Buff orpington taken by hawk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kate1234, May 6, 2016.

  1. Kate1234

    Kate1234 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2016
    My very favorite hen was killed today, a buff orpington. When I wet to put the girls to bed she was missing. It didn't take me long to find the pile of feathers. I'm just sick about it. This morning my neighbor called to tell me a large hawk was watching. I looked, didn't see it & dismissed it. I'm usually outside with them but not today. She was a sweet heart. Now that the hawk nows there's an easy meal & will be back how do I protect my other hens. Down to 4. I'm in mourning
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    [​IMG] Sorry for your loss. The only guarantee of safety is confinement in a covered pen. You are correct, the hawk now regards your yard as a possible buffet. This time of year it may have a nest in the area which would make it a resident rather than a transient.
     
  3. Kate1234

    Kate1234 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2016
    Thank you, the rest are now in their run but it has no covering. She was my only orpington. She was the best & so smart. Feeling really down today
     
  4. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't know the size of your run but you might try stringing colored ribbons across it or putting the disposable aluminum pie plate on ribbons or strings across.
    How big was your orpington? That's a big bird for a hawk to carry off.
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    @ dekel, generally hawks will kill and eat large birds in place. They will continue to return until the carcass is reduced to a size that they can fly off with.
     
  6. Kate1234

    Kate1234 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2016
    She was 3 years old but so tiny, very lite. She would have been easy to take, practically weighed nothing.
     
  7. Kate1234

    Kate1234 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2016
    All that was left of her were the feathers. According to the neighbor it was a huge hawk
     
  8. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    It is common for predators to steal chickens from each other as well as to steal poultry from us humans. A hawk kill will be marked by a pile of small fluffy feathers in a neat circle around the capture sight. Often these down feathers are strewn over several areas because the hawk must pluck the hen before feeding can begin and the chicken is usually alive when feeding commences so there is a long and drawn out struggle. There are many posts on BYC where a partially devoured hen was rescued from the clutches of a hawk and the hen went on to survive her injuries.

    Don't assume a hawk absconded with your hen, or it could be that the hawk did the catching and some other varmint did the absconding.

    The weight of the victim is not what limits a hawks ability to abscond with a full size adult chicken. The limiting factor is the air resistance of the chicken's useless dead body. A song bird is no challenge to a chicken hawk but an adult full sized hen (or rooster) is another matter. Therefor I must agree with sourland.

    GOOD LUCK!!!
     
  9. Kate1234

    Kate1234 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 27, 2016
    Thank you for your post. I read it last night before going to bed &
    Was so upset I couldn't sleep. I was hoping that she had been killed quickly & not the prolonged struggle,agony & trauma, being plucked alive then eaten. There was a round circle of a lot of downy feathers. I searched but nothing else, just gone. She was a favored pet & not some farm chicken. She followed me everywhere & wanted held all the time. Unfortunately I went away for a couple hours & left them to roam. I'm really sick about it. Kate
     
  10. millivanilli

    millivanilli Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 27, 2012
    Mine have been attacked by hawks, get some netting from the hardware and garden store to cover your run. I hate to confine them for life. My survivors have learned that hiding is good. We got a rooster this year, a friend said they're good for protecting the hens, so far it has helped, one hawk stopoed to gawk at them and moved along. Sorry for your loss.
     

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