Hawk Attack!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by fegelmej, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. fegelmej

    fegelmej New Egg

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    Oct 12, 2010
    We are in suburban Cincinnati, Glendale. We have 11 hens, silver wyandottes and New Hampshire Reds, the Roo is a wyandotte. Today my wife let them out to free range, and almost immediately a Red Tail Hawk dive bombed the flock! The girls knew there was trouble and they bolted for the safety of a stand of Norwegian Spruce. Rupert, the Roo, was running for the shelter trees, calling the girls to him. After the hawk made her dive, the rooster decided to head for safer shelter (or closer to feed) in a grouping of ornamental grasses. As the flock made their run a juvenile hawk made his attack. The roo went CRAZY. Between herding the girls to safety and offering a distraction to the predator bird he was a master multi-tasker. My wife was running around trying to distract the hawks, but I received a text from her that said, "S***!! The hawks aren't scared of me!!"

    Everybody made it to shelter in safety, and I suspect we will face another blitz, but I hope the shelter in the yard, and the leadership of the rooster will provide adequate protection.

    Does anybody have any other suggestions for managing a hawk and her family?
     
  2. epeloquin

    epeloquin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard several times of hawks not fearing people when they attack. I guess when they're in attack mode they have no fear.

    I think the only thing you can do to mitigate the problem is provide them with a run where they will be safe from the hawks. It sounds like you have a heck of a roo there but he can't protect them from a focused attack plus I would worry about the stress on the hens. I would really construct a run for them.
     
  3. MEchickenfarmer33

    MEchickenfarmer33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hawks fly away when they see me hanging out with my hens and they dont come back until the next day or something. depends on the determination of the hawk [​IMG]
     
  4. flocksalot

    flocksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a whole extended family of hawks including all the aunts, uncles, and cousins. Thankfully they have only once tried to get a chicken. One of the hawks was sitting on top of the baby cage very frustrated because he couldn't get in. I took the hose to him and I think he spread the word that there is a freaking crazy lady that protects her babies. They often fly over, but we have never had another attempt. All of our chickens eventually become free range, so we make sure we keep a close eye on the ones that wander away from shelter. Now the turkeys, ducks and geese don't even get a second look from the hawks. I'm thinking it's either because they are way too big or because I have more hose lines running up there on the hill. Ready, aim.............
     
  5. chicken grandma

    chicken grandma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a hawk land, walk into the coop through the chicken door and attack an older RIR hen that I had. Coopershawk. Sneaky. Good coop, covered run. That is the only way to avoid a hawk attack.
     
  6. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    We have an adolescent hawk who hangs around our chicken yard and he is BOLD. I stand there waving my arms at him and looking like a complete idiot while he regards me passively.

    I wish I could have a rooster [​IMG] He sounds like the ultimate man!
     
  7. fegelmej

    fegelmej New Egg

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    Oct 12, 2010
    Thanks to all, and the great stories. Sounds like our best defense is acting like court jesters!

    No sign of the hawks this morning. They, are however, beautiful birds in their own right...
     
  8. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have a group of hawks that hang around here too. We are in the middle of the city, I have no idea where they come from. It started off as 2-3 and now I have seen 6 at a time cirlcling. They have dive bombed a few times. They girls run to the coop/run and my dog freaks out barking. They still come back.
     
  9. Gat

    Gat New Egg

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    Aug 10, 2011
    I have lost a few birds to hawks or eagles, but one day I came home from work and saw the tell tail signs of a hawk attack and discovered the body of one of my red Italians lying in the back garden.
    I then discovered the body of the Osprey that had attacked it he had been laid out on the door step a proud trophy of one of my cats, some of my cats hang out with the chickens all the time and have racked up a considerable amount of kills over the years including the Osprey, 3 mink, 3 seagulls, and a fair number of crows, magpies, rats mice and other small birds.
    If I leave the outdoor pen door open you can find the best killer in the hen house asleep in one of the coops beside the hens and the hens dont mind him being there, I think they know they are safe when he is there.
    So my advice to anyone who has a hawk problem is to get yourself a good size cat, my killer weighs 8kg and is bigger than my dogs ( which isĀ“nt too hard as they are miniature huskies ) [​IMG]
     
  10. 2overeasy000

    2overeasy000 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could also try letting your chix out later in the day. Like right before sunset, I've found less hawks this way. In addition, you don't really want to kill the crows, as they are probably THE BEST defense against hawks.
     

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