Chicken Hawk

Eggwell

Songster
6 Years
Jan 3, 2014
70
6
106
Wellford, SC
The worst experience I ever had with chickens was probably one of my roosters worst night mares. We had intended to put up hawk netting in the near future, but had been so busy we just had not gotten to it yet. One evening right before time the chickens were going up, I heard the worst racket out in the Dominique's lot that I had ever heard. I first thought it was people screaming, but once I got closer I realized there was a large bird in the lot with the Dominiques. The Buff Orpingtons, the Rhode Island Reds, the Welsummers, all had a good view of what was happening and they were all screaming. I thought they were just being scaredy cats until I got close enough it flew away and there underneath it was my one and only breeding rooster, Happy. Poor thing was still alive, but very bloody. He ran to the hiding place with his hens. I gathered the terrified thing in my arms where I could see the hawk had eaten around both his eyes, the back of his head, and he had large holes punched through his wings. While I was holding him that darned old hawk sit in the tree branches above the lot waiting for me to leave so he could return to finish his dinner. I had my cell phone on me so I called for some family to get there and help. Everyone was 30 minutes away. I stood in the lot holding Happy and guarding my hens until some one got there and I was amazed at how determined that hawk was to return to dinner. He waited the whole time until someone drove up. Needless to say, we put up netting the very next day. Oh, and by the way, Happy is okay. We tended his wounds and kept him up for a week and then we situated him a place next to his girls another 2 weeks and then he was fine.
 
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thechxwhisperer

Songster
5 Years
Sep 2, 2014
281
38
118
Florida
Oh poor baby! I am glad that roo had the guts to stay alive! That must have been an awful experience!
hugs.gif
Hope he recovers quickly!
smile.png
 

Eggwell

Songster
6 Years
Jan 3, 2014
70
6
106
Wellford, SC
Raptors are very determined as the accompanying pix proves. However because of shortsighted policies that protects EVERY hawk at all times, chicken hawks have not only lost their fear of humans but also their respect.


Eagle incubating.

I know you are so right, the law protects ALL chicken hawks, but not chickens. When are they going to pass a law to protect farmers' livelihood? I have seen up to 7 chicken hawks fly over my chicken farm at the same time. The population of chicken hawks have exploded in this area. When can we protect our flocks?
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
May 11, 2010
31,297
14,581
777
I have a nesting pair of Red-Tails living only a few hundred yards from my chicken coop. They have been there since before I arrived on the farm. And so we came along and turned their quiet home into a noisy auto repair shop and working farm. Twice a year we savage the pasture with massive tractors and other equipment to bale hay thus ruining their happy hunting grounds. We've rerouted the stream to fit our purpose. We've put cows on the land who trample the grass and force the small vermin to other territory. In general we've been terrible neighbors to the natural flora and fauna.

And what do the hawks do? They come back every year to raise their offspring. Most of the time the youngsters die or occasionally get lucky and manage to raise one to adulthood. Occasionally I see the hawks watching me. Once I saw one dive on a rodent I scared up with the lawnmower. And as the years passed I have never lost a chicken to a hawk as I make sure my chickens are not at risk. And to be perfectly honest, while hawks are considered pests by some, I have much more tolerance for a hawk than I do a neighbor's dog who will wipe out an entire flock in less than ten minutes. A hawk will take what it needs to survive-one chicken at a time. And I respect that in any wild animal who manages to adjust to the human presence-who, in reality, is one of the most destructive vermin on Earth.

Respect predators for what they are. Because we humans, if not careful in what we do, are the worst parasite this planet has ever seen.
 

Eggwell

Songster
6 Years
Jan 3, 2014
70
6
106
Wellford, SC
I have a 2.8 acres chicken farm that is situated on the edge of 30 acres of dense woods that is sparsely inhabited by homes. The woods are packed with all kind of critters that hawks could eat, but they prefer easy prey, my chickens. It is obvious to anyone in this area who has chickens that the chicken hawk population around here is pretty scary. They soar over this farm several times a day, and never only one. There are usually 2 or more.

One day when I was allowing my pure breed NPIP Certified Rhode Island Reds to free range, I had to go inside for a snack. I was only gone for 10 minutes. After I ate, I sit down to put on my galoshes because it had been raining, and before I could even get the first one on, I heard the swishing sound of wings behind me. I turned around to see my poor hen flapping and running for her life with a large chicken hawk soaring only a few feet above her head. The hawk had its feet extended ready to grab her. I jumped up and yelled and ran in its direction and it flew away. They have surrounded my farm like a bunch of vultures, and it is feeling pretty crowded around here. They have lots of prey to choose from, but these guys are LAZY and want Egg Well Farm chicken on a platter.

I have great respect for all nature, but when they begin to overrun your area, the respect turns to outrage. There has to be a balance.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,190
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
I have a nesting pair of Red-Tails living only a few hundred yards from my chicken coop. They have been there since before I arrived on the farm. And so we came along and turned their quiet home into a noisy auto repair shop and working farm. Twice a year we savage the pasture with massive tractors and other equipment to bale hay thus ruining their happy hunting grounds. We've rerouted the stream to fit our purpose. We've put cows on the land who trample the grass and force the small vermin to other territory. In general we've been terrible neighbors to the natural flora and fauna.

And what do the hawks do? They come back every year to raise their offspring. Most of the time the youngsters die or occasionally get lucky and manage to raise one to adulthood. Occasionally I see the hawks watching me. Once I saw one [a hawk] dive on a rodent I scared up with the lawnmower. And as the years passed I have never lost a chicken to a hawk as I make sure my chickens are not at risk. And to be perfectly honest, while hawks are considered pests by some, I have much more tolerance for a hawk than I do a neighbor's dog who will wipe out an entire flock in less than ten minutes. A hawk will take what it needs to survive-one chicken at a time. And I respect that in any wild animal who manages to adjust to the human presence-who, in reality, is one of the most destructive vermin on Earth.

Respect predators for what they are. Because we humans, if not careful in what we do, are the worst parasite this planet has ever seen.

A hayed over field is a hawk smorgasbord of field mice, rats, baby rabbets, voles, and snakes. All prime hawk food and all exposed to daily hawk attacks thinks to the shorter grass cover. A hayed field or pasture is in fact a hawk's "happy hunting ground" Return to "... a rodent I scared up with the lawnmower" if you doubt my word, these are your words. Then thanks to feeding chickens and cattle the wee critters that you bemoan have a reliable and a plentiful food source thanks to you becoming in your own estimation "...one of the most destructive vermin on Earth," and "....the worst parasite this planet has ever seen." Is this how you were taught to self visualize yourself or did you think it up buy yourself?
 

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