Hawks are back...and bolder.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by chicknmania, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Yesterday evening I saw a Cooper's hawk sitting on a tree very close to our house; I figured he was looking for our chickens but they were in the barn. Today my son came home from school and heard them rioting in the barn. He went out there and found two Coopers hawks, trapped inside the barn. They had killed Lil Dude just inside the door. He was a very savvy little rooster; we have had him almost three years. We figured out that our flock must've been just outside the man door (the only door open) to the barn, enjoying the sunshine. The hawks must've chased em in the barn, and Lil Dude probably ran in the barn and stopped, figuring he was safe once he was in there, as he has been every other time. On top of that, they barely ate any of him; we figure they were probably scared once they were in there, and couldn't get out. My son went in and lit a bunch of firecrackers, then opened the door. They left. We draped an old hammock across the door opening, which covers two thirds of it, and tied old cd's to it. We never figured hawks would be that bold.
     
  2. McGoo

    McGoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow, so sorry for your loss. [​IMG] That's the exact same breed of hawk that got my alpha girl two weeks ago. They are fast and attack using surprise and evidently they are very brazen. Hopefully the firecracker noise and being caught in the barn will have scared him enough to stay away. Hope he never comes back.
     
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    One reason they're probably bolder is because of the weather a lot of us have been having.....lots of cold and snow. When there's been so much snow on the ground for a extended period they can't hunt very well....the mice and such that they feed on aren't running around on top of the snow that often.
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    central Ohio
    Here, too. We were saying that we hoped that they found some rats while they were in there, and decided to eat those, instead...it wouldn't have been hard to find em! Our Thelma Lou hen is totally fascinated by the revolving, flashing CD's tied to the hammock covering the door; let's hope they don't hypnotize her into standing there til they get her next! [​IMG]
     
  5. Renegade

    Renegade Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Griffin, GA
    Last year we had a Cooper's hawk somehow get into a totally covered pen that has our cochins in it and killed a pullet I had just purchased only days before. The other pullet was so traumatized mentally she died of stress a few days later. The only reason I figured out what killed her was about a week later the hawk somehow got in again and was sitting on the perch inside the pen when I went out to feed. I still don't know how it got in or out of the pen.

    Donna
     
  6. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    We have never had this much problem with hawks. So far we have had multiple attacks by a Sharp Shinned hawk, Red Tailed Hawk (they didn't attackthat we know of, just watched); Cooper's hawks, and a Peregrine Falcon, all in this past fall and winter. Usually we will have maybe one hawk hanging around a while, then it leaves. They are beautiful birds, but, like I said, I just wish they'd prey on the rats and mice, and leave our chickens alone.....
     
  7. JethroBCochin

    JethroBCochin New Egg

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    Hawks are a problem around here and one that as a sportsman, I take care of myself. We, a number of flock owners got togather a were discussing this issue when a wildlife officer spoke up and told us that there was nothing we could do and that they, "don't deal with hawks eating our chicken problems." He did tell us that they do mark a few birds, the ones they get out of rehab after an encounter with an automobile, with GPS locators and that if we happened to deal with this ourselves to bury the bird away from your premises or burn the carcass. That every year the DNR catches someone who has shot a hawk and just burried it in their backyard.
    I find that a 12 guage and Remmington turkey loads work best for any and all problem predators that kill one of my beloved birds.

    JW
     
  8. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I love our chickens but I think finding ways to deter predators is better. I would never dream of shooting a raptor of any kind, (well, maybe dream of it, but I wouldn't)even if was not against Federal law. There is a reason that it is against the law. Unfortunately, chickens are at the bottom of the food chain, and that's what nature intended. We look at it as risk you take if you are going to have poultry. I understand why you do what you do, but shame on any wildlife officer who tells you to do that. Anyway, you could shoot the ones who are preying on your flock, and two days later have more, so what's the point.
     
  9. LSK2008

    LSK2008 New Egg

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    I keep LGDs as a hawk deterrent, my Great Pyr (3 yo male) alerts at anything that flies overhead...Hawks, Airplanes, etc. On the up side, he keeps all the raptors well away from everything, the downside is...he barks...and barks. I don't much mind the barking, but if you live near other people, they might mind it.
    If you don't want to shoot them to kill, try rocksalt loads in a 12g shotgun...they'll sting like the dickens, but not kill the Raptors.
     
  10. Parson's Wife

    Parson's Wife Blessed Abundantly

    Jan 22, 2008
    Arkansas
    This may sound silly...my brothers had been using paintball guns...and had been home only a short time....a hawk began disturbing their chickens (I have no idea what kind of hawk)....
    They ran around there with what they had...the paintball guns...they both made hits...the bird lay paralyzed or traumatized for a coupla minutes and flew away....covered with red and green.
    He had not been back...a neighbor reported a parrot after his chickens a few miles down the road about a week later...we assume it was 'the hawk' and not a parrot. ( It had not rained)
    So thinking if someone is afraid of guns, they might consider keeping paintball guns around to deter the hawks.
     

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