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Hawk... and alerting the flock?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Cab the Mane, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Cab the Mane

    Cab the Mane Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    I've been taking my chicks out for short forays outside now that they have their feathers mostly in, and its already hot out enough for them out there! Through many different noises that I tend to make while going about my business among them, I noticed that one sound caused them all to run for cover! I tell this story first to explain why I don't think the critter caught site of them even though we didn't have a roo to warn them! It's hard to describe, but I may eventually upload a video of it to show how effective the sound is for warning chicks of predators for some reason...

    Anyways! Today while we were in the back yard, and I was going about my business(With my SS and BO following me around cheeping sweetly)... Everything was going as planned, and all six of the chicks were walking around the fenced-in backyard when I spot something in the distance between the house and the shop next door that block most of the horizon from view and simultaneously hide us from most aerial predators in combination with the giant trees on the other sides... It seemed to be circling about over waaay in the distance, and I went about what I was doing, since the chicks weren't in his view anyways.

    Then, it began to move on... in our direction. Straight towards the yard. I remembered the sound, and decided it was worth a shot... Man was I right... as soon as I started making that noise, the chicks went a-scrambling under plants and the picnic table. They ALL seemed to have their eyes locked in the direction of the hawk from the bushes and the picnic table... Woo!

    As it passed overhead, the chicks were all laying low and quiet. I was proud of em, but kept my eyes on the hawk... Turned out it was aiming for a neighbor down the streets bird feeder!

    Once it dropped down under the building line, I figured it was already engaged in what it was doing, so it was safe to move the chicks without them being noticed by the hawk. Brought them all inside where they watched the windows silently [​IMG]

    They've since cheered back up with some attention and treats.... But what can I do to keep that thing from noticing the chickens on its way to my neighbors bird of prey hotbar? Will the presence of our Shetland Sheepdogs deter the birds from striking? the dogs will always be within 20 yards of the birds during the day. Obviously, we live in the suburbs... and this particular hawk is a rescue, has a name, and has a famous nest nearby past the traintracks, so I doubt I'll be getting a permit to dispatch it. Basically, my option seems to be free-range only with supervision, and covered run all other times...

    Also, if one of these sexed pullet birds turns out to be a roo, we are surprisingly allowed to keep it here in town! But if it kills this famous local hawk one day, what will be the legal consequences for me? or will there be any?
  2. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Well not much you can do but supervise them and keep them in a covered run. The dogs will deter the hawk until the hawk realizes they cannot get to it. If your roo or dogs killed it, I do not think you could be held liable, unless you released the dogs to attack or commanded them too. Just do what you need to in order to keep them safe.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2011
  3. Cab the Mane

    Cab the Mane Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 16, 2011
    Thanks! Just making sure I'm not going to be fined for a pet defending itself, you know? Some of the fines these day really come out of left field...

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