Big chickens safer from hawks than small?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jsg, Apr 30, 2009.

  1. jsg

    jsg New Egg

    Apr 30, 2009
    Hello. I'm in the early planning stages; not even sure yet if we'll get chickens. I live in the San Diego area in a tract home suburb with a decent sized backyard. I know there are hawks in the area. My thought would be to have 2-3 hens, a coop with a small run, and to free range some of the time. I would love the idea of having them out whenever I'm home (which is all most of the day), but I know of the dangers of hawks. Would the largest breeds of hen be less likely to be taken by hawks? Thanks!
  2. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Hawks are naturally going to pick prey that is smaller than them, or the easiest to subdue. Smaller chickens obviously are better candidates for hawk predation. However, if a hawk decides it wants your chicken, it'll take your chicken.
  3. conny63malies

    conny63malies Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    my grandma would never buy white chickens because they always stick out. Our last rooster she had was killed by a hawk . THe hawk chased him into a fence. Roo got his head stuck and the hawk started eating him.
  4. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I had one get a Silver Leghorn a few weeks ago. She was about 6.5 pounds. He ate her where she fell.

    The smaller ones may be a more appealing target, but they will go after large ones as well.

    Make sure your runs are covered. If you know you have hawks, you'll be taking a gamble leaving them out all day while you are gone. They may be just fine - but then again......
  5. teddiliza

    teddiliza Chillin' With My Peeps

    The Barred Rocks I have had are SMART! If they see a shadow moving on the ground they go running under the coop. I think I've also heard that the barred coloring makes them less visible to hawks. I have had a few hawks looking at my chickens, but when I see them I always run outside and make a fuss and clamor near my coop so they seek elsewhere. So far I've been lucky.
  6. erinm

    erinm Posting For A change

    Feb 24, 2007
    Central Massachusetts
    Big chickens are not safe. I have lost 2 that were standard size. The hawk does not care. It is gettting an easy meal. ErinM
  7. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    i've had some pretty big RIR's get pulverized by merlins. merlins are tiny tiny little falcons, but they still managed to kill and eat a few birds of mine. i wouldn't take the risk, put some netting over their run, it will likely save them.


    Last edited: May 1, 2009
  8. Cheryl

    Cheryl Chillin' With My Peeps

    My chickens "free range" in my fenced in yard...I live pretty close to my neighbors. Yesterday I went outside to visit with my girls, no one was in sight, I went over to the coop and all 8 were huddled in a corner, behinds a rock. I went back out into to the yard and looked around, no dogs, when I looked up, pretty high up was a hawk, first I've seen over my house in 1 1/2 years. Today I came home from the movies and I imagine the same hawk flew just over my roof line...I myself am getting a little nervous!
  9. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    A couple of weeks ago I had a hawk attack one of my fully grown Wyandotte hens, horribly wounding her, while my chickens were free ranging. Since then this hawk has been parked in the trees on the edge of my property every day. So, the chickens have been penned up tight in their run. Well, one morning I hear the chickens screeching up a storm and I run out to see what was up. The hawk was standing on the ground outside the run, staring in at the chickens. The hawk was walking around the pen trying to figure out how to get to the birds inside! I have never seen such a thing. I live in the woods, so I had anticipated that predation was going to be a problem when I got the chickens, but I have to say that the worst (most successful) predator has been this hawk.

    The worst part of the attack on my hen was that WE WERE ALL RIGHT THERE AND NEVER EVEN SAW IT HAPPEN- 2 adults, a child, 2 dogs, a bunch of chickens- and we were completely unaware of the attack.
  10. montcapu

    montcapu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2008
    laingsburg, MI
    Quote:wow predators are scaring little devils, I can not believe he just walked around the cage... weird

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