Hawk Attack?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by lesliedow, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. lesliedow

    lesliedow Chillin' With My Peeps

    OK, so I have lost my first chicken to a predator. 8(...or I think I have.

    After making a bullet (and racoon)-proof coop with red, blinking, warning lights; I lost my smallest chicken to a hawk. At least I am pretty sure she was grabbed by a hawk. She is completely AWOL and there were no feathers scattered about. My dog swears she is innocent, the cats do not look particularly satisfied, and the snake has not left her cage this week.

    Little White (the chicken) disappeared two days ago while my flock of 6 was free-ranging in our fenced backyard. She was a small Ameracauna, about 12 weeks old, and the runt of the crew (3 Ameracaunas, a RIR and two Silver Penciled Plymouth Rocks). Maybe about 2 lbs? She also was the one who tended to stray from the flock. I cannot tell you how many times I had to round her silly butt up, pull her out from under the shed, or show her where the rest of the flock was hanging. Sigh.

    When I discovered her missing, (the second time that day) the rest of the flock had retreated into a single nesting box (5 chickens), inside the henhouse in the middle of the day and were doing that "I'm all eyes and very tall" thing. Like they were scanning for intruders.

    Today, I saw a hawk casing my yard--okay actually sitting in a tree across the street--but it was screeching. The smallest two chickens (RIR and an Ameracuana) had retreated under the deck and the larger three were very close to the house, very flat and very quiet. All hiding-like.

    I'm assuming that this hawk got lucky with my littlest and most stupid chicken and now is back for more. Are hawks like that?

    thanks.
    Leslie

    (who won't actually kill a hawk but would consider an Airsoft deterrent)
     
  2. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    4,247
    256
    291
    May 18, 2009
    Brooksville
    Yes, once a hawk finds easy food, he'll keep coming back until it's no longer easy. Can you keep them locked up?
     
  3. lesliedow

    lesliedow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sigh. I can keep them in the coop, but they so love being out. Maybe I will allow them to range when I can be there to help.
    8(
     
  4. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    4,247
    256
    291
    May 18, 2009
    Brooksville
    It's hard. I let my chickens free range. It breaks my heart to have to lock them up. This time of year, though, here in Florida we have hawks that have come south, so my little ones are at risk. Once they are grown, the hawks pretty much leave my guys alone, but I have huge chickens, so they're not so easy prey.
     
  5. lesliedow

    lesliedow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, I am thinking that as much as I love the sleek looks of the Americaunas I want some Nimitz-class birds. Big ones that the hawks cannot mess with. What do you suggest?
    Thanks!
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Buff Orps do pretty well for me under the hawk-filled skies. But only after they are grown.

    And I offer pallets elevated on concrete blocks for them to duck under if needed.
     
  7. TenOC

    TenOC Out Of The Brooder

    49
    0
    32
    Aug 26, 2012
    I have problems with hawks. I wish I knew a way to train the hawks to only eat the Roosters. [​IMG] ... But the hawks seems to like the small hens best.
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The predator always gets your favorite chicken. It is just the way it always is.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. browning6

    browning6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    248
    13
    93
    Dec 2, 2012
    Winton, California
    I have noticed that if my chickens are hiding the predator is not far away or hasn't been gone long. I had a stray dig attack one hen right in front of me and the others split asap and didn't come out from the thick cover for about 45 minutes. So If everyone was hiding and the hawk was close you probably found your invader.
     
  10. FromChictoChick

    FromChictoChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    196
    1
    91
    Apr 13, 2012
    MA
    My Coop
    I have had absolutely no luck with small hens a redtail has taken up residence and figured out hens are easy, tasty pickings :(
    They have only managed to kill or grab (i've had two survive) the small hens (marans and americaunas seem to be favorite targets) but have no touched the heavier bodied hens like the orpingtons, plymouth barred rocks, and black star

    Once this hawk figured it out, it's now become an almost daily nuisance and since I keep a very small flock and can't afford losses, I'm thinking I'll probably have to revoke my hens' free-ranging privledges
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by