Hawk tried to get my chicks!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by mrsbos, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. I have been very naive about chick predators, since I've never seen a raccon, fox, or coyote in my suburban neighborhood. I see hawks...but they've always been way high in the sky over fields, scanning for mice I would assume. That's why I was totally in shock this morning when I went out to the backyard to bring my 6wk old chicks breakfast. I opened the door the run, thinking I might even let them free-range unsupervised while I went inside to make breakfast for my kids. Just as I was unlatching the run I heard a great SWOOSH as a hawk flew RIGHT over my head and landed hard in an evergreen tree just behind the coop. Of course at the same moment, the chicks screamed (well, you know, chirped loudly) and immediately ran for shelter in the coop's nesting/roosting area. The way I was positioned, the hawk would have gotten a talon full of my hair before it reached a chick, but I couldn't believe how bold it was. I was right there! The hawk then came out of the tree, and landed on my trampoline about 20 ft away and just sat there looking at us until I chased it away. Now there's no way I'm going to feel comfortable letting the chicks free-range the yard unless I'm standing right next to them...and that may not protect them if another hawk comes swooping in. I can't imagine losing a chick at this point...especially like that. They're our babies!
     
  2. yzmike777

    yzmike777 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am like you, not many predators here but i always see hawks way up in the sky doing their thing. So one day I googled hawks to see what they were capable of and it is scary! Now I am freaked so my babies coop is REALLY secure! So that I never have to worry! They are like my kids [​IMG]
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    They are migrating and they are hungry. Several years ago as I was sweeping my cellar stairs a hawk drove one of my pigeons to the ground right at my feet. I swung the broom. Pigeon and hawk took off. Two days later I heard a noise in the cellar, and there on top of one of my shelves was the pigeon. To be known as the Cellar Pigeon from that point in time onward.
     
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    sourland - good for you - excellent broom skills !!
     
  5. SassyKat6181

    SassyKat6181 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  6. Moonchild

    Moonchild Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my chicks are almost 6weeks and getting big...They only get 15-30min to free range..cause I have to be right there with them. My aust shepard and little mutt are somewhat being trained to stay near the chicks but I stay close to them. It's a learning curve for my little farm...But my advise is just stay close. But my little funny story is the second day out a crow flow over head and the chicks ran as fast as they could back to the coop, two second later they came back out. I'm happy that instinct kicked in, but I still stay very close to them. And they are very awary of their surroundings cause they will only go about 8-10ft from the coop. So to them the party is near the coop to scratch and dust bath and eat grass....Soon hopefully the shepard will take over...But that story we'll have to wait to see....Good Luck to all our Chicks!!!!
     
  7. tallyho

    tallyho Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm pretty sure we lost a full grown hen to a hawk. They were in the yard when I left at 11 am. At 12 when I came home to check on them, one was missing and the others were so frightened they had flown over a 6 foot fence into the neighbor's trees. It was late winter when the trees were bare. No carnage, no blood, only a few little feathers. It also happened to another family I know. The chickens were out in the garden with the husband and were standing literally right next to him. Next thing they know a hawk has swooped down and is on the back of the hen right next to him. He saved the hen but for a long time she kept looking over her shoulder. I personally know of a yorkie (dog!) taken by a hawk!
     
  8. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My Coop
    I lost a fully grown red sex link to a hawk. She had been laying for 3-4 weeks. It couldn't carry her off, but it killed her. The next day I saw the hawk swoop in and try again. I went running out like a mad woman screaming my head off. It went away hungry thankfully.

    BTW........Owls will take baby chicks too.
     
  9. Mrs. Fluffy Puffy

    Mrs. Fluffy Puffy Fluffy Feather Farm

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    That's terrible! [​IMG]
    I bet you were scared to death!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Once all my guineas were in the front yard and a hawk swooped down and all the guineas dived into bushes and didn't make a sound or move for about 10 minutes!
    SCARED ME TO DEATH!!
     
  10. mightymouse

    mightymouse New Egg

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    I am new to chickens. I have a temporary chicken run which is right next to my dog yard. we have 19 dogs and I felt safe that nothing would venture near them with all those yappy dogs. The other day 2 foxes came close but wouldn't go near the chickens because of the dogs. We have lots of hawks out here in the country. While I was in the yard a red tailed hawk came right down in the middle of all my protection and snatched on of my 4 week old chicks. I was shocked and saddened my poor little girl was gone. I imagine she died a horrible death. I used to love watching the hawks fly around. There used to be an albino red tailed hawk in my area. It was there for several years. until the local newspaper had an article on the Elusive White hawk of Stockton NY. Not long after that it was gone. probably on some assholes mantle piece . It was such a joy to watch that hawk. Now that I have chickens ,I still love seeing the hawks but I have a new respect for how deadly they can be. They are brave and bold because of their speed and accuracy . They give the real meaning to " hit & run ". I am ordering aviary netting to cover EVERYTHING before I put my girls out again..........Hawks are deadly.
     

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