Hawk attack


Dec 2, 2015
I posted this earlier under "managing your flocks". I wanted to add it here as well to see if I can get some advice! Thanks!

I am new at raising chickens. We have twelve 13 week old chickens that we received at 2 days old. They stay mostly out in the coop and enclosed run. As they have gotten bigger we have been letting them out of the run to roam the yard a little. We have no issues with them all going back into the coop as the night begins to fall. Yesterday I walked out to find my smallest white Delaware on her back. At first I thought she was rolling in the dirt because she was flapping her wings. Then, I saw the hawk take flight off from her. Thankfully when I got to her she was not dead but stunned. She received puncture wounds under her wings and a small one just under her eye. We cleaned her wounds with vetericyn and ointment. I've started her with some antibiotics and elctrolytes in her water and she is inside away from the rest of the flock. The other 11 were all spooked and stayed under the back trees between two fences. Its obvious they new something had happened and were hiding from the hawk. This one Delaware seems to be out alone away from the others a lot of the time which makes her a target. I am totally afraid to let them out now. Just this morning I saw 4 more large birds flying over my yard. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Is there a way to get this one small Delaware to the point where she stays with the rest of the flock when they are roaming the yard??

Free Spirit

The Chiarian
Oct 21, 2015
So glad to hear you saved your hen. Guess you were in the right place at the right time and was able to treat her wounds promptly. I would not add antibiotics to the water. If there is no internal bacterial infection it is unnecessary. The ointment will provide a topical antibiotic directly to the wounds. Do have the electrolytes in the water that will help her immune system to prevent a bacterial infection. Some treats should cheer her up. Keep her away from the rest of the flock until she is healed. Otherwise the others may peck at her (they always seem to attack an injured flock member and especially at open wounds).

If you have hawks in the area then you only have two choices. Keep them in a covered run or provide more hiding places for them. The Delaware my have been surprised and didn't see it coming down on her or not fast enough to duck and cover. If you have a rooster they can be good at giving a warning. If you don't have a rooster then lots of hiding places are needed (bushes, low hanging trees, pallets set atop of blocks, etc.) if you're going to free range them.

Anyone who free ranges birds does take a risk of losses from predators... and there are many. Here's a list of what can get your chickens if not protected.

As for your Delaware roaming off by herself. Some birds are like that and not sure you can change that.

Hope this was helpful and Welcome to BYC

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