Chickens roosting with a red-tailed hawk??? **PICS** one dead!!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Half-a-dozen, Aug 24, 2007.

  1. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Songster

    May 26, 2007
    Hi everyone- [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Well we thought we were doing good. The girls are 4 months now and we've been lucky enough not to see a single preditor around until last night!!!
    DH went out to close up the coop to find one dead and the others roosting with death staring them in the face. I don't get it.

    There was a huge red-tailed Hawk on the roost with 6 of the girls.
    The one chicken that was killed (Barred rock- lying on the floor of the coop) was missing it's head.
    Why did the hawk not eat or go after the others???

    Was it this hawk that killed the chicken or should I be assuming it was another preditor and coincedence that he was in there???? While my intelligent girls roosted next to him ; the one that quite possibly took out one of their sisters.

    To get the hawk out we had called the police. They sent a sergent who took out the hawk with his bare hands. Picked him up and put him in a box. He would not fly away, we think he was injured. (can't say I cared about that, when he just took out one of our chickens!)

    Can we safely assume the preditor was the hawk, chased the chicken into the coop attacked it and then did not know how to get out so decided to roost instead of having more dinner??? The only reason why I ask is because it's head was missing. I read the post about the preditors in Backyard poultry and it did not say anything about hawks eating heads just raccoons, and why would the chickens roost with him asside from the fact that they were not to bright!!!!

    At any rate the poor kids cried themselves to sleep last night. we are all heart broken and the chickens won't come out of the secure run today to go out in their open run. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I've attached pictures of the predator below:


  2. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Sounds to me like that there were TWO predators dining last night. A raccoon who took the BR's head and then went after the juvenile RedTail when the bird tried to swipe it's dinner.
    I'm sorry for your loss.
  3. KrisRose

    KrisRose Songster

    Mar 9, 2007
    Davison, MI.
    OMG- I'd wet my panties if I saw a hawk roosting with the chickens!!!!! Yer lucky the cop came out and got it, I can't imagine our police doing that!!!!
    I wonder if it was also young along with being injured???
  4. cheeptrick

    cheeptrick Songster

    May 1, 2007
    New Hampshire
    That hawk is gorgeous....
    sorry about your loss; though!
    Did you keep the hawk or let him go? If you kept him call a raptor rescue center and they will come and get him. We have one here in VT and they are very nice facilities.
    Poor Barred Rock...
    I could imagine the looks on the beaks of the other chickens roosting with the hawk! [​IMG]
  5. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Songster

    May 26, 2007
    You made me laugh with the wet panties- LOL LOL
    I'm glad after this I can still laugh. The kids are out back having a funeral now. Poor things!!!
    as for The cop I too was shocked that he did that.
    My DH on the other hand came to get me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2007
  6. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Wow! That IS perplexing!!! I'm so sorry you lost one of your chickens but beware in case it WAS a raccoon 'cuz, if it was, he'll be back. I wish you could have gotten a picture of the hawk roosting with the chickens. THAT I would have loved to have seen!!!

    1 person likes this.
  7. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    Sorry for your loss!
    That hawk is little, though! Wouldn't your girls and him be about the same size?
    Head missing sounds like a coon to me. It's just so strange that the little hawk would roost with your girls and that your girls would tolerate it, if they thought they were in danger.
  8. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    I feel bad about your chicken loss, but I do have to say that hawk is beautiful. That's a pretty amazing story! I'd keep my eyes peeled.
  9. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    In a way, I am thinking poor little confused hawk. Seen other birds and decided maybe its safer up here with these guys!

    Wow, what a image...pretty sad tho when a hawk thinks its a chicken.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2007
  10. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Songster

    May 26, 2007
    Well sitting tall the hawk looked big to me but yeah just slightly bigger than the girls I guess he was. Now that you all mention it, It must have been a coon. First off the girls did not seem at all shocked to be roosting with the hawk. They were though on one side of the roost and the hawk on the other. (the roost os about 10ft. long. I wish too, I had taken a picture of the hawk on the roost but I was still too upset at that point to think about a camera. The only picture I got was- after the cop went in there to get him he flew down to the floor of the coop. I also did not know the hawk was a baby. Makes sense though he didn't seem so aggressive, just dump founded by us so close to him. The cop was literaly in his face.
    The girls that were smarter not to roost with the hawk I found outside of the open run up in the tree in the yard.
    The BR was just missing his head. No blood or anything a very clean kill. Is this typical of a coon attack???? does anyone know for sure??? and do those coons only come out at night?
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    It did cross my mind to keep the hawk since it did "think" it was a chicken roosting up there with them and all- and made friends so nicely with the girls. (hahaha)
    Now I could kick myself for not grabbing ahold of myself and grabbing the camera for a picture of their friendship!!!!- LOL
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2007

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