Hawk in the run yesterday

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by MrJorge13, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. MrJorge13

    MrJorge13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 30, 2012
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    Our run is surrounded with a 10 foot fence with cinder block walls above and below ground(it was an existing structure we turned into a run) The top is covered with bird netting and we felt it was pretty secure. Somehow the hawk found a small opening where the netting overlapped? We really aren't sure exactly how it got in but it was diffidently from the top. So now for the happy ending part all 6 hens are safe and sound. I was in my house getting ready for some company when I noticed on my iPad something going on in the run! For Christmas I got my wife a Uniden Guardian wireless surveillance system :) (costco had them on sale) so she can watch the girls while she's at work BEST GIFT EVER!

    I first saw a hen run past camera 2 then I saw the hawk "Holy @&$€!!" I ran as fast as I could out of the house to the run, on the way I grabbed a trash can. When I got to the run all the hens were hiding and the hawk was freaking out because it couldn't get out. With the trash can and a rack we have hanging in the run I cornered the hawk and was able to get it into the can. I took it out of the run and let it go but before I did I told it "No one messes with my girls!" It was a close call and we got very lucky. We spent the rest of the day reinforcing the netting we doubled up the netting and no longer have any openings. The day before we had our first 6 egg day the last hold out started to lay I'm so happy we will see more 6 egg days. Thanks to the best gift ever our hens made it without a scratch.

    I'll post some photos of our run later.

    Happy New Year :D
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    Wow! That was a close one! That is so cool that you saw the attack on your iPad! [​IMG] Ah, modern technology. Even cooler was you catching the hawk in the trash can - I would love to have video of that whole scene! I'll bet that particular hawk won't bother you again - he's still wondering what in the heck happened!! [​IMG]

    Oh, and after a fright like they had, they might be off in their egg production today - seems to happen after a big scare. They be back in the swing in no time, though.
    Thanks for sharing your story!
     
  3. Brandi Leigh

    Brandi Leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wew, close call. Hope that never happens again!
     
  4. Pitchfork

    Pitchfork Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Oklahoma
    So glad you were able to avoid disaster. I don't want to divert the thread but since we are talking Hawks, I had what I think must have been a hawk attack two days ago. I have an open top run and have had my chickens for nearly six years now with no loss to a predator. Two days ago I came home a little after dark and went out to lock up the coop. I was one hen short on my count and found my oldest hen, (nearly six) out in the run. The head was severed from the body with what appeared to be a pretty clean cut, not like a knife, but very little tearing. The head was laying next to the body and the top of the body was missing feathers and a lot of the meat had been eaten from the back. The rest of the bird was still intact, no internals eaten, does this sound like a hawk? I would think a coyote, which we have around, would have made a bigger mess and would have taken the body with it. I don't think a coon because it was still a little early in the evening for a coon, and the body was cold so the bird had been killed probably during the late afternoon while still light out. Any ideas? I am going to start tomorrow on closing the top of the run. I thought I was doing pretty good, going nearly six years with out a loss of any kind but this year has been the pits. I have lost six hens counting this latest. Some from the heat and some I guess just old age, and now this.
     
  5. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    I don't mean to take over this thread but, Pitchfork...I, too, have an open run and in almost 6 years I have never lost a bird to a predator from the sky. I have a fifty foot run with wire/thread going across the top in only four places with two dvd's tied to each line. They reflect even on cloudy days and keep sky predators deterred.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Pitchfork

    Pitchfork Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Oklahoma
    Thanks Ozark Hen I will try that. I was researching other threads and found one where it was stated that a skunk will bite off a chickens head and leave it. So maybe it was a skunk.
     
  7. ozark hen

    ozark hen Living My Dream

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    could be, sorry, I couldn't answer you as to who the culprit was. Only critter I have found inside my coop ..besides black snakes [​IMG] was a possum but it was too busy eating from the chicken feeder to mess with my birds, thank goodness.
     
  8. Pitchfork

    Pitchfork Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
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    That is the puzzlement. In six years I have not lost a bird to a predator and it really has me bugged. I see hawks all the time but they have never bothered the chickens and I do let them out of the run in the fall after my garden is finished and they free range through winter until I am ready to plant the garden in the spring. I wasn't home to let them out of the run on this day and thought they were nice and safe in their run. I have a 3' x 4' low shelter in the run for them to run under if they are in danger but what ever it was sure got the old hen. She had been sitting in the coop virtually all the time for the past six months or so, she rarely ever bothered to come out and I figured that is just what old chickens do, as her hatch mate was spending more and more time in the coop just sitting on the roost staring off into space as well. So she was probably easy pickens for what ever it was that got her. My coop is very predator proof once it is closed up at night and I have never had anything get in, though I do see a mouse once in a while, and I know from growing up on a farm, (over in the Ozarks actually) that mice will bring snakes. But so far no snakes, no coon attacks, no opposums, no nothing until now.
     
  9. Pitchfork

    Pitchfork Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2008
    Oklahoma
    To be clear, she was killed in the run not the coop, I should have added that on this day she finally decided to leave the coop and come out for some fresh air and sunshine and it was to her down fall. On the rare occasions that she did come out over the last few months she would usually just build her a little dust nest and sit the whole time rarely moving.
     
  10. mohawkbrian

    mohawkbrian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what type of hawks does everyone have problems with. if they are goshawks they can fit through the tiniest of spaces by folding their wings up and diving through the hole so i hope this will help you protect your flock in the future
     

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