1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Hawks and chickens???

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by PeepMePosted, May 5, 2009.

  1. PeepMePosted

    PeepMePosted Out Of The Brooder

    32
    6
    24
    May 28, 2008
    Altadena, CA
    I am wondering if anyone can tell me how dangerous a hawk is to full grown chickens. I know they will kill baby chicks without a second thought but will they attack large, bowling ball-sized hens? We had a hawk swoop by our yard when our 5 girls were free-ranging and it drove them into a clucking frenzy. I can't seem to get a straight answer on this. Help!
     
  2. amazondoc

    amazondoc Cracked Egghead

    2,847
    12
    201
    Mar 31, 2008
    Lebanon, TN
    It depends on the species of hawk, age of hawk, time of year, breed of chicken, and so on. Red tailed hawks are called chicken hawks for a reason. [​IMG]
     
  3. PeepMePosted

    PeepMePosted Out Of The Brooder

    32
    6
    24
    May 28, 2008
    Altadena, CA
    And a red-tailed hawk will try/has the ability to kill a full grown hen?
     
  4. NJbirdlover

    NJbirdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    276
    0
    129
    Mar 16, 2009
    Salem County, NJ
    if they can't lift it off of the ground they will take care of business right where they sit. Hawks are a MAJOR predator!
     
  5. rachiegirl

    rachiegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    1
    119
    Apr 6, 2009
    Beaver Co. PA
    Yep, they can be a big problem. If they can't get it "to go" they'll have "dine in". They are especially hard to deal with if you free range. Having places here and there where they can run under and hide is a good idea. If the girls are kept in a run, cover it with a roof or some good wire. I am worried about them as I have plenty around my place. Will be especially worried about my sons polish banty. with all that hair it can be tough to avoid predators. Had a friend lose all but 1 of his polish to hawks, they weren't as good at seeing and escaping the danger like the other chickens. Good Luck!
     
  6. PeepMePosted

    PeepMePosted Out Of The Brooder

    32
    6
    24
    May 28, 2008
    Altadena, CA
    This sounds like a ridiculous question but will chickens know to run and hide when they sense a hawk is around? Our girls are beautiful but sometimes kind of dumb. When they are attacking each other (which they still do after months of integration attempts) they just put their heads down and take the pecking. They don't try to run. So I'm wondering if they'd run before a hawk got to them....we have plenty of bushes for cover.
     
  7. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,472
    18
    171
    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:Good question, Yes a good rooster will alert girls and make them run for cover.

    My rooster gets them in a corner or under the tree in no time.

    I never lost a full LF grown hen to hawks, however I do not think we have the worst of them (red tailed) here in Fl.
     
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    128
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    I recently had a Cooper's hawk attack a one y.o. Wyandotte hen. The hen is slightly smaller than her peers, but still much larger than the hawk in question. I live in NH with a combination of open pasture land and heavily forested land. My chickens usually hang around in the brushy areas, so I figured they were safe from air-borne predation because they were under pretty heavy cover. I was mistaken. I have seen this tiny hawk swooping through the tree canopy like a rocket. It flies like it's on a suicide mission. Very quick! And the damage it did to my hen was devastating. Because they are much smaller than your typical hawk they do not "swoop and grab", they will land on their prey and try to squeeze them to death with their talons. This hawk has been the most successful of all the predators we have. Do not let their small size fool you. Dynamite comes in small packages, too.
     
  9. harv681

    harv681 Out Of The Brooder

    59
    0
    29
    Aug 20, 2007
    We live in the middle of the suburbs and even here, there are four hawks that I've seen in just my neighborhood. I have shrubs my six "girls" can quickly get to around the periphery of my yard. Hawks and possums are my greatest fear where my hens are concerned.
     
  10. KattyKillFish

    KattyKillFish Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2009
    Dillingham, Alaska
    i've had big, fat RIRs and Jersey Giants be taken down by tiny little merlins, a tiny falcon we have here in Alaska.

    i advise you take precautions to protest your flock from them! a good rooster WILL help protect your girls, but you gotta remember you still should protect that good rooster! they're hard to come by, at least for me [​IMG] i love good roosters.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by