hawk fears

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by yesfantina, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. yesfantina

    yesfantina Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 16, 2011
    Our 5 girls are 9 month old. They've been outside in their small coop since July and we let them out for supervised free-ranging for an hour or 2 per day. We've never had any problem, but we just choose to be out when they're out. We've got a 3 acre lot where the middle is pretty open and the the surrounding 2 acres are woods.

    On Thursday, my daughter was out with them and called me out because there were hawks circling. And swooping. We've seen maybe one or 2 before, but this was a whole mess of them and they were CLOSE. We stood around with brooms and a big white pvc pipe waving it at them and then just scooted the chickens back into their coop.

    we've kept them enclosed (whine! bwaaaak! whine!) since then. Their run is totally enclosed and safe. But it's small and i feel horrid keeping them cooped up. Today (sunday) we let them out again for a couple hours, but i was totally stressed about it. We saw a couple hawks and chased the girls under the deck when we did.

    Now i'm all stressed about it. I REALLY enjoy hanging out outside with the chickens every day, but then i read that the freaking hawks can swoop down and take one of 'my babies!' while i'm standing right there.

    i dont' know what i'm asking. i am hoping that they are migratory and just passing thru.. i know we always have them, but i've NEVER seen them swooping at my chickens before. i feel like we're being held hostage.

    GO AWAY! EAT the canadian geese nobody loves that are everywhere! why are they interested in my chickens?

    Any advice?
    Should we keep them cooped up to protect them?

    I suspect this is a reason for chicken math. if we had more chickens i wouldn't love each of them so much, right??????

  2. Tressa27884

    Tressa27884 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2011
    Cooper, Texas
    No matter how many chickens you have, I think you'll always love them all. I have the occassional hawk around here, but my Great Dane tends to keep them out of the yard. I don't think there is really anything you can do to keep the hawks away - what you're doing seems like the best alternative, unless you can build them a nice big safe run. Hopefully somebody else can give you better advice.
  3. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2012
    Poplar Bluff , MO
    I have some stray cats that someone dumped on me....I was going to give them away when it warmed up a little more but I don't think I will now, after the funny sight I had today.

    One of the cats I noticed today was walking with its head cocked to one side and staggering around, falling over on its side...I was just thinking I should get the rifle and put it out of its misery when this hawk decided it would be an easy meal ...down came that hawk and when it got about 3 feet from that cat it found out its and my mistake , that cat leaped in the air and caught that hawk and when she came towards me with that hawk in her mouth she wasn't staggering a bit.[​IMG] so I guess that's one cat i'm keeping.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j True BYC Addict

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    That's one tricky cat! [​IMG] I wonder how many other hawks it has gotten and how long it took it to perfect the technique?
  5. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2012
    Poplar Bluff , MO
    i dont know first time Ive seen a cat do something like that....now I have seen blue jays do the same thing to cats that were close to the tree they had a nest in ...
  6. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Can I have your cat? I want your cat [​IMG]
  7. mohillbilly

    mohillbilly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 15, 2012
    Poplar Bluff , MO
    you can have anyone of the other strays that came with her [​IMG]
  8. akcharlie1960

    akcharlie1960 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2010
    Chugiak, Alaska
    I'm not a cat fan at all but that one's got some redeeming qualities. Must have been cool to watch. Is the cat ok around the chooks?
  9. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    Cool cat story! I hope it wasn't sick afterall.

    I used to walk around the yard with my hens with a long stick in hand. Kinda hen herding.Tiresome in the winter. The chickens are darn good at watching for hawks and diving for cover. Maybe herd the hens for a while.Add an extra run onto the other with plastic fencing and bird netting on top.It won't stop a hawk,but it will slow them and tangle them up.

    I have fisihing line up in one part of the yard.Actually that was the area the hawk was swooping on them ladst week,but thankfully no losses.
  10. kcjones

    kcjones Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2011
    We get a small hawk that comes around here, so far it's had no interest in my chickens, a friend called it a sparrow hawk. They see it an the rooster orders all the girls under the porch.Thankfully i finished the bigger covered daytime run.We have a few long PVC herding sticks around the yard too. :)

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by