A hawk swooped down over my head...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by speedyjones, Sep 4, 2010.

  1. speedyjones

    speedyjones Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2008
    North Carolina
    and tried to grab my pet chicken, Speedy. I had just been cleaning the bird yard and noticed the bramas were acting strange. They wouldn't come out like they usually did for "recess." Instead, they stayed underfoot while I scooped the fertilizer from their sandy floor. When I returned to my house I called Speedy to come on in for the night. She was right outside my back door. That's when the hawk swooped down right over me to get my bird. It didn't matter that I was standing there. Apparently hawks have been in the trees over my bird house spying on my bramas often this summer. I had been noticing that in the middle of a hot, humid day, all my birds except one roo would disappear into the bird house. Later, they would all come out again. I didn't realize what the cause was until the day the hawk swooped down. HOW DO I GET RID OF THE HAWKS?

    My bramas are only 3 months old now. Maybe they will be too large for a hawk to take??? How can I protect my little bird, Speedy?
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    They can only be protected if they are locked in an enclosed run... and most hawks are protected by law.

    Some folks hang shiny CDs around their yards and peeps say this scares the hawks away... I've only had one hawk swoop in when I've been around.. .it hit the fence on the outside of the run and lost a few of it's feathers... guess it could see the chicken but couldn't get to it.

    I've seen others circle overhead and the birds head straight for the coop, even in the protected run.
  3. CathyRN

    CathyRN Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 17, 2010
    Sevier County, TN
    Ugh these hawks....I have the same issue, all summer no hawks and now, tons of them. So far no chickens lost but I have 9 girls that all free range and I get so freaked out.....I heard a panic call today in the back yard from one of my girls and 3 of them took off running....so I ran out there and about a 1/4 acre back I counted my girls, all fine, but this hawk was sitting under a tree eating a fresh rabbit it just killed ...[​IMG] ..so I guess instead of one of my girls he got a rabbit.

    I've always enjoyed watching my girls free range but today was the first time I've considered building an entire enclosed coop for them. [​IMG] So scary. With all of the mice and rats around I wish the hawks would just eat THEM !!
  4. speedyjones

    speedyjones Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2008
    North Carolina
    I have an enclosed run for the birds but they like to come out for "recess" while I clean. All the bramas (3 months old) stay fairly close to their home. Speedy (almost 3 years old) goes her own way when I open the door. She is used to going where she wants to go. How can I keep her safe when a hawk swoops down with me standing there? I didn't think they were that bold.
  5. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    I have had a hawk sit in a tree next to my covered run and wait for a chicken to stick it's head through the fence, and then grabbed the chicken by the head and ate part of it. I didn't know this happened until I had gone out to put the chickens up for the night, and the hawk flew off and I saw what was left of my poor silkie roo.[​IMG]
  6. speedyjones

    speedyjones Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2008
    North Carolina
    I know Speedy is in danger but will a hawk take a full-grown brama?
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    A hawk generally can't fly off with a full grown chicken, but other posters have stated that they've had hawks kill and eat their chickens on the spot.
  8. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I'm amazed that your other chickens knew what was up even though you didn't see the hawk at first. I watch killdeer and I know how they behave towards me and I know how they behave when a hawk or falcon is around. Sometimes, the hawk will be right over my head and I wouldn't even know it was there, but they would.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  9. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    A full grown red-tailed hawk could kill a full grown brahma with little trouble. Can one carry it away? No. But hawks are known to drag prey too big to fly off with under safe spots where they can eat in peace, such as under a bush or under a tree. I hear hanging CD cases on trees can help. A feed store friend also said balloons are supposed to work great, but of course you'd need to get the chickens used to these first. I have quite a few pairs of red-shouldered hawks around my neighborhood, I often see them hunting and screeching in the morning. Fortunately, they aren't a very large hawk, being slightly larger than a half grown standard sized chicken. My 5 hens can forage around my yard without much worries, and the hawks fly by without shooting a glance.

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