Ferruginous Hawk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Farmer John, Nov 27, 2008.

  1. Farmer John

    Farmer John Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 1, 2007
    707 NoCal
    Hello all,
    Not such a happy thanksgiving, however, I have so much to show thanks for, it will take more then this to blow my entire day... believe it or not. I had a full size barred rock hen, just short of a year old, killed by a Ferruginous Hawk.

    I live in Healdsburg, Sonoma county California. We regularly have red tail hawks and I'm under the impression that my full size hens are too large for them to mess with that much. I've only lost bantams to red tails. Well, today I got to see the biggest hawk around these parts i've seen to date. I believe it's a Ferruginous Hawk. At first, I thought it was accompanied by a red tail.. I did some research and found out the larger females sometimes hunt with their smaller male mates. I believe such was the case.

    Other then my plump flock of hens looking just right for thanksgiving dinner, I'm not sure why these two found my [pastured]flock today. I hope they forget about them promptly and move on. As said I haven't seen them before, and they didn't hesitate to kill a hen. Perhaps food is more scarce this time of year and they're searching where they normally don't?

    In any event, clearly I don't care to see them around ever again. Should they browse this forum, let it be known.

    The other hens ran for the house... all three roosters were hiding behind them, of course. A lot of good they are [​IMG]
    Oh well, if you live in the area be on the lookout.

    Such is the life of a chicken farmer.

    Happy TDAY everyone, I hope your flocks have a better day then mine has so far.

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2008
  2. Zookeeper9000

    Zookeeper9000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2008
    Gladstone MI
    I am so sorry you lost your BR today. I have only 1 BR she was suppose to be a BO LOL. I named her Barbie, she just started laying and is giving me eggs 2 days on 1 day off. Seeing as I am in the UP of MI and have 18 inches of snow on the ground that is really good.

    Again sorrry about your loss.
  3. Farmer John

    Farmer John Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 1, 2007
    707 NoCal

    I have 3 BR hens and 1 rooster left of the barred rocks now.
    Obviously would have rather had the BR rooster throw his body in front of the hens but, only in a perfect world I guess.

    Just as soon as I finished my initial post a different rooster I have was in the backyard going crazy. Both hawks were back. I did not scare them off good enough the first time. I managed to scare them off again w/ noise. I think they were probably looking for the hen they killed about an hour earlier. I'm on guard now, and I feel comfortable that my low-rooster-on the totem poll is doing the best job of them all. He becomes quite audible when he sees or senses danger and that's an awesome thing.

    Wish my birds luck. This better not become and ongoing thing. No free meals here!
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2008
  4. Zookeeper9000

    Zookeeper9000 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 1, 2008
    Gladstone MI
    All the raptors are traveling now to their new nesting sites. I sure hope they didn't decide to nest by you for the season. Good luck, glad they didn't get another one.
  5. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    i HAD the same problem the other day,, cept the hawk didnt get what he "wanted" [​IMG]
    sorry for ya loss,,, sux to just have a bird taken from ya.
  6. estpr13

    estpr13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2008
    Lexington, Ky
    Here in KY the hawks are bad from Nov through March, then they dissappear until the following season. I had a small hawk hit one of my big hens a couple of weeks ago and only got a claw full of feathers. I was lucky...

    Sorry about your loss. I also hit a hawk with a BB gun. It came back and I hit it again. A few days later I lost a bird. When they are hungry you cannot scare them off. I have had hawks learn that chickens are easy and they will not go away.

    I had three large hawks circle around my yard today when I was out. They can very easily kill a big hen. Last year I had a hawk hit a young chic (about 10 weeks old) about 6 feet from where I was sitting. I managed to save the chick.

    What I am leading up to is that you probably need overhead netting or to stay out with your chickens when they are out. otherwise you will start to loose other chickens to the hawks.
  7. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Because we live in a neighborhood with lots of chickens, (to our south) there have been hawks that have taken up residence nearby from time to time. Haven't seen one in a couple of years.

    Sorry for your loss.
  8. setter4

    setter4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    Central Pennsylvania
    I was not familiar with this type of hawk so I went and looked it up...that is an AWESOME huge hawk. I would love to see one, however NOT if it were after my chickens!
    I am sorry for your lose and hope he moves on.
  9. Farmer John

    Farmer John Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 1, 2007
    707 NoCal
    Could it get any worse? YES, AlWaYS...

    Now i'm down to 3 barred rock hens, and no barred rock roosters...

    I guess I got what I asked for... Good god, what are the odds?
    I should just shut up now... but enough is enough. It's personal now.

    Ill have to keep them in their pens tomorrow, as I sell 'pastured chicken eggs'.

    We found the rooster dead outside the coop. My dad walked up out'a curiousity after such an eventful day and low and behold he found it eating on the barred rock rooster... I was right, they came back. Too bad I didn't give it to them like I had planned on.

    This is outrageous! Only other time i've had such problems were with mammals. These birds are for the birds..
    Thanks for the words of wisdom guys.

    I'll keep ya posted.

    Edited by moderation for inappropriate language.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 28, 2008
  10. deerman

    deerman Rest in Peace 1949-2012

    Aug 24, 2008
    Southern Ohio
    FarmerJohn, your asking for trouble posting you are waiting for them with a .22. The FEDs. do checks these forums. What you have posted is enought to get charges filed. Waiting for any animal with a gun, falls under hunting them.

    I have hawks here, best to keep your birds in cover pens,and only let them out when you can watch them.

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