schuylkill County, Pa
This morning I heard my free range chickens making a fuss. I have been having problems with hawks lately so I ran to the window to see what was wrong. I saw that all the chickens were in the pens with 3 of the big roosters standing in the doorway and there were 4 large birds on the ground by the doorway. At first I thought they were wild turkeys because there are two hens that started to hang around with my peacock this spring. I thought what now there are 4 turkeys hanging around. Then I noticed that they were all black. One flew up on the roof. The other 3 stayed on the ground. That is when I saw they were vultures, but not the turkey vulture that I am use to seeing around here. They have a red head. These had a gray head. Two started to chase each other around. They were hopping and flapping their wings like I have seen the peacock and peahens doing when playing. The one just stood right in front of the door, being guarded by the roosters, looking in. The chickens were all making the distress call. The other two came back to the one standing; it put both wings out and kind of hopped or shuffled low towards them. They started to run around this one. It almost looked like it was hurt or like a mother bird acts when you get too close to a baby. They all were right in front of the door all they had to do was jump up and they would be in the pen. The chickens were really sounding the alarm call then. I could even hear that the peahen were in there because they started to call. I ran out on the back deck yelling to scare them away. They did even take notice of me. I ran back into the house to get outside. By now I was freaking out not knowing if they would hurt the chicken or what they were doing. I have some little Seramas and Old English in that pen. I must have looked like a nut running down the yard yell and waving my arms. They let me get very close to them before they flew away. Even the one that looked like it was hurt. The one on the roof waited till I was right near the pen before it flew. They landed in the trees for a little then took off soaring on the wind, in circles like they do till I could not see them anymore. No Chicken was hurt maybe thanks to the RIR, Easter egger and White Rooster standing in the doorway. They were not in their pen. They were in the banty pens. I don’t know. Maybe they would not have done anything. Has anyone else ever had something like this happen or know what they were doing there? I had thought about getting my camera to take a picture of them but was afraid they would hurt the chickens and didn’t want to take the time to do it.
Thanks, I was not sure if they would take live chickens or not but didn't want to wait and see. I have never seen vultures on the ground unless they were by something dead. I was just saying to my husband that there are too many roosters we had to do something about it. Now I will have to save them three. My peahens have chased hawks before but even they were afraid of the vultures. They were hid in the back of the pen with the other chickens but not the three roosters they stood right in the doorway. They were only about 1 foot away from the vultures. The vultures had to get by them to get in the pen. Yes it is good to have them protect their flock.

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