Hawk got one

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by protodon, Oct 5, 2009.

  1. protodon

    protodon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Nottingham,PA
    I came home today to find a half eaten juvenile chicken next to my shed. I'm assuming it was a hawk since it happened between the hours of 8am and 4pm. I've lost some tiny chicks to again what i assume are hawks since they disappear completely during the day. But i have never had one make a meal of my larger chickens. Only one side of the chicken was eaten. The rest was fairy intact.

    The odd thing is this chicken ws next to my shed under 2 pine trees. I have a wide open field in the middle of my yard and that is where I would expect to the find such a thing. I doubt they dropped it from the tree because it was pretty heavy when I picked it up, even with half of it gone and the hawks around here aren't very impressive in size.

    I was thinking it could also be a cat but I never had a problem with those and the kill didn't look very messy. I'm actually not sure how the chicken was killed. I guess it was eaten alive?

    Does anyone know of a way to deter hawks? This worries me now because I have a few new chicks and ducklings in the brooder that will be going out in the next month or so. I don't want a hawk to come and think he has his meals set for the winter. Apparently this one was pretty bold to take down one of my larger birds. Some of my other chickens were picking at the body when I found it .I hope they didn't kill it!
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
  3. protodon

    protodon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nottingham,PA
    Great this supposed hawk got my 1.5 month old duckling today. It's gone completely just a lot of feathers where he usually stays. I am not sure what to do since all my outdoor birds have a lot of places to hide. In fact that duckling stayed under my quail pen all the time. I'm wondering if this could be a cat? I never had a problem losing such large birds during the day before.
     
  4. chickensioux

    chickensioux Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens have several places to run to (under the coop, DH built a short 4' x 4' platform to run under) I have CD's hanging from the trees and 3 huge Tom turkeys and I will still lose one to a hawk. If your chickens free range and you cannot cover their entire area with netting, I don't know if you can stop it. My area is fenced in but still too large to cover with netting. These are the things I have done and while it is few and far between times that I lose one, I still do. Good luck and I hope you can figure out a good way to stop it. Sorry for your losses.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  5. protodon

    protodon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Nottingham,PA
    I may try tying my dogs out for the day while I am at work. The chickens have an acre of my property to roam but they tend to stay in the covered areas probably for this very reason. I could also try to lock them in the area where their coop is. This is all covered with pine trees but I didn't want to lock them all up in there and not give them a chance to run. It would be like shooting chickens in a barrel.
     
  6. protodon

    protodon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Nottingham,PA
    Okay so I just found the body of my poor little duckling. The middle of the body was eaten, spine intact, and the head and legs were left. So far both the chick and duckling were found under the pine trees near my chicken coop. I know for a fact that the duckling was killed/captured in a different place than he was eaten. I also keep finding really chalky poop and a lot of this poop is in straight lines like a tail dragged through it. I'm still wondering if this was something other than a hawk. Whatever it is, it makes it's kill during the day. I assume I will be finding more "clues" tomorrow aka another dead bird. This is really aggravating now!

    ETA: It's definitely a hawk. I found this quote " Raptors often defecate at a kill site. Accipiters such as the goshawk leave a splash or streak of whitewash that radiates out from the feather pile, whereas owls leave small heaps of chalky whitewash on the ground."

    http://icwdm.org/handbook/birds/HawksOwls.asp
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009

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