Hawk coloring

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by da417, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. da417

    da417 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 7, 2012
    I just picked up a chicken breeds magazine and it talks about certain breeds of chickens who have hawk coloring which means they have a unique barring pattern which offers protection from flying predators. The Barred Rock, Dominique, and Wyandotte are given as a few examples. It says that chickens with barred feathers offer the best camouflage. Anyone with any experience with this?
  2. Well they can hide better than White Leghorns. Hawks have good eyes. I wouldn't free range any chicken knowing the hawk was out and about. Just sayin. Especially if the hawks are big ones.
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Since hawk's eyesight is equivalent to that of a man looking through an 8 power telescope, I doubt that there is any real benefit to a chicken owner having a barred breed unless he likes the color so well that he never takes his eyes off of them. I think the white on barred chickens results in increased attention from BoP. One poster here called white chickens "running white targets" I have to agree.
  4. da417

    da417 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 7, 2012
    I thought it was strange too because the hawks I have unfortunately met didnt care what color the chicken was. I just wondered if anyone else heard or had experience with this.
  5. There is no doubt in my mind that coloring helps camouflage. White chickens do stand out more. The discerning eye of an eagle or hawk is good enough to get most chickens unless they have cover to run under. So although color matters, I wouldn't bank on that for protection of the chicken necessarily.

    Crows can be pesky too.
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Camouflage works great when you are motionless. As soon as you start moving about you are visible unless you move like objects around you. Being brightly colored makes spotting easier when stationary but you have to move for something like a hawk to recognize what you are as potential food. Otherwise hawk may treat you like similar looking piece of trash.
  7. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    I would agree the barring is a sort of camoflauge not unlike the current army fatigue camo but camo ins't foolproof as stated above, a white bird is the best camoflauge around here this time of year lol.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by