Cooper's Hawk attack

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by sandi, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. sandi

    sandi Chirping

    Aug 11, 2008
    Sunnyvale, CA
    Just a cautionary tale; there are more hazards than I realized.

    We have 3 7-week old chicks. To get them used to living outdoors, we have taken advantage of warm afternoons to put them on the lawn, contained in a simple pen. The top is plastic chicken/utility mesh. Since our neighbors with chickens have never had predator problems, I was not too worried during the day. So the top was only clipped on, enough to keep the kids in but not super-secure.

    Last Friday, we went into the backyard to an alarming sight. A Coopers hawk was eating/pulling the head of one chick through the 1" wire of the pen. The mesh top was pushed into the pen, but still covered it. Apparently the hawk could not figure out how to get inside to recover his kill. Somehow, the two other chicks had escaped. We found them hiding in the nearby bushes, frightened but ok. The hawk flew away when we approached, but then hung around in a tree looking confused & stupid.

    I had been worried about coons & possums at night. But I had not expected to see a large hawk in my backyard in the middle of the afternoon. A sobering lesson!
  2. KKluckers

    KKluckers Time Out

    Sep 4, 2007
    Im so sorry. We have big hawks around here to. All you can do is predator proof you cages. They also seem to not see darker coloured birds. They are always hanging around my place checking out my White Orpingtons. :|
  3. ChandlersChickens

    ChandlersChickens Songster

    Jun 8, 2008
    Delphos, OH
    We have hawks too and don't live in the country. The chickens ran into the run the other afternoon in a panick. I looked up at the sky to see about 10 hawks flying over our house. Luckily they didn't stop for dinner! I have only seen one on our backyard fence once; our bushes provide cover for them most of the time.

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