Hawk attacked my chickens today.

ethbarry

Songster
7 Years
Jul 31, 2012
150
269
217
Henderson TN
My 10 new Sapphire gems just started laying 2 weeks ago at 19 weeks old. They're always free ranging.
We were inside and suddenly our rooster started crowing like crazy, the 2 last guineas we have were making un unbelievable racket. Looked out the window, saw nothing until I saw a load of blue feathers on the ground in the tree line. I closed in, saw my young chicken resisting and fighting a hawk. She fought for her life. I started screaming at the hawk. He let go and my chicken took off for the safety of the covered porch in front of the kitchen door.
The hawk flew up and went after her. I went right at him, screaming and waving my arms. He took off. From now on, the shotgun goes out with us and the chickens will be let out in the 24ft x 24 ft covered dog kennel. It's not nearly as nice for them as a complete free range but we hope that if we do this for a couple of weeks, it may be safer again for them in the spring.
I bandaged her foot. She limps and she also has a small skin wound on her side. She's plucked on one side, lost a load of feathers. The other chickens immediately attacked her foot so now she is in my guest bathroom in a dog kennel with a nesting box, shavings, food and water.
Today she was lucky. I'm also thinking about making a covered area for them. But I'm pretty sure that a less assertive chicken would have been hawk food now.
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
18,318
22,132
912
Colorado Rockies
Quite a suspenseful tale. So happy your little pullet escaped.

Like my EE/Legbar mix Ladybug, she was probably very fast and that's what saved her from being killed instantly. Three years ago when Ladybug was a pullet, a hawk strafed her. Feathers exploded in a big cloud outside by bedroom slider where I was sitting a few feet away inside when it happened.

First thing I saw was enough feathers to fill a pillow, but no dead chicken. I found Ladybug hiding in the coop minus all the feathers on her back. She was completely bald but not a scratch on her. It took a year and a half for the feathers to grow back.

Watch your little gal carefully for signs of shock. Give her warm Gatoraid if she begins to droop.
 

LizzzyJo

Songster
Dec 14, 2018
274
804
162
Northwest Ohio
I am so glad she’s ok!! My girl was not so lucky last month. After years of free ranging happily we now have a nesting pair of red tailed hawks on our property. We see them all the time. I am also hoping that they move on in the spring. My girls are not accustomed to being confined to their run and moral is down. Once the hawks move on they will be free again.
 

ethbarry

Songster
7 Years
Jul 31, 2012
150
269
217
Henderson TN
It's illegal to shoot the hawk without a permit.
I doubt we'll be able to shoot him with a shotgun at the distance they keep from people. But the shotgun makes the most noise. And that's why we would carry it. But on another note: If they are caught killing your animals, you have the right to shoot him where we live. You just can't shoot them just like that, when they're doing nothing to harm your animals. I've never harmed a hawk.
 

hayley3

Crowing
12 Years
Aug 16, 2007
828
732
276
Southern Indiana
My 10 new Sapphire gems just started laying 2 weeks ago at 19 weeks old. They're always free ranging.
We were inside and suddenly our rooster started crowing like crazy, the 2 last guineas we have were making un unbelievable racket. Looked out the window, saw nothing until I saw a load of blue feathers on the ground in the tree line. I closed in, saw my young chicken resisting and fighting a hawk. She fought for her life. I started screaming at the hawk. He let go and my chicken took off for the safety of the covered porch in front of the kitchen door.
The hawk flew up and went after her. I went right at him, screaming and waving my arms. He took off. From now on, the shotgun goes out with us and the chickens will be let out in the 24ft x 24 ft covered dog kennel. It's not nearly as nice for them as a complete free range but we hope that if we do this for a couple of weeks, it may be safer again for them in the spring.
I bandaged her foot. She limps and she also has a small skin wound on her side. She's plucked on one side, lost a load of feathers. The other chickens immediately attacked her foot so now she is in my guest bathroom in a dog kennel with a nesting box, shavings, food and water.
Today she was lucky. I'm also thinking about making a covered area for them. But I'm pretty sure that a less assertive chicken would have been hawk food now.
So glad she made it! I love guineas for sounding the alarm like they do and glad you were there to scare it off. I had to look up Sapphire Gems..very pretty breed.
And free ranging is nice but it's hard to keep them safe. Better an inconvenienced chicken than a dead one.
 

Loosly

Chirping
Jan 18, 2020
61
201
60
My 10 new Sapphire gems just started laying 2 weeks ago at 19 weeks old. They're always free ranging.
We were inside and suddenly our rooster started crowing like crazy, the 2 last guineas we have were making un unbelievable racket. Looked out the window, saw nothing until I saw a load of blue feathers on the ground in the tree line. I closed in, saw my young chicken resisting and fighting a hawk. She fought for her life. I started screaming at the hawk. He let go and my chicken took off for the safety of the covered porch in front of the kitchen door.
The hawk flew up and went after her. I went right at him, screaming and waving my arms. He took off. From now on, the shotgun goes out with us and the chickens will be let out in the 24ft x 24 ft covered dog kennel. It's not nearly as nice for them as a complete free range but we hope that if we do this for a couple of weeks, it may be safer again for them in the spring.
I bandaged her foot. She limps and she also has a small skin wound on her side. She's plucked on one side, lost a load of feathers. The other chickens immediately attacked her foot so now she is in my guest bathroom in a dog kennel with a nesting box, shavings, food and water.
Today she was lucky. I'm also thinking about making a covered area for them. But I'm pretty sure that a less assertive chicken would have been hawk food now.
I am sorry.i had to cover the pen and now I only let them free range when I am there. I guess all creatures need to eat, but I know how you feel when the hawk went for your girl.
 

Boonie Stomper

Crowing
Jan 1, 2018
1,019
2,111
287
DC, MD, VA region
I doubt we'll be able to shoot him with a shotgun at the distance they keep from people. But the shotgun makes the most noise. And that's why we would carry it. But on another note: If they are caught killing your animals, you have the right to shoot him where we live. You just can't shoot them just like that, when they're doing nothing to harm your animals. I've never harmed a hawk.
I believe you still have to get a permit from DNR, for the raptor(s) you have proof (photos) is killing your livestock, to shoot them.
And if they're nesting, they aren't leaving when they have a good feeding ground. They will soon teach their fledglings to hunt!

I've had active redtailed Hawks nest in nextdoor tree for years. One clipped my ear with its wing going for chooks once.... I'm always on lookout (and ears peeled) when chooks free ranging.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,574
22,991
906
southern Michigan
Keep everyone in their safe coop and run for now, and have her out there, in a separate cage, but in the coop area, if at all possible. If she's missing for some time, she will be 'foreign' to them.
It's a federal crime, with penalties, to injure or kill any raptors in the USA. Keeping chickens safe is about managing them so hawks can't get to them if possible. Right now this hawk will return, so two or three weeks of no success hopefully will send him on elsewhere.
I'm glad your pullet survived! Good for her, and good for you for rescuing her in time.
My birds are also locked in right now, for the same reason.
Mary
 

hayley3

Crowing
12 Years
Aug 16, 2007
828
732
276
Southern Indiana
I doubt we'll be able to shoot him with a shotgun at the distance they keep from people. But the shotgun makes the most noise. And that's why we would carry it. But on another note: If they are caught killing your animals, you have the right to shoot him where we live. You just can't shoot them just like that, when they're doing nothing to harm your animals. I've never harmed a hawk.
To be honest, if I had a gun in my hand and a hawk flew down and was attacking my hen, my protective instinct would kick in. I don't normally walk around with a gun in my hand though. :caf
 

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