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hawk ate one of my girls - help!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by stefani, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. stefani

    stefani Hatching

    Apr 19, 2009
    Hi - I have, no had, 3 pet chickens in my backyard (big 100ft deep by 50ft wide) in town, since March. Two RI Red hens & one Barred Rock henthat I searched the world over for. They have a little hutch they sleep in w/ a small caged in run but I've let them free range in the yard & that is what I intended for them - it's fenced. So far no problems, I've feared stray cats/dogs but no problems as of yet. We put them up at night. They are pets - they will sit in my lap, they eat treats out of my hand, they like me to rub under their beaks, they follow me around, etc. Then yesterday we found a hawk on the ground eating Lucy, one of the RI Reds!!!!!! I didn't even know hawks were a threat to grown chickens. Now I'm afraid to let them out of the tiny little pen. My grandparents had free range chickens and I don't remember hawks getting them. I don't want to keep them penned up - they just love running around in the yard, dusting & sunning and chasing bugs! Somewhere I saw something about "cobwebbing" strings on poles and that will keep a hawk away. I could section off the back of the yard and do that I suppose - a compromise between penning them and letting them run about. What could I use for the poles? I would want something tall enough that I could walk under it & I'm 6 ft tall. I used to have a dog in the back yard and I don't think he would have let the hawk land and kill the chicken but he died from old age last year & I haven't gotten another one yet. I'm scared to let them out. Pellet gun? But I can't stand out there all the time and wait for the next hawk. Do they attack chickens all the time or is this an isolated incident? Any suggestions appreciated. I love these little hens, I cried over Lucy and don't know what to do w/ Ethel & Dot. I just know that darn bird will pick them off as soon as I turn them out again.


  2. MaggieRae

    MaggieRae Songster

    Apr 12, 2009
    North Texas
    If you don't want to cover your yard, I've heard of people stringing old cd's up to scare off hawks. Of course, this isn't 100% peace of mind, which is why I chose to build a covered run with my coop. I also heard that hawks can't carrya chicken over 7 lbs. Does anyone else know if this is true?

    I'm very sorry for your loss. [​IMG]

    Edited to fix the mistake. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  3. Daidohead

    Daidohead Songster

    Nov 6, 2009
    Red Bluff, Ca
    If you only have a couple of birds you might think about a chicken tractor or some kind of portable run. They will always be in danger when out and unprotected. I am sorry for your loss.
  4. mdbokc

    mdbokc Songster

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    I have a covered run. In addition, I use CDs in part of my back yard, 8 CDs is an area of about 10,000 sq ft where they can run loose until mid-afternoon. Then they go out onto the acreage. The hawks, which I have pair that live 700 feet away, went from regular close overhead inspection and sitting on a fence less than 100' from my birds to no more visits, knock on wood. They are completely on their own when I turn them loose on the acreage. That's where I suspect I shall really lose my first one someday. But the CDs are a great deterrent...nothing every completely foolproof but really put on a light show when the sun is out.
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2010
  5. arherp

    arherp Songster

    Sep 29, 2009
    It is illegal to "...Persue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture or kill, possess, offer for sale, sell, offer to purchase, purchase, deliver for shipment, ship, cause to be shipped, deliver for transportation, transport, cause to be transported, carry, or cause to be carried by any means whatever, receive for shipment, transportation or carriage, or export, at any time, or in any manner The specified birds. . . or any part, nest, or egg of any such bird." (This covers all birds of prey.)

    Also, a hawk can kill any chicken. Most cannot Carry birds over 8lbs though.
  6. Hi Stefani,
    I'm so sorry for your loss! We have a red-tailed hawk that's been hovering around and I'll be anxious to see what people suggest you do about yours. I see that you're a newer poster like me and I'm sorry that your post had to be for something so sad and frustrating and scary! [​IMG] I hope the folks here can give you some good ideas and some peace of mind!

  7. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    if you can string fishing line over the area using eyehooks going from tree to tree use a ladder and go about 8 feet up off ground. make sure there are no spaces wider than 6 feet. it will be hard to see for people but easy for the hawk. Who which btw will be back and keep coming till there are no chickens left. Probably a cooper Hawk.

    eta very sorry for your loss.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2010

  8. nieceharr

    nieceharr In the Brooder

    Jun 25, 2008
    A red-tailed hawk just got my Maggie today [​IMG] She was a RIR. My DH came home from work and scared the hawk away. It was too late to save her. I am going to have my DH string up some CDs if he gets home from work when it's still light out (I get home after dark).

    I have 10 chickens and 8 ducks. I do have a run off of my coop, but it is too small for all of them to be in there all day - they free-range in my fenced-in backyard. I'm afraid to let them out now. So, do I keep them in there so that they can be safe but miserable - or do I let them out where the hawk can come back?
  9. Chickengal505

    Chickengal505 Songster

    Jan 4, 2010
    Bolivia N.C
    i had a very bad problem with hawks a while ago and what i did, is along with the CDs, every time i saw a hawk i aimed a B.B gum at a tree,fired:( and scared them away and i'm so sorry for the poor gal i lost two roosters a while ago because someone chickenaped the poor fellows [​IMG]
  10. Shiningfeather

    Shiningfeather Songster

    Feb 7, 2009
    hill country texas
    Quote:Chickenaped? I think someone just wanted fried chicken from the way that sounds......at least they didn't take your hens.

    Oh and [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010

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