Hawk killed our chicken!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 56 Forest Ridge, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. 56 Forest Ridge

    56 Forest Ridge Chirping

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    Mar 14, 2015
    We have 2 ducks and had 7 chickens, all are aloud to roam the fenced yard during the day.
    I went outside last evening, before it was dark, to check on them. I startled a great big hawk that was on top of one of the chickens. It flew away, but I was too late. Poor little girl was dead.
    I'm worried now that the hawk will return. Does anyone have any experiences with returning hawks or know of any precautions to take, like a scarecrow or something?
    We used to have netting over the run yard but the main yard is too big to cover the whole thing..
    All of our other birds were pretty shaken up, hidden under various objects in the yard and really scared. This morning they were very leary to come out into the yard.

    Thanks,
    Tim and Amy Jo in the Boise National Forest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  2. SueT

    SueT Crowing

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    ) : So sad. Yes the hawk will likely return. We foolishly waited until a second predator attack before locking up our remaining free range hens in a newly secured run. Good luck w yours.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  3. Zoomie

    Zoomie Songster

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    Mora, NM USA
    Very sorry for your loss.

    Scarecrows don't work. They might initially astonish the hawk but sooner or later the hawk will figure out it's a scarecrow. They are very intelligent birds. It will be back - I would suggest a covered run for peace of mind.
     
  4. jacksonnotary

    jacksonnotary Chirping

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    I have had the same hawk hunting my chicken for the past 3 years.
    Right at the beginning he killed 2 of my baby roosters, first one and then 2 weeks later the other. He has been stalking us ever since.
    We tried some hawk traps recommended by a neighbor farmer but they didn’t work. I learned that killing birds of prey is against the law and comes with high fines, please check your local laws.
    Stubborn hawk comes by twice a day. Once early in the morning and the other afternoon around 4pm.
    Just to let you know that I thought that a human outside with the chicken is a great defense but that doesn’t bother it either. I’ve been 4 feet away from the closest chicken and the hawk flew right by me trying to pick up my hen.
    And so it has been a long 3 years fighting of the hawk.
    I tried everything in the book from hanging shiny beads to light reflecting old CDs.
    Two days ago the hawk got one of my roosters. I didn’t know until I took my daily head count after locking them in. It took 2 hrs to find his body. His neck was still attached only by a thin piece of skin. On the neck bones was no meat left, the rib cage had holes on either side with the lungs and other organs gone. The rest of the bird wasn’t touched.
    My living fowl afraid to go out of their covered run and only come out when their human family is with them.
    This won’t last long, I know and I dread it happening again.
    We live in the countryside with plenty of wildlife so I don’t understand why this hawk is fixated on us.
    Every time I see a dead bird on the side of the road I pray it is “my” hawk.
     
  5. Ishcabibble

    Ishcabibble In the Brooder

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    I had a problem with a hawk last year it took two of my hens. One day I was outside working with the horses when I noticed a hawk flying around. Then I saw the hawk land in a tree facing the direction of my hen. It of course went after the hen so I sprinted after it screaming my head off. It flew off into another tree I picked up sticks and rocks and threw them at the hawk until it flew off my property. The hen was unharmed but I didnt have another hawk problem after that. Plus my free-range chickens are now smart enough to hide under things when there's a large bird in the sky.
     
    deepbluesea and jacksonnotary like this.
  6. Zoomie

    Zoomie Songster

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    @jacksonnotary: the hawk knows where it can get a good meal that is easy to catch. That's why it's fixated on you.

    Try this experiment: when a sparrow lands near you, try and catch it. Next, when one of your chickens is next to you, try and catch it.

    That's why the hawk is going after the chickens: they are *way* easier to catch. If you lived out in the woods, with no tools and only your wits to survive, I bet you'd try and catch chickens too... that is why the hawk does not leave. It knows where to find food and things can be tough out there in the wild. If it does not catch a meal, it will starve to death.

    I live way out in the woods, right next to the national forest, with tons of predators. I know full well that all the hawks, eagles and owls I see would just love to eat a chicken. So, I have a big covered run and I do not free range. This way I can enjoy seeing hawks, owls and eagles (and bears, coyotes, foxes, cougars etc.) and not have to worry about my chickens. That's what works for me. Everybody is different, everybody has a different situation, but in my situation, that's what works.
     
    Folly's place and jacksonnotary like this.
  7. jacksonnotary

    jacksonnotary Chirping

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    Thanks for the input and I will try to keep them in their covered run. But the chicken look so happy and carefree when they run chasing butterflies. lol
     
    deepbluesea and KikisGirls like this.

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