hawk attack !!Close call for peace

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by bluebirdfarm, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. bluebirdfarm

    bluebirdfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    yesterday i was outside picking up walnuts and i heard a commotion , saw the chickens running and a hawk attacking one of them !!! i RAN AND SCREAMED ( OF COURSE THE HAWK IGNORED ME ) and he still kept after the white chicken Peace , I finally got to the site and saw a LOT of feathers , meanwhile DH was looking for the hawk , she had got to the edge of the tall weeds and apparently Peace put up quite a fight because dispite the loss of a million feathers she had escaped capture !!!! thank goodness!!! There was no blood so that was a good sigh , i made my way into the weeds to find her , hopefully intact and she was tyere with 8 others , they were hiding !!!!
    i stuck around for a while to make sure the hawk did not return , has ha , meanwhile there were about 8 -10 ravens hassling the hawk , so it flew off > thank you ravens !!!!!
    After about half hour , the girls came flying and runniong oiut of the weeds and back to the safety of the barn , where BTW , the other 11 chickens were already there .
    I got Peace and she has a big bald spot right on her back , with about a 3 inch long gash , just barely broke the skin, hardly any blood , i put neosporin on it and let her go . Needless to say they hung around inside the rest of the day .
    DH is on gaurd today , hope the hawk does not retuen.

    Hooray for Peace , she is a fighter , kinda funny because of her name !!! LOL.
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    Good for Peace, glad she made it with minimal damage.
    My hens get to free range on the weekend while I am home but the hawks here are so thick they only venture to the honeysuckle hedge row about 8 feet from their run and hang out under there. They actually even though they can free range spend most of the day in their covered run, they know they are safe there. I have had several attacks over the past few weekends and fortunately no loses, the chickens have been alert and spot them early.
  3. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    Glad it turned out alright! We've had a close call too, a redtail has been hanging around here, and after it saw my chooks tried to take one when she flew on a flowerpot! The hawk missed her because she was too close to the house for the hawk to manage a grasp.

    Now I only let them out when I'm in the yard, and I stand guard and watch, but it's getting colder out, so it won't be long before the birds are kept in their run. [​IMG] Better to be safe.
  4. tcbosco1

    tcbosco1 Out Of The Brooder

    Geez! Just 15 minutes ago my ladies were attacked! Is it hawk season or something?

    I'm new to this whole chicken biz, but enjoying every minute of it...until now that is! I let my girls free range in the yard for about an hour a day (under supervision). I was always worried about cats or dogs. I live in a very urban area and wasn't very concerned about birds of prey.

    Once the hawk attacked I ran at it screaming and yelling and it eventually flew away. I think my girls are fine, but one of them seems to have suffered a scratch to the face. Then they all ran and hid. Once I finally got them back to their tractor, they all went upstairs to their perch.

    I'm assuming this is normal behavior; however, I am a little concerned.

    What happens to a chicken once it has been traumatized?

    Will this affect egg production? Not really my main concern, but as they just started laying (yesterday!) I'm somewhat interested.

    I was reluctant to try to grab the chicken with the scratched face because she seemed scared enough and was never one to enjoy being held to begin with. Is it advisable to attempt to disinfect the scratch?

    Also, I guess I'll be building a run this weekend. Now that I know I have hawks, does that mean I shouldn't let them free range anymore? They just seem to love it so much (as do I), I would hate to have to stop.

  5. bluebirdfarm

    bluebirdfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    i would def get the chicken that was attacked to check her out , wait a bit and then get her, that is what i did .Peace seemed to get over it quite quickly, LOL.
    i just examined her and put neosporin on the cut .she went about her biz as usual , just didn't go outside the run< LOL

    you can make sure they have hiding places so they can still range outside , like anything that they can hide under or have cover in , they shouldn't be kept in , what kind of life is that ????
    they will bve pretty smart about getting cover.
    although if you have silkies or polish , it seems that they have more tyrouble in this that they can't fly good or can;t see good .

    ps , i did not confine mine after the attack , although i did think about it , they will have to learn to run and fly faster , LOL.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2008
  6. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    They ran and hid from the hawk once it attack, normal behavior.
    Hiding in their coop, normal behavior. It depends on the chicken but they can stay in their coop a day or two before venturing out.
    Egg production, the stress can cause a decrease in egg production.
    If the scratch is not deep I would probably let nature take it's course and let it heal itself, chickens heal quickly.
    As far a letting them free range again, that's a judgement call. I let mine out on the weekends when the weather is nice enough I can leave the windows in the house open and I know I will not be leaving that day. My hens and one rooster have had to deal with hawks for quite some time now and are vary hawk savy. The rooster once he spots one lets out the hawk warning sound (yes chickens have different sounds for different predators) and then starts the baawk-baawk, baa, baawk, baawk cackling and I know a hawk in close so I go outside. I have a very long honeysuckle hedge row pluse numerous bushes in the yard and the chickens have become very good at getting to cover. However, they need me to run the hawk off, I have seen hawks chase chickens on the ground.
    The last several years the populations of red tail and cooper's hawks around my place have increased dramtically.
  7. tcbosco1

    tcbosco1 Out Of The Brooder

    I'm not even sure she was the one attacked - there were birds running and flying about everywhere. It is even conceivable that she scratched herself on a bush!

    I have five chickens: 1 Rhode Island Red, 2 Dominiques, 1 Silkie Bantam, and 1 Easter Egger (we think - still waiting for her first egg to be sure). It was the EE with the scratch.

    Anyway, no Neosporan on hand. Will Hydrogen Peroxide do?
  8. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    HP won't hurt
  9. tcbosco1

    tcbosco1 Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks Scooter!

    Also thanks for your other advice as well. I havn't really figured out this forum thing yet, and always seem to be a few posts behind!
  10. keechoo

    keechoo Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 12, 2007
    I'm glad I'm not the only one with hawk problems today. Unfortunately, I lost my Polish. My kids loved her [​IMG] and we losta younger Spanish bird. Any idea on how to keep them away? Hubby never put a top on their run (even after I asked him to) and the hawk went right in to get the younger bird. I have one flock hiding in the brush and another young one under a different bush. I don't know where the others are or if theywere taken yesterday and I didn't know.

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