Buzzard problems

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Seachickens13, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. Seachickens13

    Seachickens13 In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2015
    Hello fellow poultry fanatics:)
    I'm having some trouble with the local buzzards in my area. A few days ago they took three of our girls, which was very upsetting for me and the rest of the family.
    As we live in Northern Ireland and buzzards are endangered here, guns are not an option. What do you guys think I should do?
    Thanks so much for your help, Seachickens13:):)

  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Crowing

    Jan 14, 2012
    Conway SC
    I have never heard of this----a buzzard taking a live animal?? You actually Seen This happen?? I feed the buzzards---sometimes more than 100 at one time---I feed them in the middle of a field maybe 100yards away from my chicken pens. They have flew into the tree's setting on the limbs where my chickens pens are and have never tried to bother my chickens?? Now Hawks----That's a different story!
    Sublight likes this.
  3. Seachickens13

    Seachickens13 In the Brooder

    Apr 2, 2015
    Thanks so much for replying! We don't have any hawks around here, so apart from maybe a red kite (and they're endangered here) there are no other birds that could've taken them. I would've suspected a fox, but there was no blood or feathers and my mum saw a bird of prey circling the coop. There are buzzards in our area, so they are the ones I suspected, but I could be wrong. How do you protect your hens from birds of prey?
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    A buzzard can be a hawk. A buzzard can be a vulture. Buzzard is one of those words that can mean different things to different people. Once again we are separated by a common language. My Kansas wife was absolutely convinced that a buzzard was a hawk. She got mad at me when I pulled out the dictionary and showed her buzzard could be either hawk or vulture.

    Just because you did not see blood or feathers does not mean it wasn't a fox or a dog. If they took three at a time I would not suspect hawks, buzzards, ernes, eagles, owls or other birds of prey. The critters that often leave no traces and take multiples are often canines or humans. Yes, canines like fox or dog often do leave clues like feathers, but not always, especially if Mama Fox is feeding a bunch of young back at the den. Or a dog may carry them off and line them up, just for fun. I once has two dogs take 8 chickens. I found one body, two other piles of feathers, but five disappeared with no trace. I'll leave humans to your imagination.

    If you don't keep them in a pen with a top, they are vulnerable to birds of prey. The best defense is to give them as much cover as you can so they have a place to run to if a bird of prey is spotted. That can be bushes, low hanging trees, the coop, or outbuildings. A raised deck can help. Someone took an old satellite dish and propped it up so they could get under it.

    I have red-tailed hawks all over the place her, big ones. I've seen a bald eagle a few times. They just haven't been a problem, but some people do lose a lot of chickens to birds of prey.
    aart likes this.

  5. Sublight

    Sublight Songster

    Jun 2, 2016
    Buzzards for me are scavengers. It must be some type of bird of prey. Perhaps a different brood of rooster. Mine will start cackling and all the hens will rush to him when he sees something.

    I have a drone that I use to harass my chickens. Ill fly it over their head, then have it dive bomb them in fast fashion. I hope it makes them more scared, and keep a eye on the sky for more "death drones". :) Its kind of funny to see them freak out and run. Im sorry, I know its mean, but it does have a purpose.
  6. B Redhawk

    B Redhawk Chirping

    May 24, 2017
    In my neck of the world the term Buzzard means Vulture, a scavenger bird which will rarely take live prey. In Eire, the term Buzzard is used for both Raptor and Scavenger, usually referring to large birds including owls, to the best of my knowledge. In my area we have two Vulture species, the turkey vulture and the black vulture we also have Red Tail and Harrison's hawks, Bald Eagles, Great Horned, Screech and Barn owls. We make sure the chickens have a good rooster and lots of tree cover to hide under, so far have not lost a single bird to Raptors but Raccoons are a different story, lost three to the deceased. You might try running random strings or colored tapes over where the chooks like to forage, that will discourage a Raptor from trying a swooping attack.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Same here, black vultures will take live prey.

  8. Ireland and the USA are two English speaking nations separated by a common language.
    In Ireland a Buzzard is a hawk like bird.
  9. mean2015

    mean2015 Hatching

    Jan 21, 2018

  10. Snaggy

    Snaggy In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2015
    Europe doesn't have anything like our New World vultures, the Turkey and Black Vultures. Southern Europe has vultures, but they're like those things you see on Animal Planet scavenging dead Zebras in Africa. Buzzards in Europe are Buteos. Buteos are a worldwide family of hawks, that includes the Red Tail Hawk and Swainson's Hawk. They have broad wings and soar in flight. Grandma called them "Chicken Hawks" so I guess they would be a threat.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018

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