Do hawks leave any body parts behind?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Mrs. Mucket, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    We had our first predator loss yesterday. We found lots of feathers and only a tiny piece of bone less than an inch long, but no sign of any flesh, other bones, head, etc. We think hawk because of telltale whitewash streaks nearby and the fact that a red-tailed hawk who sails around regularly was sitting on the fencepost near the chickens later that day. Do hawks consume the entire chicken? It's also possible that it was interrupted by our dogs and flew away with the remains. The chick was a 6-week-old meat bird that weighed around 4 pounds.
  2. Hoss1975

    Hoss1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    north central Indiana
    Usually a hawk will just eat the breast and leave the rest.
  3. bryan99705

    bryan99705 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Depending on their comfort level and the size of the prey, a hawk will eat it on the ground or fly to it's nest or favorite roost. You might consider fruit tree netting to cover the run and a tall nail stuck in the top of the post to prevent the hawk from perching on it.
  4. Carolyn

    Carolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2008
    I have had hawks swoop and snatch and also had them decapitate a full grown hen, eat from the head downward, coming back for a later meal. It sounds like your hawk ordered an eat in meal but suddenly decided he'd better do take out. That would be the explaination for the small bone.

    I don't have a pen where I can successfully put bird netting over the whole area because there are trees in the pen. I made a rope from strips of red material then hung silver pie pans and some plastic bags at intervals and strung it between 2 trees crossing most of the fenced area. (I live in the woods so no one actually cares what my pen looks like.) I quit seeing hawks near the coop. However the real test will be this winter for me. My next plan is to add bird netting strips where I can if it looks like I need to do so.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2011
  5. Mrs. Mucket

    Mrs. Mucket Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    We have netting and some pens that can be netted, but most of our chickens free range during the day. Some predation was inevitable and we have been lucky to have had none in the year-plus we've been here. I hear that hawks will keep coming back and I saw one in a tree surveying our field next to the chickens this morning. I'm putting our livestock guardian dogs on special assignment with the chickens. Nails in the posts we can do. I'll see if I can figure out how to hang some plastic bags, red flags, and shiny stuff around. Thanks all.
  6. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    I have had a couple of losses of hens to hawks and they always killed, ate what they wanted and left the body. I did lose a entire teal duck to a hawk (saw it fly off with it) only because the duck was very small and we interupted the hawk.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by