Hawk! Will it carry away my chickens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Chicks Galore3, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

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    I have what I am think is a red tailed hawk. My chickens are full grown, most on the heavier side. My gold stars are a little lighter. The hawk was right acrcoss from my house, he is now 5 telephone poles down. Should I coop the chickens up or leave them be? Will it carry them off?
     
  2. BrittPDX

    BrittPDX New Egg

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    Yes - a hawk can carry a chicken away. I lost a Rhode Island Red several weeks ago to a hawk - it was his second attempt at my flock. I'd keep your girls cooped until you're sure he's gone.
     
  3. heath_elisha

    heath_elisha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They'll keep coming back. It is migration time here in MA and I have one just about every other day looking down on my pens. I have then covered, but it won't take much for them to get it.... The can and will take a chicken of full size.......................... thankfully it has not happened to mine yet- but I know it is inevitable.
     
  4. They will and they do take chickens away. I have had the most problems loosing bantams to hawks, but they will take a full size chicken easily, especially red tails. I've also lost a few chicks to Cooper's hawks. And if he gets a meal, he will keep coming back, until you don't have any chickens left at all. I've found the best thing to do if you see one is to go out and shoo it away, preferably with something shiny, but waving your arms like a crazy person works too. If it comes back to stalk your chickens any more, or comes on a regular basis to watch your chickens then lock them up where he has ZERO chance of attacking them. Keep them locked up for a few days, or whenever he shows up lock them up. Eventually he will realize he's not getting a meal and will leave them alone and not come back any more.

    If he STILL stalks your chickens hang up something reflective around the coop (old CDs on a string or reflective poles, which you can get at most hardware/home improvement stores, work), to discourage him.

    Best of luck,

    ~~Ms. B :)
     
  5. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

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    I don't think its a red tailed hawk after all- I got a better look at him. No red tail. Not a cooper hawk either. Looks kind of like a Osprey. They are migratory birds here. [​IMG] He's gone as far as I can tell, thank goodness.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Your hawk can fly with a load that is less than 1/3 of the hawks weight and that is being generous to hawks payload capacity. Look into weights of hawks including the upper range for a red-tail and you can do math on how big a chicken it can pack off. To carry a standard sized chicken, much of the weight must be consumed first and then hawk can carry balance once weight is below the maximum the hawk can pack. I distinguish between a hawk flying with a food item and simply dragging it along ground. The dragging can result in a much larger item being moved. Many hawks can kill chickens larger than hawk but must eat catch on site.
     
  7. Chicks Galore3

    Chicks Galore3 Artistic Bird Nut

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    If I catch a hawk swooping down or grabbing my chickens...He won't know what hit him. I have a pretty good aim for a girl. >:D Seriously though, none of them got taken off. I hope he doesn't come back.
     
  8. mtnviewfarms

    mtnviewfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes. We live in the mountains of north GA and all types of hawks and other predators are on and around our 3 acre property that borders a
    large forest so we can't 'pasture' our flock as we would like to do but instead have opted to keep them safe from predators in a very large chicken
    house my DH built with adjoining huge covered and secure run area where they get lots of air and sunlight, can look out and we feed them lots of
    organically grown greens, fruit and vegs from our gardens and pasture as well as premium layer pellets, etc.
     
  9. heath_elisha

    heath_elisha Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Might I also add that hurting a hawk is illegal, as they are a protected species. As much as we would love to just take care of them, we have to remember that.
     
  10. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I saw the coolest thing a couple days ago. We have been plagued by a pair of red tail hawks that have had their eye on my girls for a while. They are constantly cruising over the run or roosting in near by trees. The other day when I was cleaning the coop I heard an awful racket and looked up to see a flock of crows chasing after the two hawks. There were about four or five crows surrounding each hawk, dive bombing it everytime it tried to turn back. They did this for probably five minutes or so until the hawks finally flew off. I haven't seen them since. Now if they would just run off the great blue heron that keeps eating my koi.
     

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