1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Do hawks go for adult hens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Sylvie, Aug 30, 2008.

  1. Sylvie

    Sylvie Songster

    Jul 15, 2008
    We have red shouldered and red tailed hawks here and been told a couple of nesting bald eagles.
    I can see them going after chicks and pullets but are hens too big for them?
    Wouldn't a fully grown Light Brahma be a little large?
    I'd like to free range them in the yard but I can't be out there every second to scan the sky. Can't keep roosters but did read that the Anconas are alert to hawks and owls and thinking one of those added to the flock would be useful.
    Sorry I just saw a thread on this and don't know how to delete mine.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2008
  2. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    Yes hawks are a threat to adult hens. At least once a week peeps post on here about a hawk killing one of their hens [​IMG] You can help decrease hawk predation by providing cover/escape places for chickens. You can also encourage crows to be around your house, they will deter hawks from being in the area.
  3. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Songster

    Jan 29, 2007
    Yes crows and blackbirds will help to keep the hawks at bay...works for us.[​IMG]
  4. mistylady

    mistylady Songster

    Jun 1, 2008
    Ohio near Coshocton
    When we bought this farm it came with some free critters (3 white roosters that were realy big and pretty and a horse - long story about the horse). The roosters were hawk food within two days. The old owner turned them out in the yard before he left (who knows why). So yes hawks will kill full size hens. The hawk hangs out in a big half-dead tree by the creek so I can't let my chickies free range.
  5. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Absolutely...they might not be able to take off with a standard Brahma, but they'll certainly be able to kill the bird...
    I have one that goes after Obelisk..he's a baby and doesn't know any better.
  6. spook

    spook Songster

    I just had a wicked scare, a huge hawk (red tailed) flew off when we drove in. All my big girls were clucking and sending the baby bantam roo and girls into hiding. So well that I thought that one of my little girls was caught. Thank goodness all turned out good. For the next few days, weeks etc, I'll keep them confined to rooved pen.
    All animals that are smaller then the birds are open season to preditors. I have seen medium sized dogs tore up from the tallons of a preditory bird.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Sylvie

    Sylvie Songster

    Jul 15, 2008
    Quote:I'm glad it was only a scare! That must have been horrible until you knew everyone was safe. What a close call!
  8. DDRanch

    DDRanch Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    Yes, those hawks are a threat to your birds. I lost one of my smaller pullets to a Red Tiled last spring.

    I placed several small dog houses (or similiar structures) around the coop and pen area, let some shrubs grow bigger to give them some cover in the event the hawks attack. I let my girls free range when I am home and with the extra hiding places, and the girls being full grown, I have not lost any more. Every once in a while, one of the hawks will swoop, but hasn't made a hit. If I see a hawk hanging around, I put them in their coop.

    It doesn't matter if you are out there watching and protecting....hawks come from "out of the blue" and so quickly you would not be able to stop them. Some folks here swear by their roosters as protectors....I just don't have one.

    Good luck.
  9. kyle7630

    kyle7630 Songster

    Aug 14, 2008
    Semora NC
    I spent the first 3 months trying to get rid of the big black birds when we moved here. There are just tons of them and they sound so dreary and evil. After reading about how they deter hawks, I just let them be. Just yesterdayI heard a fuss while I was out side and when I looked up, I saw two of them running a red tail hawk off. They chased it untill I could no longer see them. I guess if you can encourage black birds, ravens, crows or whatever they are called to hang around, you will probably be better off. Safer for you birds. Although I also read that crows will take your chicks though.
  10. swampducks

    swampducks Overrun With Guineas

    Feb 29, 2008
    Barton City, MI
    They'll kill full grown ducks, too. Lost my male runner duck last summer, probably to an eagle, it just left the carcass next to the pond.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: