Fantastic. The Coopers Hawks have discovered my chickens.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by skatcatla, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. skatcatla

    skatcatla Songster

    Jun 26, 2007
    We have a family of hawks that moved into my neighborhood a couple of years ago. It's not often we get raptors in crowded Los Angeles suburbs, so I've been delighted to see them.

    I was NOT so delighted to see not one, but TWO of them in the trees above my yard, keenly eyeing my free-ranging chickens.

    I have no idea if a Coopers Hawk is big enough to carry off a full-grown chicken, but I'm certainly not taking any chances with my 6-week old pullets! Does anyone know how much of a threat they are?

    This sucks. I wanted to be able to let them have free access to my yard..but I don't even know if my presence there would be a deterrant.
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I had a hawk, I think coopers, kill 3 banties in one year... then I made sure the banties could see and haven't lost one since. I would be careful with your 6 week old pullets. They can kill birds that size no problem and maybe even carry them away. Even had one hawk try to kill my broody's chick but she went after the hawk twice and haven't seen that one since. I usually keep to standards and since the few killings, they are now very wise and have run as soon as one is spotted. I would be careful with your birds and keep them covered just in case.
  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Cooper's hawks (also known as chicken hawks)

    The can and will eat your opportunity arises. The smaller the chicken, the bigger the risk.

    Cooper's hawks favorite prey items are usually the size of jays and robins....but that doesn't mean they won't take larger or smaller prey items.

  4. skatcatla

    skatcatla Songster

    Jun 26, 2007
    Thanks both, for the response. I'll have to watch them I guess! Do you think my presence in the yard would deter them? Or would they attack a chicken right in front of me?
  5. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    I've had our Coopers Hawks swoop in and snatch Mourning Doves from the feeders while I was close by...freaked me out something terrible at first....[​IMG]
  6. Lothiriel

    Lothiriel Crowing

    Aug 30, 2007
    New York State
    My Coop
    I don't really think a hawk will come when you're out there. We had a hawk come last week and take the head off one our pullets, so we put up a pretty realistic looking scare-crow in the yard, and, although the hawk still hangs around, he hasn't come and taken anymore. Hanging shiny things also helps deter them. I hope none of your chickens get taken! I know how it is!:|

    We've also seen them come around and chased them off, so maybe that discourages them, too.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2007
  7. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    There have been numerous posts on here of hawks swooping down to get someones chickens right in front of them, so it can happen. Depends on how daring and/or hungry they are I suppose. If they are pretty used to people, and I imagine they are if your in a city, I would be very careful.

    One gal on here had one try to snatch one right out of her lap while she was giving it some attention, now THAT is daring!

  8. chickenwoods

    chickenwoods Songster

    Apr 29, 2007
    Out here in the woods where i live,the hawks will not come near when im outside,if i see one flying around i will try to sneak outside;) but they have VERY good eyesight,and take off.I live in a very rural area though,all wild animals here are afraid of humans. (maybe b/c most wild animals round here know me well)LOL
  9. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Just like in Jurassic Park, raptors will present a potential threat anytime they are near. They dont call them bords of prey for nothing!

    What I wonder is if there is a foolproof way to deter them?

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