Close call with a hawk today

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by TreeFever, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. TreeFever

    TreeFever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    Juvenille Red-tail went after my Polish but only got a huge handful of of wing feathers. She ran and hid under the deck and the others bolted for the bushes. The red tail was young and not scared of people at all, so i actually had to poke him with a pole to get him to leave our yard. Ophelia suffered little damage except all her big wing feathers have been torn out and a little puncture on her side that I've cleaned up with antibiotic ointment, its not a bad wound.
    She's hanging in the kitchen right now and looks a little shellshocked? She's just laying down on the floor and not really walking around. I double and triple checked by lifting all her thick feathers for any hidden cuts, but I didn't see anything so I'm assuming she's just wiped out from her encounter. She perked up a bit when I gave her a spoonful of apple crisp leftovers though and she nibbled some of the apples. Just hasn't had any water yet and I'm not sure how to ask her to drink it?
    I think I'll watch her for a bit more then return her to her gang. I might also trim up her crest a bit so she can see up better. Is there anything I should keep an eye out for with her for the next couple days?(besides the hawk [​IMG] )
     
  2. Chef

    Chef Chicken Connoisseur

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    Dec 16, 2008
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    Wow close call! I had one get my girls when I wasn't out there and now they cant go out unless I'm standing out there. They can be pretty brave. Even when I'm standing there the resident hawk will come give us a fly bye SCREETCHING loudly making the girls run for cover. LOL I have plans on netting in my free range area. Hopefully soon! Good luck with the pesky hawks.

    Chef
     
  3. funonahonda

    funonahonda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2008
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    Let me tell ya about our close call!

    My wife came and said that my chickens were over at the neighbors on there deck going crazy( I know I should have them fenced in) I went over there and the neighbors were out on there deck and said there was a hawk that just swooped down on there sidewalk and killed and took away a bunny and my chickens were flying to there backdoor, I got my chickens back in there pen and two were missing, We left about 10 minutes later and driving down the road and maybe 10 houses down from ours there was one of our bantie chickens walking up the road with a wing dragging the road, we stopped and got her and she had a couple spots of blood on her and took her back to the pen, so we left for the night and came back home around 7:00 and still a missing chicken ( a Red Sexlink Hen One Of Our First Chickens). We got up this morning and my wife looked outside and there out by the coop there she was trying to get back in the coop, I went out there and picked her up and just held her amd put her back in the coop also, about 20 minutes later I went out to check on her and she was in the nest box laying a egg like she was saying that she was so glad to be back. What is awsome about the whole thing is the Sexlink has already escaped a dog attack and one other hawk attack.
     
  4. Chef

    Chef Chicken Connoisseur

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    Dec 16, 2008
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    Good story! Glad to hear there OK.

    Chef
     
  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Polish seem to be the most vulnerable breed, they simply cannot see the hawk coming.
    I have two polish and my chickens only get to free range when my lab mix can stay out all day, as we are over run with red tails, and she has never failed me.
    The flock will see a hawk and run for cover the two polish just stand there looking around like they are saying "where did they go, where did they go"
    Hence their names: Wrong Way and Which Way.[​IMG]
     
  6. TreeFever

    TreeFever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    "Wrong Way and Which Way" ahahahahahaaaa
    Mine does the same exact thing!! The other two don't have such poofy heads and they saw the hawk (their crests are more up then out) but poor Ophelia just couldnt see! I'm so happy she's ok [​IMG]
    She finished her apple crisp and got some more antibiotic put on and then went out to join her little family safe inside
     
  7. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Glad it was just a close call and you were nearby. Good idea to trim the head feathers.....give her a better chance for survival. Won't guarantee she would be able to get away the next time, but a trim would certainly help her.

    It is my experience they do tend to go into a shock like state after either a scare and particularily if she has been physically attacked. Sounds like you are doing everything right for her.
    Anne
     
  8. TreeFever

    TreeFever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    I sent her back out to the coop and I'll check tomorrow morning. We were thinking of building a really simple tractor with only a run so they can at least explore without fear from above. A little A-frame with maybe some plywood on it for shade, all enclosed in tough wire. We used to let them out whenever but then you know you sort of forget...Good thing I heard the sqwak!
     
  9. Sylvie

    Sylvie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 15, 2008
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    Well this is disturbing.
    I watched migration after migration of hawks, eagles and ospreys over my patch of sky through November. I thought they were all south now, but after reading these, I guess not.
    I was aware that owls are very active in winter but not hawks.
     
  10. TreeFever

    TreeFever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2008
    MA
    I actually work with hawks (holding them for education programs ect) which is why I couldn't get too mad at him because I thought of our pretty redtail pair at work haha.
    So redtails may migrate or, and this is key, if there is a ready supply of food (read "a decent sized chicken flock") and evergreen trees to shelter in, they will stay. This is basically my backyard.
    Also, if the hawk is a juvenille, which is distinguished by the lack of a red tail the first year, they may not migrate. Young hawks fledge in the fall, so if it was a late fledge, they may hang around.
    Also most redtails don't go too far south, maybe only a few states. So if the redtails you saw lived a bit north, they may pass over your yard but not go much further.
    Needless to say, the birds are staying in the covered run today [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2008

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