Are Cooper's hawks a threat to full size layers ?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Johnnyfly41, Dec 30, 2016.

  1. Johnnyfly41

    Johnnyfly41 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 28, 2016
    I realize that the Cooper's hawk was called "chicken hawk" forever. However, I am told that they really do not go after chickens just due to size.

    Does anyone have any experience with the Cooper's hawk nabbing their chickens ?

    I live in a sparsely wooded old growth forest area, so, red tails and eagles are not likely to hunt here, though they are around. However, Cooper's hawks are regular visitors, taking song birds and ground squirrels. I have seen them watching our squirrels, but have never seen them make a run on a grey or red squirrel.

    My run will be roofed, so, only worried about when chickens are out on the property, which likely means we are out with them.

    Just interested if there is any evidence that Coopers will predate on full size layers.


  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2016
    I have had them by my coop but they have not killed....Knock on wood...There are videos on YouTube of them killing full grown hens.

  3. TeeMom

    TeeMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2016
    I lost a decent sized cockeral to one when he was probably around 16 weeks and then a full grown laying hen to one Last March. I have photo evidence and everything. We have resident red tails, so he didn't stick around for long and he looked to be a young guy, so he was probably still not a great hunter, but he did it.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have lots of experience with Cooper's Hawks. Generally, they are not a threat to adult standard sized chickens especially when a mature rooster is in the mix. They do go after chicks and juvenile chickens. I do not run hen only flocks as they are not immune to female Cooper's Hawks.

    See the following thread.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by