chickens afraid to leave house after hawk attack

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by worrall235, Oct 23, 2010.

  1. worrall235

    worrall235 New Egg

    Jul 20, 2010
    My 6 Gold Lace Wyandottes were free ranging near their pen and were attacked by a hawk. They all got away but one stayed hidden overnight but returned the next morning. There were lots of down feathers everywhere but no one was injured. This happened about 10 days ago. Now they are afraid to leave their house...won't even go into their fenced pen area. How long will this go on...Can I do anything?
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2010
  2. panner123

    panner123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    Lock them out of the house for a couple of hours, keeping a watchful eye on them. Feed them out there and they will forget all about the hawk, that is until it comes back. Then you might need to do it all over again.
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Is their pen covered? If so, is it a solid cover or wire? They may be seeing the hawk flying around at times during the day. In that case, hiding is the smart thing to do. In an open top pen or free ranging, it's what keeps them alive.

    If your pen is safely covered and you want to encourage them to use it, I would give them more cover inside the pen. Find or make things for them to hide under. That will make the pen feel safer, instead of exposed. If it's only covered with wire, you could cover the part closest to the house with something solid, even a tarp, to make it feel safer and less exposed. If your chickens trust you as their protector, then I'd also hang out in the pen for a bit, so they know they'll be safe there. Act relaxed and talk in a calm, happy voice. If you normally talk to your chickens, say whatever you normally do, in the tone of voice you normally use. Definitely bring a favorite snack as a bribe and a diversion.

    If their pen isn't covered, I would either cover it or leave them to come out on their own. If you have an open pen and an actively attacking hawk, staying inside the coop is helping keep them alive.
  4. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    My hens are very scared the day after the hawk attack. It was sad to see but at the same time I am glad they did not forget that killer trying to eat them. The hens stay closer to the shed,and walk along the fence line. I just have a plastic fence run and bird netting on top.
  5. gmachicken

    gmachicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2010
    Grants Pass, OR
    I had a similar experience and was wondering when they start laying again. 2 of the 4 survivors are OK but the other two, an EE and a Coshen Bantam are both still so scarred. They get out of the coop now where the first three days that was a no go. The two laying are a BO and a CB.

    When would it be OK to add new buddies?

    Thanks for the help.
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    Mine laid right away.In fact one of my 3 layers was NOT laying,but since the hawk attack I am getting 3 eggs a day.We joke that the hawk *scared the egg out of her*.
  7. Frannabelle

    Frannabelle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2009
    I posted last week about my hen killed by a red tailed, my others stayed in their house for 3 days, and even though they are venturing out, they are still spooky

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