do falcons attack chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by hennotrooster, Dec 23, 2012.

  1. hennotrooster

    hennotrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only read about hawks what about falcons are they to be looked out for? My girls will chase one that hangs out on our property, the hawk brings it own food so it leaves my girls alone...so far.
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Depends upon what you are calling a falcon. If you are referring to a goshawk or a Cooper's, yes they will kill chickens.
     
  3. spotsplus

    spotsplus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a Perigine (sp?) falcon I see time to time. They are not as big as the hawks we see around here (Red Tails and Coopers). The falcon has never gone after my chickens but I would think chicks free ranging wouldnt' be safe.
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Peregrines primarily attack and kill in the air.
     
  5. Boichik86

    Boichik86 Out Of The Brooder

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    I've never heard of peregrine falcons attacking chooks, but that doesn't mean they never have/will. Ospreys are another BOP that is not known for being a chicken specialist, unlike red-tails, coopers, and goshawks. Sourland is right, peregrines primarily attack flying birds, particularly pigeons/doves. But, a chicken is a bird, and I'm sure a falcon would not turn its beak up at chicken meat if granted an opportunity. However, there my be an upside to having falcons around; they are territorial, dislike other birds of prey, and may chase off other, more problematic species. To sum it up, I'd rather have peregrines around than other hawks/falcons, but I would still exercise caution letting your chooks free range around them. No letting chicks free range unsupervised until they feather out and become a little more dodgy. Male poultry, if you are allowed to keep them, can be a good warning/protecor, depending on the protectiveness of the cock.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  6. AKnewbie

    AKnewbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've had a gyrfalcon attack our duck and chicken, albeit unsuccessfully. There is also a peregrine falcon who was hanging out in one of our trees but we have fish net all over the run so that may have deterred it some
     
  7. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    That is not a question with a yes or no answer. So the answer is "maybe".

    It depends upon what breed of raptor, what size of chicken, and whether or not the falcon's parents taught it to hunt chickens. If the parents stayed away from chickens and taught the offspring how to hunt mice, sparrows, and rabbits, then the falcon is not very likely to go after your chickens.

    Another answer is that no hawk, falcon, eagle, or owl can harm your birds if you keep your chickens in a safe secure pen that has a cover.
     
  8. hennotrooster

    hennotrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well we have a couple of small (falcons or hawks) that come and soak in the drinking water in the yard they are lean and about as tall as the girls. Then there is a beautiful quite large (much bigger than the girls) grey hawk that comes into the yard with a squirrel to eat in front of the green house and outside the chicken yard. As you can tell I know very little about birds of prey. All I know is that my girls will go after the smaller one, the larger one brings its own meal. I guess I will have to watch closer when they get out of their yard since the larger bird has been hanging around more in the trees out front. My hens get out of their yard at will so we are considering clipping a wing what are your thoughts on this.
     
  9. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Most falcons do not actively prey on ground-dwelling birds such as chickens. The problem is that most people don't know how to tell the difference between a falcon and a hawk-- both of which are birds of prey, but are not closely related and indeed generally have very different hunting methods.

    Gyrfalcons do sometimes take ground dwelling birds, but they are rather uncommon.
    Falcons such as peregrines, sakers, and merlins-- I would consider them not a threat. I am not saying it's impossible-- a starving bird is a desperate bird-- but very unlikely to bother chickens.
    Kestrels are far too small to bother anything but the most tiny bantam chicks. They generally hunt mice, grasshoppers, etc.

    Hawks are a much greater threat to chickens.
     
  10. hennotrooster

    hennotrooster Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for the much needed education.
     

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