A hawk is Taking my Hens!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Frizzle13, Nov 25, 2012.

  1. Frizzle13

    Frizzle13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2012
    I used to have about 30 hens in one of my pens but now i only have 6.
    A fox takes a couple but they seem to go missing without leaving so much as a feather, so i guess it is a hawk of some description. is there any way of stopping it? here is a pic of their paddock. I have two other pens and i Dont want any of my more fancy bird to go.[​IMG]



  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I am betting fox is doing all the taking since fowl are standard sized and hawks can not take such without leaving lots of feather sign. Red fox on other hand can take birds leaving little or no evidence.
  3. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    It could be any number of large predators, but a hawk it is not. A hawk can not carry an adult hen, so if the entire bird is missing, feathers and all, I would suspect fox, raccoon, human, or stray dog. It's something strong enough to pick up and carry a full size chicken.

    The largest hawk in this country weighs just under 4 pounds and the majority of hawks are 2 pounds or less. A hawk can not carry off a bird that weighs 6-8 pounds.

    With 24 birds gone, perhaps it is time to consider tightening up their housing?
  4. mrsteiner

    mrsteiner Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 28, 2011
    Davison, MI
    Do they go missing at night or during the day? My layers do a pretty good job of dodging hawks and owls who fly in, but they have to have something to hid under like a porch or deck. We put a flight net over our run area so when they were enclosed nothing could get them. It has been perfect. We got it at Cutler Supply.

    On the other hand, we've lost a few of our meat birds to a Great Horned Owl the last couple of days. But this morning he was caught in the poultry net, and had to be "rescued" and removed to a raptor sanctuary.
  5. bigoledude

    bigoledude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2011
    SE, Louisiana
    There are some very inexpensive game-cams that will take hundreds of pics for you. It seems your chickens have a large area to roam. Your game-cam would snap a photo every time something moves in the small area the camera is targeting. If they all roost in the same area at night, have the camera cover that area.

    Do your chickens disappear during the day or, is this predator attacking at night?

    Another method I have rigged for detecting predators is a very inexpensive "security-light" set-up. Buy a set of those double security-lights. Instead of screwing in a spotlight, I screw in one of those receptacles that you can plug a cord into. I run a cord into the house to a radio or anything that makes a racket. When an intruder crosses into the infra-red (I think) target area, the device in the house cranks up. It's at this point I go outside and kill the predator. If you install a spotlight in the other socket, you will have enough light to see what you're shooting at. We have rigged several of these for friends and neighbors with great success.

    Foxes, dogs and most predators are easy to catch in traps. Just "Google" trapping whatever the predator is. Also search YouTube for trapping that predator. There is tons of info at your fingertips. If it's a fox, look up dirt-hole set. Great method to catch foxes and coyotes.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by