Hawk...or what?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by kimmommy23, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. kimmommy23

    kimmommy23 In the Brooder

    Jan 8, 2014
    New Hampshire
    I lost my beautiful white Silkie rooster, I believe to a red-tailed hawk. The chickens were out free-ranging and I had to go pick my son up from preschool, about 15 minutes from the house. I really didn't want to fight with the chickens to go inside for such a short period of time just to come back and let them out. BIG mistake! Apparently A LOT can happen in 35 minutes! When we pulled back in I took my son out of his car seat and as I shut the car door and turned I saw a HUGE hawk take off. I'm almost positive it was a Red-Tailed but only saw it for a fraction of a second. The poor little guy had put up a good fight there were 4 separate clusters of feathers, including the smallish one I found him in. It looks as though it went after a hen first as she was found, alive, with a lot of feathers missing from half her tail and backside, and the rooster acted to protect her. There are 2 things that are bothering me though and I'm wondering if anyone has any theories. 1: I always thought that hawks would carry off a kill and consume it elsewhere, however my little guy had a big hole on his side and the hawk had been at him for awhile, is this typical? 2: When counting the hens I found the run smelling very strongly of ammonia and a pile of, I think, dog or fox scat in there. My dog has never gone into the coop, never left unattended in the yard, and certainly never defecated or urinated in or near the coop. Is it possible a dog or fox killed the rooster, then marked and the hawk was scavenging, or is it more likely it is a weird coincidence? There were 2 hens in coop when I got there and they were happily settled into nest boxes to lay and no feathers in coop suggesting a recent upset in there. The attack appeared to start under a favorite "hide-out" (as that is where I found our girl's clump of feathers) and ended about 50-75' from there in some raspberry brambles. Don't know if that helps, but figured I should disclose all evidence. All-in-all, I have learned a valuable lesson, but at the expense of our beloved rooster. Below is a picture of our rooster, ironically the tail end of the hen attacked, and even more ironically in about the same place the attack began.


    Rest in Peace Yeti

  2. hatcherkid777

    hatcherkid777 In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2013
    Sometimes hawks will leave the prey sorry for your loss [​IMG]
  3. kimmommy23

    kimmommy23 In the Brooder

    Jan 8, 2014
    New Hampshire
    Thank you hatcherkid, we really loved the little guy. We are all upset, plus it is the first chicken we have lost, so that much more traumatizing.
  4. MistyMountain

    MistyMountain Songster

    Aug 24, 2013
    I had a hawk attack and eat my SS Hamburg right next to the coop. I was worried it was something else (as I have small children and do not want any stray dogs or coyotes around). We locked the chickens up for 3 days and the day they were let back out we were hit again. My other SS Hamburg was attacked and we actually saw the hawk land in the run looking for her. She was in the coop with the Roo guarding the door. She is blind in one eye, but has recovered. Be careful about letting your flock out again, hawks come back. And they will go right into the coop to get the chickens (big door was open).

    So sorry about your rooster. Good guy protecting his girls.
    1 person likes this.

  5. Spanishchick

    Spanishchick Chirping

    Nov 29, 2013
    My Coop
    Our 2 Coopers hawks (2 of them - a pair) attacks, both times have swooped down and grabbed them and lifted off. There wouldn't be a trace if we didn't grab the first 2 they took back (long story) and if the second attack that happened today wasn't on our heaviest chicken who they was too heavy and the hawk dropped her and she ran off. But left a big gash. I suppose a hawk can attack and eat but most of the time they swoop down and grab.
    I'm sorry to hear about your loss.
    I think in this cold anything can happen.
    I notice all our attacks happen when it's really cold.

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