Hawk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by EMarston, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. EMarston

    EMarston In the Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2010
    This morning a hawk swooped down into our yard just after I let the chickens out of the run. Thankfully it didn't get any of my birds, but now I'm paranoid. They free-range in our yard and have plenty of cover, but I'm scared to let them back out of the covered run...but I can't imagine not letting them free-range either.

    Do hawks remember where they've seen food (even if they haven't caught any) and stick around? Or are they more transient?

    I'm not sure if it matters what kind of hawk it was... I live in the city of Minneapolis near the river. It was dark brown with white spots on its back.

    Thanks!!

    Erica in MN
     
  2. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Songster

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    Kansas
    sadly, Yes they will come back. We had one that would stalk our chickens. [​IMG]
     
  3. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Songster

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    Ironic you posted this I spent the last 30 min chasing 3 hawks around in my car honking at them like mad I am going to assume I got a mother and 2 young ones following exept the young ones arent much smaller then the adult redtail. They have been camping my birds for 3 days so far the score is 5-0 in my favor. Lets just hope I can keep them at bay long enough to think my food source is to hard to require and move on. I better get back out side today there just running me from electric pole to electric pole. Fear my shiney Stick and CD.s lol
     
  4. Pupsnpullets

    Pupsnpullets Songster

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    SoCal desert
    I have hawks as frequent visitors but if chicken isn't on the menu then they'll get themselves a quail, or bunny or something. When I see the hawk hovering then I simply leave the chickens in that day. I figure the hawk will get hungry and go elsewhere for a meal. I've lost a couple of chickens to hawks but many more to owls (when for some reason they chickens didn't go in a night - maybe cos a squirrel was in there), coyotes and even a bobcat. Hawks seem to be the least of my problems.
     
  5. EMarston

    EMarston In the Brooder

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    Jun 22, 2010
    Thanks for the replies!

    Is there any time of day that hawks are known to be more active? Going forward, would it help if I left them in the covered run until a certain time of day, or something?

    Erica in MN
     
  6. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Songster

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    Ringgold, GA
    If it saw your birds (which I'm sure it did) it will be back, especially if it is a larger species such as a Red Tailed. I would keep them in the run for a week or two before letting them free range again. I think you would be safe to turn them out again under your supervision.

    The silver lining of the "hawk cloud" is that they normally only kill one or two birds at a time, unlike some other predators like dogs that can wipe out your entire flock. This gives you time to take action before you lose too many of your feathered friends. If the hawk starts in on your flock and starts to kill, you will need to plan on keeping them under cover from now on out. If they find an easy meal they will come back over and over until you have only a field of feathers.

    Good luck to you and keep your eye to the sky~
     
  7. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Songster

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    Typically in this extreme heat hawks can be found mostly hunting in the evening and morning with the sun still up. by no means does this mean they wont hunt threw out the day they will, but like chickens hawks get hot. They migrate sometime mid or late october I believe. Or at least this is what the federal game ranger told me this morning as my friend was back looking for a meal but was unsuccessful this morning also. I put up a ton of CD's running across fishing line (strong test) and when I came out this morning it had been ripped down. The only thing i can think is the hawk flew down and hit it thinking it was a meal. Not really sure what happened there all I know is he was high on his pole looking down at me.
    The ranger stated to me that even if the bird is eating one of my livestock theres nothing by law I can do about it but let nature take its course. He informed me that I could contact the migratory bird act people to get a permit that only far few and inbetween can ever aquire. He said there only issued on rare occasions. I am in Oklahoma so I am sure its different here but just relaying what i was told. He also said no harrassing the hawks in anyway or endangering them. to cover up my runs or take my losses. And to keep my birds put up until migration then i would be fine.
     
  8. CaliBlueChicken

    CaliBlueChicken Songster

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    Jul 18, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    Quote:Darn! A hawk just got one of my 2 mo. olds yesterday [​IMG] Maybe we should expand the run? The hawk got a taste of a meal.... I usually let my chickens free range in the yard... I am going to keep them in the enclosed run for a while. Do you think I will EVER get to let them free range again?
     
  9. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Songster

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    Ringgold, GA
    Quote:Darn! A hawk just got one of my 2 mo. olds yesterday [​IMG] Maybe we should expand the run? The hawk got a taste of a meal.... I usually let my chickens free range in the yard... I am going to keep them in the enclosed run for a while. Do you think I will EVER get to let them free range again?

    I personally would keep them up for at least two weeks (out of site out of mind) then consider giving another try. Red Tailed hawks can be terrors here in the south so I only allow my birds to free range when I am able to be with them until they go to roost. I have lost way too many birds to them in the past so I don't take chances. The hawks in the Bay Area may not be as persistant. I think after a few weeks you can let them range while you can keep an eye on them to see if the hawk returns. If you have no sightings, give them a shot on their own.

    Good luck to you as well.
     
  10. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Songster

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    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    MMPoultryFarms' ranger friend is partly right, there's really nothing you can do about the hawk except try to scare it away or discourage it from coming to your property. Most provisions in the laws provide for discouraging or scaring hawks away if they are actually in the process of attacking your flock. The only way you would probably be able to get a permit for killing one is if they're so bad that they're making it impossible for you to keep any birds at all, even in a fenced in and covered chicken run. Or, if they're causing a hazard to other animals or humans.

    The best thing to do, as others suggested, is to keep your chickens indoors or in a covered area and watch the hawk for a while. Predators tend to take the easiest road to catching prey and if they find your chickens easier than chasing down and catching a starling or a squirrel, then it will go that route. Chances are that after a few days of not being able to get your chickens, it will move on to where the hunting is easier.

    It may come back and make "rounds" through your property, so you will still need to be vigilant, especially for a little while.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010

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