jgarner1327

Songster
Mar 3, 2019
96
124
112
Portland, Oregon
I'm here reading this thread because a Coopers Hawk just attacked our only black chicken. Out of our 15 red/brown/white/golden/grey chickens, the hawk went after the black one. The hawk actually attacked from the ground, it came walking around the corner of our woodshed and attacked (we have a ring camera that caught it all). Our rooster ran to the back door making a lot of noise to let us know but then ran under the shed when the hawk attacked :(. Emmy Lou, our black chicken, ran under a tarp but the hawk followed her on foot under the tarp. At this point we had ran outside and my husband jerked the tarp off and the hawk flew. Our girl lost a lot of feathers, but no obvious wounds thank goodness. I had always heard hawks won't attack black chickens too :(.
Sorry your chook had to go through that. That hawk was determined! I wish my whole yard was covered with some type of screening wire so they could forage safely. Good luck.
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,341
42,781
1,156
southern Michigan
Hawks will try for a chicken of any color, it's irrelevant to them. Usually the hawk will go for smaller birds, but again, not always. And that hawk can see a mouse in the grass from high up, so there's nothing about color involved.
Keep your birds in their safe coop and covered run for ten days or so, unless you see that hawk later in the week, then keep them in longer.
We have just today had a Cooper's hawk hunting here all day, and fortunately I saw him as I was leaving the coop, so the birds are locked in.
Onl6y covered runs keep raptors out!
Mary
 
May 28, 2020
475
589
186
Bonney Lake, Washington
Hi! This is my first post (been lurking since April when I started my flock! Hi all!) I know there are thousands of hawk posts (I’ve read most of them!) I have some specific-to-me questions for the community and am hoping it can provide me and anyone else lurking some insight to reduce risks. Thank you in advance!

Brief background- we have a small urban flock of 6 in the Bay Area of CA. Got ladies in April/June as 6-7 week pullets. They have been allowed to free range in our backyard nearly since then. Coop and run access all day. It’s wooded but suburban so we’re not talking acres here. Just a nice patch of hill with two large trees. Food and water inside run. No predator issues until this week.

This past week (first week of November) I heard a commotion and looked to see a hawk swooping out of our yard. I ran out but was not able to ID hawk type. Thinking red tail as most common in this area. Cooper is possible too. Wing undersides were light brown/sandy in color. I thought the bird was huge but… city person here so take that for what it’s worth. All the girls were present but our head lady in charge had some missing feathers and on inspection a decent gash. (We’re doing wound care and thanks to posts here, she is healing well it seems. Eating/drinking excellent. She actually seems unbothered, whereas the others are still a bit frazzled.)

Specific questions in my mind:
1. Our yard has two large trees that the girls spend most time under one of them. The attack happened under/very near said tree. It has finally gone complete bare of leaves this week. Assuming this is not coincidence? Is this a fair assumption. And if so, is ranging them once the tree is filled out again “safer” ( in quotes as I know safe is a relative term and predators will predator). I feel like a full tree is not enough to stop a hawk! But looking at my yard I’m realizing how much more sky is exposed now and the timing seems, important.

2. We have a border collie who is trustworthy unsupervised with hens but he’s not a guard dog (ha!). He often sleeps on our deck while the hens graze the hill. Would just his presence be enough? Surely it depends on the hawk but would gladly leave him out when ranging the girls if it would make a difference?

3. In my hawk obsession this week I’ve done lots of reading on crow-hawk relations. Some articles saying hawks won’t bother staying anywhere crows nest. Our neighborhood is home to MANY crows. Murders upon murders of them. Is it too much wishful thinking to think perhaps this was a one off? That this hawk was making his way through and saw an “easy” meal and won’t necessarily be back?

Thank you for reading all this! Appreciate this community. Like I mentioned this is my first post but I’ve learned so much from lurking the past 6 months so thank you!

