Hawk Question

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by alabiologist, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. alabiologist

    alabiologist In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2009
    We have Barred Rocks that are 18 weeks old and last week while they were free ranging, a hawk flew over and swooped down at the flock. The rooster sounded the alarm and they headed for cover. The hawk just "buzzed" the chickens not really trying to catch one. The chickens are as big as the hawk and are probably heavier than the hawk. Will this hawk kill my chickens if he gets an opportunity? I always though full grown chickens were safe, but I am fairly new to this.

  2. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I also have Barred Rocks and a Bullet Hawk tried to hit a 22 wk old hen. The hawk was just barely 1/4 the size of the hen. He died when he crashed into the oak stup the hen was next to. Strange behavior on the hawks part. When I picked him up there was no weight to it at all leading me to believe it was desperate. The hen dodged the hit. The hawk dosen't have to carry it off to eat, I've seen Red Tailed Hawks and Bald Eagles eating car hit deer.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2010
  3. leslierf

    leslierf Songster

    Apr 23, 2010
    Tucson area
    I have seen hawks go after animals that are bigger than chickens. Keep your eyes peeled. It sounds like this hawk is sizing up your flock for a potential meal.
  4. callducklover20

    callducklover20 Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Bonner Springs, KS
    My mother inlaw's cat who is a big mean manx got picked up by a redtail hawk, lucky for the cat he was on his tie out chain since he had been mean to the neighbors dogs, so the chain went tight and the hawk dropped the cat-he is a big white cat who lays like a rabbit with his legs kicked out so we think the hawk thought he was a rabbit. Any wildlife place will tell you that you need to keep an eye on small dogs and cats especially right now when the hawks are finding their winter areas where they will stay within I think a mile-so that hawk will be around til next spring more than likely. I dont know how well it works out in the country if that is where you are but I was told by the wildlife refuge people to tie out those shiny metal ballons and it will freak the hawks out and they will stay away. If they will take dogs and cats yes they will take chickens-I had a hawk fly right over my head 8 years ago a nab a rabbit that I spooked out of my shrubs, IM sure he knew it was there and was waiting on it but if it can swoop and nab a big fat cottontail it can nab a chicken no problem

  5. surfchicken72

    surfchicken72 Songster

    Hawks as small as Sharp-shinned or Coopers, if hungry enough, may give a go at your girls, so be aware..... I always have my eyes on the sky when the girls are free ranging...
    Luckily the rooster is VERY observant and has on a few occasions spotted the hawk before I did, and got everyone to scramble for cover.

    Something as big as a Red-Tail CERTAINLY has the capabilities to take out a chicken.... they prefer smaller prey, but.. as I said, hungry enough, they'll have a go at it.

    When the hawk comes around I just stand up , stand near the chickens, and make my presence known to the hawk. and keep my eyes on him/her at all times til he/she is gone.
  6. chickenlyn

    chickenlyn In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2010
    Your rooster did well. I thought mine were terribly paranoid the other day, as every time they saw a shadow they had everyone running for cover, but I would rather have them watchful than not. On a windy day I have a group of ravens that play in the currents and everyone scrambles. We call them hawk drills![​IMG] Fortunately haven't seen any actual hawks yet. I wonder if I should put chicken wire over my chicken run. The fence is about 8 feet high and I don't know if it's large enough for a hawk to make a dive into and then get out again.
  7. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    Even if the hawk is too small to carry off your bird, it CAN decapitate a hen or a duck and just eat the head. I lost 2 full grown ducks that way.

  8. ozarkhen

    ozarkhen In the Brooder

    Aug 18, 2010
    Yes, I've been wondering about that,too. My chickens are in a large run with the chicken house in the corner of it. We get significant ice storms and snows in the winter, so I haven't put anything over the top to help deter the hawks. I hope my roos and my dog give them enough hesistation![​IMG]
  9. alabiologist

    alabiologist In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2009
    Thanks for the replies. I guess I will have to be vigilant while they are free ranging. I usually only see the hawk in the mornings and we usually let the chickens out in the late afternoons. The day they got buzzed, they were out in the morning. Luckily they were close to cover, but they might not be the next time.

  10. Lagerdogger

    Lagerdogger Songster

    Jun 30, 2010
    Aitkin, MN
    I once went out to the barn and there was a goshawk inside. Not a chicken to be seen except for one butt sticking out of some hay. The hawk stayed inside with me for a couple of minutes, then left. As soon as it wsa gone, chickens materialized out of nowhere. Pretty soon there were 20 chickens with me in the barn. I have no idea how they were all so well hidden. They must have been jammed into every crack available. [​IMG]

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