Hawk advice please

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by DDRanch, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    I have had large breed chickens (orphingtons, RIR, austrolorps, barred rock) for 4 years. Although we have red shouldered, red tailed and sharp shinned hawks near/on our property, they have never bothered my girls. I believed that if I stayed with the larger breeds, my chickens would be safe from hawks and for the last 4 years, they have been.

    I raised 15 new girls (delawares,orphington,wyanndottes) now 7 mo old. They are out in our pasture several hours in the am and several hours late afternoon, always when I am with them or home. Yesterday about 5pm, (not dark yet) one of my gold wyandottes was killed by a hawk, next to the coop. I scared off the hawk, but didn't get to her in time. She was dead. Of course, I am heartbroken and I know that you all understand this. Today, everyone is in the pen.

    Now, my questions. What can you tell me about hawks? Is this particular hawk likely to strike again? Do hawks remember where they made a kill? Is there anythiing I can do (short of shooting) Remember that we (hawks and chickens( have lived on the same property for years without incident. Why now?

    I appreciate your opinions, counsel and support. Thank you.
    Anne
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Hawks will remember and the only 100% thing to do is to coop up your birds. Chances why now is because hawk was looking for an easy meal, was hungry, and it's normal food was nowhere to be seen.

    I've not lost a standard yet but did have a rash of hawks take out my banties. Haven't had a problem since I made sure the silkies could see, kept the wise hens who knew what a hawk was, and had the broody go beat up the hawk twice that tried to eat her baby. Your birds are probably wiser now and will keep a better eye out.

    The best thing you can do short of keeping the birds secure is make sure there is quick cover the birds can go run and hide under when they see the hawk.

    Sorry for your loss. I have to take loses to day preds as part of the deal in free rainging.
     
  3. pecking~order

    pecking~order Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    LOL, there is a reason there called chicken hawks...We had to shoot three hawks that kept waiting for a chance to eat our chickens...we now have them in a pen WITH A ROOF. We had to shoot one of the three cause i was living in our horses barn and was eating one of the five resident pigons...
     
  4. pecking~order

    pecking~order Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    WE hated the fact we HAD to kill them but...chickens cost money and are one of our investments and...we could stand to loose any more chickens (the hawk got one of the chickens).
     
  5. pecking~order

    pecking~order Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:my dads a police officer and he's the one that shot them.

    (edited by staff)
     
  6. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2008
  7. ThreeBoysChicks

    ThreeBoysChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 19, 2007
    Thurmont, MD
    I have a family member who is a Department of Natural Resources Police Officer and pecking~order is correct. If you are going to harm a hawk, I would not state it on a public accessible web forum.
     
  8. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

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    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 15, 2008
  9. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    Hey chicken lovers,
    I came her for some help, and advice, not to debate killing of predators. I have no intention of harming the hawks. I hoped to learn more about their habits so I could better protect my girls.
    Anne
     
  10. eggchel

    eggchel Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Dec 26, 2006
    Both Coasts
    Hi Anne,

    Im sorry that you are having a problem with hawks. It can be very difficult to free range chickens if you have a large hawk community. Build as big a fenced pen as you can cover with netting so that your girls can have time outside and still be safe.

    Then, you can still let your hens out when you are with them. It is not unheard of for a hawk to drop out of the sky and take a chicken while a human is with them, but it is less likely that they will take the risk.

    As was mentioned, some of us lock our birds up tight at night but go ahead and free range during the day and accept that there may be some losses due to daytime predators.


    Chel
     

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