Hawk/falcon picking off my 10 week old chicks

NHchicks

Songster
9 Years
May 13, 2010
538
5
141
Grrr. This is my 3rd year w/free rangers and I've never had a problem with birds of prey before. But I stumbled on this today while I was picking up the yard in advance of the hurricane. All of a sudden out of the bushes walked a hawk/falcon. I thought - hmmm. A hawk walking... Then it flew to a low branch. That thing was huge, and beautiful. As it then flew away I noticed it dropped something, which I figured was a mouse/chipmunk. Our chipmunks have mysteriously disappeared, but I haven't seen predators after them. Anyway, I checked the brushy area the hawk walked out of, and there was one of our 10 week olds, a rooster chick, headless. As we were looking in the bushes for the rest of the chicks, I saw the thing fly low across the field and scare the grown hens away. I noticed the bird was brown in flight, with spots on its belly. I was thinking peregrine, but when I looked online, maybe it's a cooper's hawk.

Every year this time a hawk visits our property on its way migrating south. I've watched it other years with a spotting scope, admiring it. I don't know if this it it, tho, it seemed too large and more brown. Still, I'm sure this bird is migrating and just stopping off for a week or 2. I will be GLAD when it's gone.

Last year I loved seeing the hawk. This year I hate it. I've never had a hawk go after my chickens before, even when it visited in August, I think that hawk was too small, but this one, like I said, is huge.

Now I'm thinking of getting a run, and keeping my birds penned up. I hate to do it, but in the longrun, it's better than becoming part of the food chain, esp. after all I invest in (and care for!) these birds.
 
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MEchickenfarmer33

Chirping
8 Years
Jul 29, 2011
461
0
99
Maine
Sorry for your loss. I am deathly afraid of hawks in my area. Luckily when my chickens were 10 weeks old when they got attacked by a hawk and they all made it. Ever since that happened I have been deathly afraid of them getting one of my girls. No other predator bothers me more because of their stealth and sneakyness and u can't shoot the devils
 

leochickenmama

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jun 1, 2011
69
0
39
New Jersey
I lost four to a hawk. The last one flew out of the pen and met her demise.


We haven't had an attack since.

My folks are penned, with a web of twine over the pen. Except for the one girl flying out, it's done a good job of keeping the hawk away. (I got the idea from this forum.)
 

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