EDIT: For clarity as it seems to come up in a lot of replies! We DO have a secured run and coop. Hardwire apron and hardwire siding with pvc wire and a full roof of aluminum. Ladies are access to run and coop at all times when they are ranging! Not relying on the now bare trees for security, just sparked my interest as it’s never been empty of leaves since we’ve had them out and this happened right away!
Unfortunately not much deters hawks, even if you’re standing right next to them. The only things I know to work are physical aerial protection or a trained LGD. I feel your pain, I used to let my girls free range but the hawks around here got hungry. We have a hacky bird net up that I let them roam under when I’m at home now.
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,592
2,721
286
West Virginia
Each time you see something off and your dog is around act panicked and tell him to go check it out. Keep saying check it out while walking the perimeter. After awhile your dog should catch on with what to do. Now all I do is say “what’s that” and he jumps to alert. While he sits or lays down watching believe me he knows what’s going on. Now my chickens make a fuss and my dog is off to check it out. Good luck.
FYI this is the worst time of year for hawks
I agree! Best way to train one!
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,592
2,721
286
West Virginia
Thanks for reply and your insight! Definitely had a sandy colored underbelly and larger sjze- bigger than a crow most definitely. I only caught the underbelly of this specific bird. In the area the only hawks I’ve ever seen have been light brown in color for what ever that’s worth.
Our hen is all healed up and doing great so my panic is over and while I’m still worried about free ranging the flock going forward I’m a bit fascinated by hawk behavior now ha. Mostly thinking about how vulnerable the flock was all summer without incident despite hawks in the area and what changed. Season? migration? just plain old luck run out? I’m seeing lots of info about if a hawk attempts an attack they’ll definitely be back but I can’t imagine this is the first time the girls were spotted…anyway! All birds are fascinating but birds of prey a really something else! Any good resources (books, podcasts) you’d recommend?
Predators have more abundant food sources in the spring and summer than fall or winter .If you have them now but didn't then it means food is more scarce and they'll try harder to kill your chickens than before. There's very little for chickens to eat this time of year in cold climates and hardly worth the risk if you've got predators hanging around.
 

KyCoop

Songster
Oct 23, 2020
136
312
111
Central Kentucky
I used to have pictures of hawk foot prints in the snow. We had one last year that was stalking my girls from the ground trying to figure out how to get in the run. They were little at the time and that hawk probably thought those chicken nuggets would be easy to get to. He walked on the ground a couple times around and gave up. Needless to say my littles were terrified.
 
Nov 11, 2020
1,592
2,721
286
West Virginia

Attachments

  • Screenshot 2022-01-05 at 09-30-34 The chook tunnel.png
    Screenshot 2022-01-05 at 09-30-34 The chook tunnel.png
    256.6 KB · Views: 0

laneaj

Crowing
May 24, 2021
912
2,881
306
Clarksville Tennessee
Unfortunately not much deters hawks, even if you’re standing right next to them. The only things I know to work are physical aerial protection or a trained LGD. I feel your pain, I used to let my girls free range but the hawks around here got hungry. We have a hacky bird net up that I let them roam under when I’m at home now.
I was wandering bout this cuz my new coop does not have a cut out in the run side so since I'm still integrating the 9 wk babies I just carry them around to the run door.
I noticed the other day a really low flying hawk went right over the coop as I was standing there and all the babies ducked down and froze.
Will a hawk literally come in or near contact with a person in an effort to get a chicken?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
24,341
42,781
1,156
southern Michigan
Some might. Hungry, brave, stupid, or very acclimated to humans. You just never know.
Mostly not though. If you can't bear to ever loose even one bird, covered safe runs are best anyway.
We do occasionally loose a bird to a hawk, but our worst predator events have been during the day, once to a fox, and then our own dogs when fencing goes wrong.
Mary
 
May 28, 2020
475
589
186
Bonney Lake, Washington
I was wandering bout this cuz my new coop does not have a cut out in the run side so since I'm still integrating the 9 wk babies I just carry them around to the run door.
I noticed the other day a really low flying hawk went right over the coop as I was standing there and all the babies ducked down and froze.
Will a hawk literally come in or near contact with a person in an effort to get a chicken?
100% they will. I've not experienced it myself, though they've definitely stalked my hens and swooped near when I'm in the yard. I've heard stories from others of nabbing chickens when they're standing right next to them.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom