Hawk Problems...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by FreeChicken!, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. FreeChicken!

    FreeChicken! Songster

    Nov 14, 2010
    So I've been raising chickens since spring, 2009, and the only predator problems I've had are these:
    1. A rat once stole a fertile egg the day before it was supposed to hatch.
    2. One of my Buff Orpington cockerels wandered off and was hunted.
    Those aren't major problems, but then, December 28, 2010, a hawk suddenly decided to come down and kill my favorite hen! We managed to scare the hawk away before it could harm any other chickens, and I buried the hen. But while I was putting heavy rocks on the grave (to keep foxes and dogs from digging the hen up), the hawk flew down and landed on a branch in the pine tree next to me and started to watch me. I started to chase the hawk away and while it flew, I saw its details-- sort of. At first, it looked like a peregrine falcon, then it looked like a sharp-shinned hawk, then it looked like something else. I have no idea what breed it was. It was a little bigger than my Rhode Island Red rooster and had a tawny belly with blackish speckles and gray and white wings. Can anyone help me identify this bird? I live in western New York, if that helps.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011
  2. terrilhb

    terrilhb Songster

    Dec 11, 2010
    I don't know about that. But I am so sorry for your loss:hit
  3. Talihofarms

    Talihofarms Songster

    Dec 4, 2010
    The fake owl doesn't concern a Hawk.

    Hawks own the day and the owls the night. I think they have a secret pact. The Hawk will be back until he or she is convinced that the risk is not worth it.

    It just happen that we like to Skeet shoot in our back yard.
    The hawks stay away. They hate the sound of a shotgun.
    Where I am they are protected.
    Some will recomend SSS as a last resort.

    Just my.02
  4. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    We cannot shoot hawks. However we can protect our livestock. I would not intentionally shoot one. I do shoot at other things if there is one out there.....a tree, a log....but never at the hawk. It is enough to make the hawk go on down the road.

    We have had one lately. The crows go nuts when he is out there and that and the roosters sounding the alarm will usually get my attention and I practice my shooting at a tree or log at the same time. Seems to work out like that.

    I have tops on my runs and don't think one could get in unless they really were small and wiggled around a bunch. And if one got in it would never be able to fly out. I only let my chickens out to free range when I am going to be out there. I know one could swoop down and get my chicken right in front of me from what I have read. But I usually have bottle rockets with me and plan to celebrate their free ranging if needed by shooting off a bottle rocket.

    They are protected and I would never want to actually hit one......however, if one is swooping down trying to get my livestock I will deter it.
  5. bluesub

    bluesub Songster

    Jan 4, 2011
    It's possible that it was a juvenile hawk of some sort (red-tailed?). The juveniles often have mottled breasts. Where are you located, it might help others identify the hawk species...
  6. FreeChicken!

    FreeChicken! Songster

    Nov 14, 2010
    Ahh, yes, I thought the owl would do nothing. It was a worthwhile question though. Thank you.

    As for where I live, I live in western New York.
  7. Barred Rocker

    Barred Rocker cracked egg

    Jul 15, 2009
    King and Queen Co, Va
    where I live, if you can verify that a hawk is killing your livestock you can lock and load. That being said I've never been able to grab my gun and take aim and shoot fast enough so it doesn't really matter anyway. The hawks here are so intense that they have actually killed several of my weeks old chicks by just reaching through 1/2 inch wire and decapitating them. I've had several people doubt my claim but I've seen it first hand. Why the chick would stand so close to the fence when something that want's to eat it so close by is beyond me, but I've lost them because of that. I've since put finer wire up at the base of the pen and haven't had any more problems. Hawks are smart and if they see food, they're going to do whatever it takes to get at it.
  8. FreeChicken!

    FreeChicken! Songster

    Nov 14, 2010
    I don't really have a defense for this sort of thing though. Only my dad has a gun and I don't think he'd want to use it unless the hawk stole like half of our chickens... I really want wire roofing for my chicken pen, but no one in my family has the time or money to get it and put it up.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011

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