Aerial attack!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Pineywoods Peepers, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    Had the peeps out free ranging yesterday. I was inside looking at Christmas pictures of my nieces and nephews with my brother. I could see the chicken from our big window in the kitchen, and they were milling around close to the garden. I'd just commented to my brother that I needed to go shoo them away. They got in the garden earlier this week and were tearing up some radishes before I chased them out. A couple minutes later my brother went tearing out the front door. I thought he was going out to scare the chickens away from the garden, and I thought he was a little over eager to do so. But then I realized he was going out to chase off a hawk that was trying to carry off one of my roosters. That thing was HUGE!!! It was almost the same size as one of my chickens. Luckily my brother was able to chase the hawk off before he killed the rooster. All he made off with was two claws full of feathers, but my chickens scattered into the wooded area close to the garden. It was at least 30 minutes before any of them would come out. I was finally able to coax about 1/2 of them back to the pen and close them up under the safety of the bird netting. 30 minutes later the other traumatized chickens emerged from the woods and made a break for the pen. Sadly one of my little hens did not come back. I looked and called for her, and I hoped she'd turn back up this morning, but no luck... [​IMG] Now I can't decide if it's worth the risk to let the chickens outside. I don't want to lose a rooster or another layer, and I really don't have time to sit outside with my shotgun today, and I know that hawk will probably be back.
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
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    Apr 15, 2009
    The hawk will definitely be back. Looks like your birds will need to be in lockdown for a couple days. Sorry about your missing bird. She may still come back. I hope she does.

    Good luck.
     
  3. K9ThorsMom

    K9ThorsMom Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 25, 2010
    Pinellas County, FL
    Aww...sorry about your hen...I hope she makes her way safely back to you!


    - Andrea
     
  4. mgw

    mgw Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    ImWith cmv lock down. Lucky your brother was keeping an eye on the flock. The hawk will return unfortunately!!
     
  5. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    You need to attempt to harass the hawk when he comes back. Use one of the air horns for boats, they make a very loud blast. Stretch some white line across open areas if possible. Put some corn out for hawks if you have them, they are the best hawk deterrent. Large dogs keep hawks away to, unfortunately I lost two of my large dogs to old age and I have had more problems this year. The one dog I have left is old also and does not like to go outside anymore. You can also hang cds to annoy the hawks. If you feed treats feed them in the woods where they have more cover and they will get used to scratching in the woods.
     
  6. purr

    purr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2008
    east freetown, ma
    I'm so glad your rooster is ok, hope your hen turns up soon. Believe it or not your chickens have learned a valuable lesson and will have their eye to the sky from now on. I have lost some to a hawk but feel that the value of their life to be chickens is worth the risk.This is personal decision and everyone has to do what is right for them.
    Please Do not harass the hawk or if you do , don't talk about it on a public forum. This is a federal offense and punishable with a hefty fine and possible jail time and we have fish and game wardens as members of BYC. It would not be there fault if they were forced to do their job
     
  7. Pineywoods Peepers

    Pineywoods Peepers Certified Poultry Accruer

    The poor peeps want out so bad. When they see me come outside they all start crowding around the gate I always open to let them out. But I'm going to keep them safe and secure. We'll try free ranging again next weekend. Hopefully it's a little warmer out next weekend so I can sit outside with them to keep guard without freezing.

    I keep checking outside occasionally for my missing hen, but it's been about 20 hours since the attack and no sign of her. [​IMG]
     
  8. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    Sorry- if you let em' out, you'll lose more. You can go without SEEING the hawk for days and then open the door to let the chickens out- 10 seconds later another one gone. You can get help to try to make it leave your location for good.
     

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