Hawk/falcon picking off my 10 week old chicks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by NHchicks, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. NHchicks

    NHchicks Songster

    May 13, 2010
    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.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011
  2. MEchickenfarmer33

    MEchickenfarmer33 Chirping

    Jul 29, 2011
    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
  3. leochickenmama

    leochickenmama In the Brooder

    Jun 1, 2011
    New Jersey
    I lost four to a hawk. The last one flew out of the pen and met her demise. [​IMG]

    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.)
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Crowing

    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Pen them someplace with a cover over it until the hawk moves on.

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