Had a hawk almost carry one off.....questions.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lilmama, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2010
    Hey There,

    I was in the yard with my small flock and I heard one hen screaching. A hawk had come down and was trying to carry her off. I yelled and scared the hawk off. The hen had a cut in her breast and some bleeding but not much -it was a small puncture, I guess. I put blu-cote on it. She recovered immediately and went back to pecking at the others to let her know her standing had not fallen. Amazing. She ate, drank, everything.

    Anyway, now I am TOTALLY scared to let them out to free range and I am heartbroken. They have a run, but it's nowhere like the whole dang yard. (They have been free ranging without incident for about 6 months.) I know that the hawk has our yard pegged now because it was looking down on it after the incident.

    Thoughts, advice, experiences? I thought maybe I could just let them range at some point of the day when I am out there...watching...is there a time where hawks are less likely to be around? Early morning..or...?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  2. Debbi

    Debbi Overrun With Chickens

    May 2, 2010
    Hello. You didn't say where you are from, or what kind of hawk it is. It is raptor migration season right now, and with the weird weather we are having here in the middle of the country, some of the usual migrators are still hanging around. If you live in the north or middle, it may be a week or so till the hawks take off for the warmer climes. If you live in the south, you may be stuck with him. Try keeping the chickens in a covered run for a couple of weeks. Once Mr. Hawk finds out he can't get an easy meal, he should move on.
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    As Debbi indicated, most of hawk action this time of year is due to migrants. Most that is. If migrant, then bird likely to move on in few days, reducing likelihood of repeat. Pen hens up for a few days. Hawk, migrant in particular, will not waite forever to get next opportunity.

    Attempted carry-off suggest Cooper's hawk. I assume all birds in flock are female?
  4. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2010
  5. lilmama

    lilmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2010
    interesting. I think we have them year round, I am in Southern Cal.
    And there seem to be plenty around and in the trees.
    I just can't believe he did it with me standing right there!
  6. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    Here in S. AZ we have them year-round too. Unless the hawk was passing through, it will almost certainly return tomorrow. I have hawks visit my yard nearly every day. Mostly they are Cooper's and Sharp-shinned hawks and American Kestrals hunting lizards, rodents and wild birds in my yard and don't bother the chickens. The red tailed hawk that visits is amazingly bold and nothing stops it from attempting to grab a chicken if it sees an opening. I can be standing there yelling and waving my arms and it doesn't care. It has no fear of me. None of the hawks attempt to swoop in on anything in my yard if my dog is outside. She's very vigilant for birds, especially hawks. I generally don't like to leave my chickens out of their covered run unless someone is there to watch them.

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