1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Can a hawk lift a 6-7 pound chicken?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by babsh, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. babsh

    babsh Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    I'm gathering others' opinions on this. One person witnessed a hawk trying, unsuccessfully to carry off one of her silkies, so that sounds like a "no". But I know there are different sized hawks. Anyone else see a hawk carrying something 6+ pounds? What do you think?


  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I think they're perfectly happy killing them and eating them on the ground, if they're too heavy to carry off.
  3. Faverolle

    Faverolle Songster

    Feb 12, 2009
    A large hawk,like a redtail for example only weighs around 3-4 lbs. If I remember correctly they can usually only carry approximately 1/3 of their body weight at the most so I would say no. A lot of it depends on the type of bird and its wings. Owls and Redtails for example have larger, wide wings and can usually lift heavier prey objects compared to a falcon which has more narrow wings designed more for speed.
  4. babsh

    babsh Songster

    Apr 30, 2008
    That helps, thanks. It must've been something 4-legged, cuz we found no body, just feathers.
  5. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    A Red Tail got one of my Barred Rocks 2 weeks ago. It carried her a good 25 feet away. I know because I saw the pile of feathers then saw it, umm you know, her. [​IMG]
  6. B. Saffles Farms

    B. Saffles Farms Mr. Yappy Chickenizer

    Nov 23, 2008
    Madisonville, TN
    They can carry off alot bigger chicken than youd ever think. I know they can carry off a 5 or 6 lbs chicken.
  7. They can take full grown adult Silkies before you can even grab the gun.... ask my friend. She's lost a few white Silkies before. Hence, mine are cooped and covered 24/7...

  8. spook

    spook Songster

    Quote:I agree. A hawk can swoop a hen right out of her pants. It is not uncommon for them to eat and then fly away with the rest. Not only that, but a Eagle that has a 6' wing span will have enough umph to life a turkey hen up and away.
    There are larger hawks in my area that are larger then the red tailed.
    If you have a hawk in your skies, there is atleast another near by...so put a cover on your pen- not just the plastic net type either, they can slice through them.
  9. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    The bigger hawks around here are Ferruginous hawks, and since birds of prey are known to be able to take prey half-again their own weight, I'm not at all surprised that chickens are reported to be snagged here and there. A normal Ferruginous female can be up to 5#.

    Their main prey is the prairie hare, and they weigh up to 6+ #, so why not grab a chicken dinner that size?

    If they can defend themselves against the prairie dogs and ferrets they eat, why not a domestic chicken?

    I'm thinking cultivating a relationship with the crows around here is a really good move...
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2009
  10. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    I have more big crows around here than I can count. Maybe the hawk scared them away...

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by