Barred Owl Hunting during the Day

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by donnavee, Apr 23, 2013.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I will bet money barred owl is after rodents (voles) that are likely abundant where your birds forage. This time of year the owls are feeding nestlings or fledglings and daytime hunting will occur if they are not harassed by hawks or crows. In my expereince barred owls seldom attack adult standard sized adult poultry.
  2. TehLizardKing

    TehLizardKing Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2012
    Yes Aart, yes I have. It may sound sad, but the raptors here are stupid enough to fall for it [​IMG]
  3. el pollo rey

    el pollo rey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2013
    costa Rica
    . Ahh ok ?
    Last edited: May 2, 2013
  4. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    I did have a barred own try to eat one of my hens. It had her pinned to the ground and was feeding on her flesh... when I scared it off it had eaten a good portion of her back.... there was a large wound approx 3 inches in diameter; the muscle was stripped off the backbone and scapula, and the wound was deep enough that air bubbles appeared in its depths when she breathed. Amazingly enough, with intensive treatment she actually survived. No way could that owl (that probably weighed 2 lb) carry off my big Welsummer, but it did its damage. And I am sure it would have killed her if I hadn't come along when I did.
  5. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    Whoa, that is scary. Thankfully the one I saw moved on the next day and I haven't seen it since. I have small call ducks and I know it could have taken off with one of them.
  6. tellynpeep

    tellynpeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2008
    SW New Hampshire
    It was winter, and there wasn't much else for the owls to eat (I found one by the road that had obviously starved .) I don't worry about them now, and they are nesting in the pines right near my coops.
  7. wekiva bird

    wekiva bird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2010
    South Carolina
    The only thing i have seen the owls get are mice,rats, bushy tail rats, snakes.
  8. Gifa

    Gifa Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had what I believe to be a HUGE Barred Owl flyover my girls really low earlier this evening. They were out and about in the yard, minding their own business about 5 minutes from putting themselves to bed... and out of nowhere, a Barred swooped in really low over my yard, dragging a cloud of other smaller agitated birds.

    I was out in the yard with a pitchfork, aerating my lawn and all of a sudden, the girls dashed into their run, heads held very high, in that alarmed posture... The owl landed in a tree about 30 feet from my coop behind the fence. This was their first real scare... They've seen hawks and whatnot before, enough to make them take cover under the spirea... but never a predator this close. I've never seen them so scared that they chose to dive into their run as opposed to any of the bushes on the way... I did a quick hen count, and when I came up short I did a quick scan of the backyard to see where they scrambled to in case I needed to put myself between them and the owl... ALL of my girls made it into the run, except my brown leghorn. She was standing in the middle of the yard, totally exposed and totally frozen... in a deer in the headlights kind of way... .

    I watched her watch the owl watching her... She was just so still... I took a few steps in her direction and she started slowly making her way over to the run... By now the rest of my flock had decided that was about as much fun as they could stand for one evening and started putting themselves to bed... Zoe followed suit. By this time, I looked back up at the owl... it turned it's massive hornless head and flew off in the opposite direction... taking it's cloud of angry little birds with it. I secured their digs and went inside.

    In hindsight, I don't think the owl was swooping in on my chickens. It came in over my house and flew over the backyard to the woods back there... I think it was mostly trying to get away from all the little birds who were yelling at it to get out of their territory. But still... a good experience for my girls. I had wondered how predator savvy my flock would be... and I worry the most about my two light colored Easter Eggers since they are not camouflaged at all... but they were the first two in the run... Good girls.
  9. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    Wow! What an experience. The Barred Owls are beautiful, in a freaky kind of way. Early evening is when I would normally see one, doing almost exactly what you described. Glad everyone got in safely. My chickens seem much more predator savvy than the ducks. Though I have noticed the ducks are now responding to the chicken alarm calls.
  10. ConPollos

    ConPollos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2015
    I recently talked to a lady, who lives in a rural area, and she said an owl had gotten all her chickens; so they've covered their run with chicken wire. She said it happened during the daytime. I don't know any details, but I'm researching owls now.

    Two other neighbors both say no hawk or owl has ever gotten their free range birds, even though I see many hawks and a few owls around here. I'm so worried about my girls, who adore ranging in my fenced fron yard. There are some things for them to take cover under, and I've made a web of poly twine over the area between the coop and my house. I need to do more to protect them, and I'm confused about how some people don't have a problem with arial attacks and don't even worry about it.

    I was talking to a local old timer, who said they always used to let the chickens run loose in the old days because they figured they'd reproduce fast enough to make up for predation. But, they didn't view them as pets, like I do.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015

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