Coopers/Chicken Hawks, they are here and made their attack today!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chirpingcricket, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. chirpingcricket

    chirpingcricket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    Fairhope, AL
    Geez, timely messages and BYC education are about the only weapons we have against SOME predators.

    I read a few weeks ago about a lady who had an encounter that turned out to be a Cooper's Hawk. We live on 4 acres of wooded land with a branch. We've got several owl species, Osprey's, crows, jays, red tail hawks and numerous song birds to boot.

    I read BYC every evening I can prior to going to sleep to get my education, and perfect time to tell hubby things learned along the way.
    This morning, 10:30 or so I went out to feed/free range our older flock (1 to 2 year olds). Let Curley and the girls out of their coop, gave them their feed. We have a 15 x 20 "playpen" covered run that's used alternately with our youger flock, Rocky and the girls, apprx 3 and 4 month olds.

    I had just opened the access door from Rocky's coop to let them into the play pen, walked around and entered the playpen and sat out their feed. Meanwhile, Curley and the girls were within 6 feet out side the playpen, along with our Whippet dog and tabby cat who make it a "habit" to stand gaurd when the birds are free ranging.

    The next 10 to 15 seconds, all you know what broke loose. [​IMG]
    Curley had 3 of his hens slamming them against the fencing of the play pen and the other 1 was trying to beat the door down. The noise between the birds/dogs and the hawk was maddening. At first I thought Curley was going nuts thinking he was trying to mate all of them at once.

    I had to make that split second decision to open the door while hoping Curley and the girls would not attack Rocky and the girls. Thankfully, Rocky and crew ran through their access door into their pen and hid under their laying boxes. [​IMG]

    I was inside the play pen looking out at all this commotion and seeing our Roo, Curley and girls trying to get to me was tough . . . [​IMG]
    As I opened the door I knocked the hawk and the 1 hen backwards, Curley and the other 3 hens came on in. . . the last one took off for the brush behind the play pen.

    Our dog was hot on her trail since that blasted hawk continued to dive bomb after her. The hen burrowed down in the thicket and our dog sat gaurd over her until I could get in the area and get her in the play pen.

    Afterwards, I thought about what so many people said that once the hawk knows where to find a meal, the birds need to stay in a covered pen. This is true because, the door to Curley's coop was open. They could have easily ran into their coop, but decided to try and run into the play pen, even though that door was closed with me inside. Our birds are not the cuddly kind, but they do accept the basic husbandry care as needed.

    I hope that in time we can resume some free ranging, but for now, they will remain as safe as we can keep them until this issue has resolved. Hopefully, the hawks will move on. Like the lady's post I read a few weeks ago, it matters not if you and backup help is nearby. Also, I went on Wikipedia back then to get as much info, profile, feeding/nesting habits I could on these creepy fowls. Thank goodness, because it was the profile in flight that made me instantly aware of what was going on.
    Stay safe everyone!!!!

    P.S It took me a few seconds to realize that it wasn't one of our hens who had just suddenly learned to fly at heights of 10 feet or better, trying to figure which one was doing that is when I got my first look at that hawk.
  2. SilkieBantams

    SilkieBantams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Try as they might even though they're a protected species the only way to keep your chickens safe is to keep them locked up for awhile until they're gone as they'll find food elsewhere
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  3. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2011
    I keep reading on every post that there is nothing that can be done to hawks. However, after reading the PA game laws, there seems that you have at least some power over them in this state. The law states that if attempts to relocate prove unsuccessful, and the hawk is attacking your animals, you can dispose of said hawk. You do have to contact the game warden and find out what they will do to relocate the hawk but if there attempts are unsuccessful, you have the right to dispose of the hawk at that point. Just thought I would chime in on a topic that has us all concerned....I felt better knowing that there are ways to take care of the offending predator besides just locking up the chickens!
  4. chirpingcricket

    chirpingcricket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    Fairhope, AL
    Hello SilkieBantams and LeadWolf1,

    Thanks for your replys. I found the website about fines/law etc. I guess it's good to know the boundaries, a shame those creatures don't. It's not like there isn't enough around here to satisfy their appetites. [​IMG]

    We are certainly not in a subdivision and have homesteaded here for the past 4 or 5 years. (We are in what's called the fruits and nuts section, alot of farms and farmettes--less than 5 acres). Very selective about what we removed with respect to 60 to 70 foot trees and nests while we were building our home. Our favorite bird around here is the Pileated Wood Pecker. Very Handsome. Ospreys are neat too.

    The one thing I picked up on with "Those" hawks is that the Juvie's are basically looking for new territory to set up housekeeping. Oh well, pick another "hood"!!! No wonder Foghorn Leghorn was always fussing at that "Boy" (I say Boy) !! Might be dating myself with that cartoon. Those were certainly the days! [​IMG]

    I'll probably add some pictures later to demonstrate how tight the area was that he/she decided to try and invade. I used to only worry about coons/possums/snakes having an accidental lunch on one of us, now these too. Pays to be educated and prepared as much as possible !!!! [​IMG]
  5. mrpekinduck

    mrpekinduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Ducky Land!
    SSS it and then you'll never have that problem again [​IMG]
  6. chirpingcricket

    chirpingcricket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    Fairhope, AL
    Mr. Peking Duck,
    I saw that reply once before earlier, . . . what does SSS mean? Thanks, still new after all.
  7. chirpingcricket

    chirpingcricket Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    Fairhope, AL
    Got it, please disregard that post!
  8. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2011
    Richardson, Texas
    Quote:Shoot Shovel Shut up

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