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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by randomprecision, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. randomprecision

    randomprecision Hatching

    Jun 24, 2010
    Today I was getting rid of things in my room and heard squaking outside so I looked out my bathroom window and saw one of my new hampshire's trying to force her way through the hardware cloth/wire. At first I thought it was because she was being left out or something because they seem to freak out when they are not all together. But I started looking around the chicken and my mom and I had a brought down four lawn chairs a few days ago. On one of those lawn chairs was a hawk! At first glance I thought it was just one of my dark brahmas perching on the top of a new chair and standing up really tall but I quickly noticed the difference and ran out side. It flew away very quickly when I got out there, my coop is only about 30-45 feet away from our front door. I got the new hampshire hen (Who is fine besides being very startled) and put her in the coop, she ran into a corner and wouldn't budge for awhile and the 3 australorp chicks were already in the coop. But my 10 other hens were nowhere to be found! So I got my brother and my dad to search all around in the forest and creek and after two hours we found every one of them in the garage. I feel so lucky that no one was hurt but I'm very confused. They are now locked int their coop and run (Which although they all have over 10 ft each in there seems so small compared to free ranging!) and will be while I'm out of town and my brother takes care of them. What confused me was that after googling and finding many posts on this site it seems that mostly hawks swoop down on their prey? This hawk was just perching on a chair watching the frantic chicken with a very relaxed posture. Was he sizing the chicken up? I have no idea but this is so frightening! Even though the land we live on seems like the perfect place for hawks I have never seen one so close to the house before! Usually I see them flying from afar.

    I would really appreciate your help, the run already has a roof but I really want to continue free ranging my chickens. I have heard of stringing fishing string, would this work large scale? As in stringing it randomly in the places the chickens hangout alot? Also what kind of things work best for cover? Cover with two ways out such as a table or more cave like like a dog house? Would a hawk be able to corner a chicken in a small dog house?

  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    Hi Sophia, your hawk probably did swoop down after your birds, but when it failed it alighted on your chair. I don't think it would be bad to lock your birds up when you're not around; 10 sq. feet per bird is good and nothing to feel guilty about for locking them up. Anything they can get under is good for cover. I'm not so sure about the flashy things to deter hawks and I really don't know how it would work on a large scale. I would also try to remember what your hawk looked like and look it up and see if you can identify it. Maybe it's a kind not known for taking chickens. You always have to consider the possibility that the hawk was after something else (squirrel, lizard, dove etc.) and your chickens freaked out (as they should). Try to find out as much as you can about that hawk but keep vigilant at the same time. Good luck. --Todd.
  3. Sweetpeaswan

    Sweetpeaswan Chirping

    Aug 5, 2010
    Hi Sofia, I just posted a story a little while ago. They love to swoop....but we had one sitting up in a
    ficus tree. He then swooped down on our little dog Chi and missed. Luckily my husband and lab
    were there. Our routine was the same every morning. We checked and found droppings, he'd been
    checking it out for a while. They don't call them birds of prey for nothing..,.their smart!
  4. NewHen

    NewHen Songster

    Mar 16, 2010
    Los Angeles
  5. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    While it is true that hawks swoop and kill...they also will glide, grab and carry a small chicken off. A full grown chicken would get hit in the neck upper shoulder area and then pinned down with with talons while it finished the kill and/or ate it right there on the ground.

    Hawks will go inside after a meal, rare behavior but they have been seen to go inside structures, in pop doors and inside dog houses. They hop and the hop well.

    You are going to have to keep them in a covered run until the hawk moves on...it was sizing your birds up after a missed attack most likely. It will also look and watch for patterns and ways inside. Sounds like a juvenile hawk...most would watch from a covered area like a tree, juveniles still must figure that out after failed attempts.
  6. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    I have a small hawk here that has a preference for killing my birds THROUGH the fence! Last year he killed 3 silkies, so far this year he's only gotten 1 bantam chick (about 6 weeks old, but naturally he got a pullet instead of a cockerel!) and that one was through 1/2" welded wire! [​IMG]
  7. swooda77

    swooda77 Hatching

    Aug 14, 2010
    I have a fenced in back yard and a hawk keeps getting my full grown ducks. Does anyone have a remedy to keep the hawk away? I have hung aluminum plates on poles on my fence, but this doesn't seem to help. I had a black Indian Runner Duck last year and I found it in the yard with the back of its head eaten off and saw the hawk in the tree. Later I had a smaller mallard duck and she totally disappeared with no signs. My husband (who has had a stroke and loves watching the ducks) was given 5 more ducks. They are now about 5 months old and yesterday one of them was gone with no signs. Have a chain linked fence so nothing got in through the fence. Need some help before the rest of my ducks disappear.

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