Coopers Hawks seem to be the worst offenders.

roosterhavoc

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Jan 5, 2012
18,892
37,055
971
I have lost 3 chickens to a coopers hawk over the past month and a half. The first was a Lakenvelder rooster, and then two rhode island white hens. I have redtails all over the place and they never bother the chickens at all. Bald eagles fly right over without a care. I had to chase the hawk away back in October. I let all my chickens free range during the day. The coopers hawk chased two hens and two roosters into the edge of the woods and then was hunting them from the ground. Didnt get any that day, but got the three since then. I am amazed how many times Ive read on the internet that coopers hawk wont or cant killl a full grown chicken. They can, and they can fly off with it too.
 

bbossltd

In the Brooder
8 Years
Nov 26, 2011
31
0
22
Cleveland
At last i know the name of them, i've been watching these hawks fly around in the field behind us and their pretty bold by actually flying within 2 feet of me sitting on my patio. Occasionally attacking other birds (no chickens in our neighborhood, i'll be the first..lol), but i've been wondering would they attack my chickens if I let them loose in the yard (will be keeping them in their run now). Wow not only do we have to worry about the raccoons, possums, skunks and the neighbors cats, now its chicken hawks..lol
 

roosterhavoc

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Jan 5, 2012
18,892
37,055
971
If a hawk wants a chicken hes gonna get it. I have 42 chickens and 8 guineas. Three seperate coops with small attached runs to each inside of a bigger run uncovered (50ft x 150 ft) most chickens stay within this area. Some just like to fly over the fence and run around the property (2.5 acres) I have 11 roosters and two dobermans, none of which mattered to the hawk. Obviously the ones that got attacked were the ones that like to stray the farthest. My white faced black spanish rooster must have fought the hawk the day he killed the lakevelder rooster, as he was missing some breast feathers.
 

centrarchid

Free Ranging
10 Years
Sep 19, 2009
24,228
13,895
696
Holts Summit, Missouri
Coopers are most certainly capable of taking chickens, especially small ones and when they are in molt. Small often but not always means young. My losses to Coopers is restricted to juveniles although in past I have had them go after standard sized adults. If chickens are in a situation to fight back they can be difficult if not outright dangerous quary for a Coopers hawk. My birds are most resistant to Coopers as full adults when not moulting and when they have access to cover denying flight. From cover my game roosters can handle a Coopers on ground if hawk does not already have rooster controlled by his talons. Key for rooster is he must fight back before hawk latches on. Another thing I have noticed is that Coopers seem single minded about going after smaller members (chicks and juveniles) of my flocks which gets them into a situation where rooster and even hens can flog hawk with impunity. A chickens flogging may not cause us much damage but mangle hawk feathers and cause serious damage to the hawks delicate skeleton. The hawk wants to avoid damaging its feathers because such damage can degrade the hawks ability to go after the hawks mainstay, smaller and faster birds. If you have ever taken time to look at hawks, then you will notice they seldom have damaged flight feathers like you see with non-hawks. The hawks seem pretty good at picking their battles.
 

KristyAz

Songster
8 Years
Jan 29, 2011
871
24
148
Mishawaka, Indiana
Quote:We have 3 hawks that have discovered we have chickens, however, we don't freerange (coyotes, bobcats, and hawks). Our runs are wrapped on all sides with chicken wire, including the floor.

Has your experience been that a hawk can get a chicken from a secure run? If so, what would be my next step to keep them safe?
 

roosterhavoc

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Jan 5, 2012
18,892
37,055
971
haha No i know a hawk cant get a chicken from a secure run. I have three secure runs which are attached to three seperate coops, completely enclosed. I let my chickens free range 90% of the time, I lock em up at night. I didnt get chickens to keep them caged up all day no matter the risk. I fully understand Im going to lose a few to hawks from time to time.
Either way this hawk has just magically dissapeared.
 

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