Hawk got my favorite hen!

jenndera

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 15, 2011
54
3
41
Mantua, NJ
Gertie, my old non-laying silver laced wynadotte. She was so great with the kids.

Hawk left half of her for me to clean up. Ugh!

Anyway, has anyone had luck with those owl decoys? We had them at our old house to keep the birds out of the tennis court in our backyard and it worked for that.

Any advice appreciated :)
 

iwiw60

Crowing
5 Years
Jan 27, 2014
5,291
661
336
Central Oregon
So very sorry you lost your hen...it's never easy, that's for sure.


As for owl attacks, I can't really help you as I do not free-range my girls. Someone else should be along to help you.
 

Stacykins

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 19, 2011
4,355
226
258
Escanaba, MI
It is migration time. The only thing you can do is protect your chickens from above with netting. An owl decoy will not do a thing. Believe it or not, they're actually quite smart and know the difference.

Keep them enclosed in a run and put up netting. It just isn't a safe time.
 

sbhkma

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
921
601
211
Texas-Just a little bit South of Weird
Yes, this time of year is just NOT safe. I had a cooper's hawk sitting on my retaining wall in my back yard about 30 feet from my patio the other day! My gals aren't happy, but they have to be confined this time of year because of the increased hawks doing flyby hunting forays as they migrate.
 

shend

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 16, 2010
71
0
92
west michigan
I just found our favorite and oldest hen Big Momma. I'm pretty sure it was a bird of prey. I went out to mow and came across her, freshly killed. The girls were out front where there is less tree cover. She was four years old and I marvel at their instincts for survival.

I free range my birds and, as I work from home, am outside many times during the day calling them in for scratch grain treats and counting the flock. I've witnessed my girls many times scooting for cover when they detect danger. Like the wild turkeys, they go about their business but are paying attention to their surroundings. Big Momma just ran out of luck I guess.

In 4 years of keeping chickens I have lost 3 to predators. There are two schools of thought to free ranging but part of the appeal of keeping hens for me is interacting with them and giving them some freedom to do what chickens do.

I'll miss the big mother bird and will wonder if I should lock the rest up and cover their run, but honestly the natural world is mysterious and has a way of evening things out.

In the movie 'Out of Africa' when Meryl Streep tried to stop the lions from attacking the oxen, her wise aide, while cleaning her wounds said, "Mumsa, she is bleeding, yet she does not have this ox. The lion, he is hungry, yet he does not have this ox. The wagon, it is heavy, yet it does not have this ox." The moral to me was, nature is in charge and knows what She's doing.

RIP Big Mother Bird.
 

hildar

Songster
5 Years
Mar 28, 2014
713
39
103
Central North Carolina
I am so sorry about your older hen. I had a 5 month old BO pullet attacked today by a small hawk, Still not sure if she will make it or not. I have a bad feeling the hawk hurt her neck. She is keeping her head off to one side. The only wounds were on her head area as well, so not sure if there is brain damage or not. She is still alive now 9 hours after being attacked but isn't eating, she did sip some water earlier. But for awhile the girls and boys are inside. My main rooster Stormy was in the backyard so he didn't see what was going on, and didn't get a chance to protect the pullet. When I went to get everyone in today about 5 minutes after I brought odd ball up, the hawk had my NN rooster and 3 more BO pullets cornered, so I drove it off, and got them out of the area they were in and headed them to the coop. It worked for awhile, but then Stormy and the older girls got stalked by the hawk, it hung around outside the bigger coop watching them and trying to find a way in. Lucky for me it didn't.
 

jenndera

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 15, 2011
54
3
41
Mantua, NJ
What is the time frame for hawk migration?

I don't know much about them but I guess I have to learn-another one of the flock got taken today.

I am attaching their run in the morning and they won't be free ranging anymore until I can learn more about the hawks and how to protect the chickens.


Yes, this time of year is just NOT safe. I had a cooper's hawk sitting on my retaining wall in my back yard about 30 feet from my patio the other day! My gals aren't happy, but they have to be confined this time of year because of the increased hawks doing flyby hunting forays as they migrate.
 

jenndera

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 15, 2011
54
3
41
Mantua, NJ
So sorry for your loss

I just found our favorite and oldest hen Big Momma.  I'm pretty sure it was a bird of prey.  I went out to mow and came across her, freshly killed.  The girls were out front where there is less tree cover.  She was four years old and I marvel at their instincts for survival.  

I free range my birds and, as I work from home, am outside many times during the day calling them in for scratch grain treats and counting the flock.  I've witnessed my girls many times scooting for cover when they detect danger.  Like the wild turkeys, they go about their business but are paying attention to their surroundings.  Big Momma just ran out of luck I guess.

In 4 years of keeping chickens I have lost 3 to predators.  There are two schools of thought to free ranging but part of the appeal of keeping hens for me is interacting with them and giving them some freedom to do what chickens do.  

I'll miss the big mother bird and will wonder if I should lock the rest up and cover their run, but honestly the natural world is mysterious and has a way of evening things out.

In the movie 'Out of Africa' when Meryl Streep tried to stop the lions from attacking the oxen, her wise aide, while cleaning her wounds said, "Mumsa, she is bleeding, yet she does not have this ox.  The lion, he is hungry, yet he does not have this ox.  The wagon, it is heavy, yet it does not have this ox." The moral to me was, nature is in charge and knows what She's doing.

RIP Big Mother Bird.
 

jenndera

In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 15, 2011
54
3
41
Mantua, NJ
I'm so sorry about your hen!

I am a stay at home mom and I have the coop right outside the family room window so I can monitor all chicken activity, but somehow I missed this-no alerts or noises or anything. And another one got taken today while I was at the grocery store- so there will be no free ranging for a while now.

I am so sorry about your older hen. I had a 5 month old BO pullet attacked today by a small hawk, Still not sure if she will make it or not. I have a bad feeling the hawk hurt her neck. She is keeping her head off to one side. The only wounds were on her head area as well, so not sure if there is brain damage or not. She is still alive now 9 hours after being attacked but isn't eating, she did sip some water earlier. But for awhile the girls and boys are inside. My main rooster Stormy was in the backyard so he didn't see what was going on, and didn't get a chance to protect the pullet. When I went to get everyone in today about 5 minutes after I brought odd ball up, the hawk had my NN rooster and 3 more BO pullets cornered, so I drove it off, and got them out of the area they were in and headed them to the coop. It worked for awhile, but then Stormy and the older girls got stalked by the hawk, it hung around outside the bigger coop watching them and trying to find a way in. Lucky for me it didn't.
 

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