Hawk Scare

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrcush, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. mrcush

    mrcush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have always let my chickens free range but almost 2 weeks ago we had a hawk scare. The day it happened 2 had ran to the coop, one was in a brush pile and the other one we couldn't find but we did find a big pile of feathers. We had thought for sure she was gone and we kept the other 3 lock in the coop/run the next day. Sure enough about 24 hours later the missing one showed up wanting in the run. After that we decided to keep them lock in for about a week. Last Friday I decided I couldn't keep them locked in any longer and opened up the door to the run to let them out. My question is, they not only won't come out of the run but they won't even come out of the coop. Do you think they are traumatized? I should mention they are also molting and it has been getting cold here in Michigan. Do you think maybe they are just cold? This behavior definitely didn't start until the hawk scare. I don't want to force them out but I'm wondering if they are just scared or could there be something else wrong? Thanks
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    It may be the molt, it may be residual fear from the attack, or even more likely the hawk may still be in the area and making periodic visits. Don't force them out, and don't allow them to free range unsupervised.
     
  3. mrcush

    mrcush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That definitely won't be a problem considering they won't come out of the coop. The only time they will come out into the run is if I throw some popcorn or scratch in there. Thanks
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Yep. The hawks are migrating right now. And I can tell you from experience that they can take a full sized adult hen.
     
  5. mrcush

    mrcush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I definitely trust their instincts and my conclusion was they are just scared but they have never acted this way before and we have had scares in the past with hawks but never where one was missing. That's why I thought maybe there is something else to this. Thanks
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Is your run covered with wire so as to be safe from the hawks?
     
  7. mrcush

    mrcush Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, my run is fully covered but they only come out into it when I throw popcorn or scratch in the run.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    There just scared, rightfully so. I'd keep throwing scratch out there and eventually they'll get it that the hawk can't get them in the run.
     
  9. ChickenPresence

    ChickenPresence Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree with trusting their instincts. It is also my experience that birds have a way to "shake off" negative emotions and move on, so if they still seem frightened it must be for some reason. We have had two "death by hawk" losses and ended up running hundreds of feet of fishing line overhead. The days of unsupervised free range are gone too. Good luck!
     
  10. MyPetNugget

    MyPetNugget Enjoying the cold!!!

    My chickens FLY out of the coop once they notice the door is open. Nothing will stop them and they have definetly seen a hawk before.
     

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