Hawk tried for a chicken

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Firefly77, Aug 21, 2019.

  1. Firefly77

    Firefly77 In the Brooder

    May 24, 2019
    Today was a lucky day for my chicken Betsy. Lucky my dad was outside as he was letting our ducks and chickens free ranged . Well i was inside the house and saw the hawk swoop down from the window , next thing i knew my dad was screaming as he had a crate and almost trapped the hawk but he/she got away and our chicken besides a scare and loosing lots a feathers escaped without a scratch. Anywho if he wouldn't of been outside we would of lost her . So we put everyone back up for the rest of the day.

    Just a few questions for anyone who can help .
    1. I live in Virginia and i know there are law that i can't kill a bird of prey so what can i do?
    2. If there hunt was unsuccessful will they be back? Or will they stay and wait for other opportunities?
    3. What is some good ways to scare/keep Hawks away.

    Sorry for the questions but i only owned my chickens for 2 and a half years now and this is the first hawk i had a problem with
  2. Chicken Heel

    Chicken Heel Chirping

    Jun 8, 2019
    I also live in VA and if you were to harm the hawk(s) and the state wildlife folks find out, you would be in a world of hurt. I would suggest leaving the chickens up for a couple of weeks and see if the hawk moves along. But when you let them back out, closely supervise them if at all possible. We have so many hawks (and Bald Eagles) down here near the NC border that I do not dare let my 32 hens out of their lots.
  3. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

    Mar 5, 2019
    SE Missouri, USA
    Whew, glad your dad was there and your hen survived that! Scary stuff! Sorry I can't answer your other questions, but No. 2 is definitely a yes. If they get one they will definitely come back, and I think even the fact that it almost got one will embolden it and it will try again. Good luck, stay safe!
    MarilynHukill likes this.
  4. igorsMistress

    igorsMistress Crossing the Road Barefoot

    Apr 9, 2013
    My Coop
    It'll be back. If you free range there's risk. I've read stories here where hawks and other predators took chickens even though a person was standing right there.

    If your yard has bushes or other items your chickens can use for cover it can help reduce the likelihood of a chicken being taken. More time free ranging so your flock is more savvy can help too, but there will always be risk if your birds are out of their run. Good luck!
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    A hawk took a chick that was in a small temporary pen next to where my Hubby was cutting some wood on a table saw. Swooped down and grabbed a chick. It happened so fast he couldn't react.
    MasterOfClucker likes this.
  6. sealer39

    sealer39 Crowing

    Aug 3, 2013
    Pineville, Louisiana
    I’d keep them secured for about a week and keep an eye on the trees to see if you can spot him waiting for an opportunity.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    The OP poses an open ended question. What size of chickens are involved? What species of hawk? What kind of resources do you have in place currently? Pictures nice.
    slordaz likes this.
  8. Xerocles

    Xerocles Chirping

    May 22, 2019
    How many chickens? I only have 6. I refuse to free range just for events like yours. I built a tractor of pvc and chicken wire. Super light and easy to move multiple times a day. Very little predator protection except from birds of prey, but my dog seems to keep all land based vermin at bay during the day. Chicks go back in the run/coop in the evening. I'm always nearby (relatively) when they're in the trsctor.
    50-45-1 and slordaz like this.
  9. slordaz

    slordaz Crowing

    Apr 15, 2015
    those birds of prey can be quite the pain, I've seen a hawk go after a full grown hen and even small dogs or cats, theres been a lot of good suggestions here, but in the mean time while they are locked up here's some things to think about. They are used to being free ranged so are going to get bored cooped up, do you have enrichment in there or a run you can cover so they can go out for a bit unsupervised? you don't want them starting fights because they are bored either.
  10. Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie Gallus gallus domesticus

    Feb 28, 2017
    Florida Peninsula
    My Coop
    It is a felony in every State to molest, trap, feed, launch projectiles at all birds of prey.
    I too have lost chickens but nothing I can do except hatch more.
    slordaz likes this.

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