Are certain breeds less susceptible to hawk attack?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by shandiane78, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. shandiane78

    shandiane78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lost my first chicken to a hawk a couple days ago, which got me thinking, it will be back, and also wondering if I shouldn't restock my flock with more predator resistant birds. At first I thought heavier breeds would help, but the hawk didn't take this hen away. It killed her on the ground, ate part of the neck, then left. (She was a big fat GLW.) Would it help to get some game bird blood into my flock? Would there a type of rooster that would protect the flock from a hawk? I have a rooster right now, but he's a big pansy, and not quite mature. He's a Splash Ameraucana, and is at the very bottom of the pecking order, so I don't see him being much help where predators are concerned!
     
  2. dmiravalle

    dmiravalle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I found white's in anything get picked off the fastest up here. Especially white cats. Gross I know, but true.
     
  3. shandiane78

    shandiane78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm, well I have one white chicken, and two splash, but this hawk went after the GLW. In fact, the hawk attacked her and failed, then came back the next day and got her. Went after the very same hen twice! The first time though, the hen was on snow, so must have been very easy to spot. I was kind of surprised that it targeted the same hen the next day. On that day the snow was mostly gone.
     
  4. chickortreat

    chickortreat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens whose owners are adept with a shotgun are the safest. Aside from that, it would seem that those whose colors blended more with their surroundings would be less noticeable from high up.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011
  5. Higins00

    Higins00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had several chickens picked off by hawks, all different breeds, usually three a year. It wasn't until I got my roo that I have been free of kills. He is very good, soon as he sees something in the air he calls the grils and they go running for cover.
     
  6. shandiane78

    shandiane78 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like I need a good roo! Mine is no good right now, don't know if he will be in the future.

    I live within city limits, so shotgun is not an option. Besides that, hawks are federally protected. However, I do own an air rifle...I'm not sure I could restrain myself if I saw it stalking my flock or chowing down on another one of my chickens. [​IMG]
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Breed can be a factor. Larger size with greater agility helps. Avoid breeds that are small (bantams) or have excessive or abnormal (silkies / polish) feather developement that compromise flying ability or vision. Birds need to detect hawk and get to cover fast. Flight ability may simply involve using wings to accelerate faster and turn sharper. Best genetics in respect to defensive rooster will be a game or game hybrid.

    Do not forget about providing cover. Best option for bird is getting somewhere that denies hawk advantage of flight. Having that motivated rooster or two can be a powerful reason for a hawk to look elsewhere.
     
  8. Wild Trapper

    Wild Trapper Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2011
    Ohio
    I lost one young bird last fall letting them free range. I never found the kill, one just never came home, I had seen a hawk around the day it disappeared, so I believe the hawk got it. I have never lost one from the run, (a fenced in area w/five foot fence), and yes I have had hens that would fly over it. The lack of any high trees near the run might be a help as the hawks seem to hang out in the wooded area when they come around. The bird I lost was a mostly white mutt, but very visible at that time of year.
     
  9. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    I would say any Gamefowl are a good choice, as they're better at foraging, the hens don't make obnoxious egg songs, and the birds are very athletic, plus the males are VERY protective.

    Of course, offering cover is always a wise decision. I never dream or think positively of free ranging chickens on a huge open plain. Must have shrubs, trees, or some sort of roofing/netting here and there.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:Some gamefowl do not appear as capable but this may be owing to my lack of experience with them. The heavy boned breeds with very hard and tight feathering and upright stance (Asils and kin) seem more built for resisting impact damage and endurance. My neighbor has some and they seem a bit slow. Are such attributes suitable for defending against hawks? American games approximating the old english variety seem to have greater speed and overall agility.
     

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