Great Horned Owls and chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by DDRanch, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. DDRanch

    DDRanch Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    We have a pair of Great Horned owls nesting near my chicken coop. We are thrilled to have the owls so close but I wonder if they will pose a threat to my hens. I have large breeds. Obviously, the hens are locked up tight at night, but would the owls be a threat early evening as my girls are going to bed? Or during the day if the hens are out free ranging.

    We have had barn owl nests for years without incident.

    I have no intention of harming these beautiful birds, but would appreciate your experience.

    Thank you.
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Great Horned Owls are mighty predators and will kill and eat other birds, even those bigger than themselves. You might want to put your girls up before evening, just to be safe. Very glad to hear that you are enjoying these wonderful birds.
  3. TheEggCollecter

    TheEggCollecter Songster

    Feb 16, 2014
    They may be pretty but they do pose a threat. i have watched videos of Great Horned Owls attacking eek!!
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    If owl nest very close, the adults may not hunt you although juveniles likely will and they will do so in a more persistent manner than the adults. Be certain to pen birds up before dusk until juveniles disperse, possibly in fall.
  5. Too bad you can't get the barn owls back, they do a great job of keeping the rodent population down. Definitely be wary of great horned owls.
  6. Thorn Fulford

    Thorn Fulford Chirping

    Nov 22, 2017
    Shoot shovel and shut up
  7. CorvusFarm

    CorvusFarm Chirping

    Nov 26, 2017
    Corralitos, California
    Or, you know, inform yourself, plan accordingly, and coexist. That great horned owl will do more good than bad with just a little preparation.
  8. The best thing I have to say about GHOs is that they will return to the last chicken that they have killed until they have consumed most of it. You know waste not want not. That and the fact that a GHO is a ridiculously easy predator to eliminate.
  9. Chickassan

    Chickassan Crossing the Road

    I've watched GHO's quite a bit and I've never seen them bring anything bigger than a rabbit even with three chicks in the nest. The diet was rabbits,rats,songbirds and snakes. These owls were in Oklahoma so I'm sure there was larger prey available but i never saw them partake. Interesting fact, did y'all know owls will accept chicks from other owls? They will! :)

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