Hawk, tormenting hens

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by scooter147, Jul 31, 2008.

  1. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    I guess the juvenile red tails are trying to make it on their own now and chicken is on the menu.

    Last night I was out picking tomatoes when I heard my hens explode. You know the sound of wings beating and lots of screaming.

    I look over and their sits a red tail on the fence post. My run is covered so he could not get in.

    I stood and watched just to see what he would do, to see if he would jump on the netting and try to get in.

    My poor hens were terrified the ones that did not make it into the coop where behind the coop and one by one they made a mad dash for the pop door. Sort of reminded me of family making a mad dash for the car in a rain storm.

    I watch for about a minute and then walked towards the hawk and the brave little thing didn't fly off until I was within six feet.

    Unfortunately, this morning right as I was walking out the door I looked out the window towards the chicken coop and he was back sitting on the same pole. I sent my lab/chow mix out and he flew off.

    I will be nervous all day now, I believe the netting I have over the run is strong enough but you never know.
     
  2. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    If you have overlapping rows, make sure they are laced together securely. A red-tailed broke through ours and tored down one row. Luckily, it didn't get any of the chickens and must have gotten tangled up in the netting, because there were feathers everywhere. The poor chooks wouldn't come out of the henhouse the rest of the day. They were scared to death!
    The hawk hasn't been back since.
     
  3. dixygirl

    dixygirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 14, 2008
    Can you leave the dog out and cover the run with a tarp fo a few days?
     
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Our flock forages our 2 acres all day, everyday, so our Great Pyrenees dog is out all day with the flock. In two plus years, we have never lost a chicken to a hawk.

    Can you keep your dog outside with the flock all day? If yes, then that might be the way to go. But I would think a covered run would be fine, depending on what you covered it with.
     
  5. setter4

    setter4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2008
    Central Pennsylvania
    My girls had their first experience with a hawk a few days ago.
    I heard the hawk overhead "screaming" and then heard my girls "screaming and running" for the coop.
    The hawk was not after my chooks but the sound of him was enough to scare them into the coop in a BIG hurry.
    Doesn't it just amaze you that birds who have never before heard or seen a hawk know to run for their lives when they hear that sound? One other time a crow flew over the pen and his shadow crossed them and they headed for the coop. Mother Nature never fails to amaze me.

    Jackie
     
  6. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    I did leave my dog out today. I kind of hated to do it because it is going to be so hot here today!
    Although, I have a basement entrance that is under the back porch and it is cooler down there and she likes to lay there when it is hot. Hopefully if she hears a rukus she will investigate.

    If there ever thing is ok when I get home she will get a special treat tonight. Dinner tonight is going to be something with hamburger so I see a little in Fu's (the dogs name) future.

    The netting is secured together with zip ties. When I let the hens free range, on occasion, some of the lighter weight hens will fly up to the coop roof and walk out onto it and it holds them. Why they do this confuses me, but whatever.
     
  7. BearSwampChick

    BearSwampChick Chicken Sensei

    Jan 10, 2008
    Marysville, OH
    Quote:Don't get wooed into a false sense of security. Mine did the same thing at first. Then they got used to hearing the hawks that were nesting on our property because they called like that all the time. Then, one day, ATTACK! They were out in the yard with my DH nearby and the hawk almost got my cockeral, Henry. They were kept in the run for a couple of weeks after that, only let out in the evening about an hour before roost time with me watching diligently for any sign of the hawks. Then after that one got tangled up in the netting, I haven't heard or seen one since. It may be because we have some crows in the woods. I've been hearing them the last week or so.

    ETA: Hawks don't usually "scream" before attacking and they don't usually fly down from the sky. They lurk overhead on a tree branch and attack silently.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2008
  8. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    The chickens instints are amazing.

    What amazes me is they can distinquish between a predator and a non predator.

    I will watch my hens turn their heads towards the sky and eye a bird(s) flying over head.

    They will watch a turkey vulture soaring overhead but will not run for cover or make the warning call. If it is a hawk soaring above the will react with the warning call and generally if it is high they will just move closer to the coop.

    I live close to the Missouri River so we have cranes, egrets etc fly over routinely and they do not react to them either other to watch them.

    They will scatter if a crow flies over the hedge row on the one side of their run and they do not see it coming but don't react if it comes from the other direction.

    My hens are not afraid of my dog AT ALL but occasionly I dog sit for my neighbors and they don't like the "strange" dog AT ALL! When they see my neighbors dog in my yard they run for the coop.
     

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