Hawk stalking my birds all day yesterday

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AmericanMom, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It ended up catching one of the week old chicks but after that the Hen got wise and kept them close to a place they could hide, the older more experienced hen kept her chicks in the hen house most of the day... My husband was butchering rabbits and this hawk decided to come check it out, landed on the fence not 5 feet from him! Beautiful creature but we are now in the process of making our place less hawk friendly.. I am part of a homesteading group on FB and someone mentioned putting out owl decoys, a light bulb went off as we have always had one by the garden to keep crows away but then we thought, hey, this is the first time we have had any real hawk problems... Guess what's going out into the run today :)....

    Meanwhile, although its a nuisance it sure is beautiful!

    [​IMG]
    It was harassing the flock so much that I think it caused the girls not to lay so well, I typically get between 18-24 eggs a day and yesterday only got 12
     
  2. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    Very scary thing there.

    I have had one of those sitting on my chicken run. The girls were all out when it came in. It was watching my huge delaware that was hiding under a lilac bush.
    My girls were off of laying for about a week.

    Must have been terrifying for them.


    edited to add...
    One other thing I have read is that you can make a wind chime out of old cd's and the shine from them helps deter birds from coming in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
  3. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It didn't just make a pass here and there, it was back and forth from dawn til around 3pm Our flock free ranges 1/3 of an acre, there are 5 nice big cedar tree's, bushes and the hen house for them to take shelter in but it was almost like every time they would go to forage this bird would appear and take a low run, I can imagine it sitting in the tree just laughing its tail off...
    we butchered all our ready to go meat rabbits yesterday leaving only the four breeders we have, we took out some of the cages and are in the process of converting half the rabbit house to an enclosed chick run. I contemplated taking the babys and breaking the broodys if a hawk gets another chick but I had already removed the chicks I wanted to keep, leaving the broodys with chicks I had planned on selling... Not really sure what I am going to do because I don't want to have to break the girls after all the hard work they did to hatch them :)
     
  4. ThePRfan

    ThePRfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd shoot it.You'll lose chickens/chicks in no time.I've had the problems all the time,but when they want to, they will go grab a hen or chick.You best luck is to make it seem as if you have no more hens.Put a dog out after words
    making it seem Uh oh....new predator around.This will help because it thinks its hunting the dogs prey.
    Trust me,you think their not gonna make a move,they will right in front of,you never rely on the flock or the mother to hide/protect her chicks,if needed she will abandon them,the flock will.But normally the chicks transfer and will stay with another hen that's either broody or has already hatched a few chicks.


    good luck!
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Chicken Obsessed

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    It has been my experience that once a hawk finds the chickens it will be back over and over.

    The one that was in my yard is but one of several that have come in and hung around.
    I even had one of these trying for a hen while I was standing right next to her

    http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/american_kestrel/id

    I had to step between them to break the dive bombing. This went on for about half an hour while I herded them back into the secure run.
    I am in the middle of town and have identified a Prairie falcon, an american kestrel and a coopers hawk hanging out.
    For me the solution was to keep the birds locked up unless I can be right there without having to go inside even for a minute.

    I am sorry you lost a chick.

    You have a rooster right?
    What was his reaction to the hawk?
     
  6. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our flock free ranges a 1/3 acre lot,50+ birds total, no way to keep them locked up until I can watch over them. there was a suggestion of an owl decoy being used and I remembered we have always had a dumb owl statue sitting on top of a pole by our garden with is adjacent to where the chickens are... This is the first year we have had an issue with the hawk and I remember seeing the decoy laying on a tub of garden stuff for storage.. Its going back up first thing today and we shall see what happens..

    The roosters are young, 7-9 months old, they would give the warning screech but scattered with everyone else when the hawk would make a low pass..
     
  7. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    The hawk only wants to survive and will hang out where the food is. If your chickens free range make several places they can hide when out in the field. ' A ' frames made from pallets works well but you can get creative with tarps and so forth.

    If your chickens are beloved pets provide them with hawk/predator proof housing and keep them in it.
     
  8. Wildivy2112

    Wildivy2112 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This morning I saw a hawk swoop down two times towards the coop and run. The chix were out in the run. I have heard of hawks but finally saw for my own
    eyes that they will try and attack chickens. Wow, what an eye opener. It swooped down twice trying to get into the run which is covered with a real roof, and
    we have hardware cloth all around. So no free lunch for the hawk. It landed back up in some trees at my next door neighbor's house and make squawking
    noises. I went outside and yelled at it to go away. I have not seen it anymore this morning but I am not letting the girls out to range at all today. My rooster
    is twice that hawk's size but he is kind of goofy and I don't want him harmed either. As an aside, he has already survived being carried around by a visiting lab
    whom I was dog sitting for after it bolted out the back door.

    My husband told me if I had told him about the hawk he would have got his gun and shot it. I told him the story I was just told by a lady with whom I made
    acquaintance with, sitting in a lineup waiting to get our yorkies mircrochipped. Her yorkie had been attacked by a hawk, but somehow the lucky little yorkie (it
    was a small yorkie, not a big one) swung herself around and grabbed the hawk by the neck and broke it's neck. When this lady saw what was happening, she
    picked up a yard rake to go down to the end of her yard to protect herself and her dog (the hawk was still "flapping"). She saw that the hawk was dying and
    checked her little dog for injuries. It had some talon marks on it's back so she took it to the vet's in case antibiotics would be in order due to the multiple germs
    a hawk might potentially inflict in the wounds. Somehow the DNR (Department Natural Resources) caught wind of the hawk attack and went to lady's house
    to inspect the dead bird. They saw the rake laying on the ground and accused this woman of killing the hawk~, which of course the dog had killed the hawk
    defending itself. They would not believe this lady and charged her with killing the thing and she is facing a whopping $10,000.00 fine. She has had to hire
    an attorney and everything . Can you imagine? So, moral of the story, if a hawk dies on your property, don't tell anyone!! The powers that be obviously will not believe you
    if you tell them it was killed in self defense. !!!
     
  9. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, they have plenty of cover, the hawk made its appearance when they were dust bathing or scratching in the dirt out in the open.. I found the fake owl and placed it smack dab in the middle of that area... We shall see what today brings.
     
  10. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is no accounting for Government officials trying to push their weight around on folks... I've heard some horror stories but that takes the cake! Hope it all turns out well for your friend.
     

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