Hawks, hawks everywhere.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dona Worry, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Crowing

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    To make a long story short: I have 4 groups that need to be separated, and only 3 pens, and everyone MUST be contained because. . . HAWKS. EVERYWHERE. I don't know if they are having a raptor meeting, family reunion, or there is a dope concert about to go down, but I have seen at least 5 separate red-tail hawks today, and there are kestrals and even an osprey???? swooping around.
    My groups:
    2 cockerels. They aren't terrible and *could* go in the big coop, but they have been mounting the pullets a lot, and not all of the girls are ready to be mounted.
    Broody with 3 chicks: Has been fencelined with all the other groups, not integrated yet.
    8 pullets, laying or point of lay.
    6 young pullets that everyone picks on when confined. MUST be alone.
    I have a hospital pen that I am currently keeping the 6 littles. It is not ideal, but they are being sold soon, so it isn't the end of the world.
    Broody is in a 4x4 coop with attached run.
    Pullets are in the coop and the boys. . .

    I don't know what to do with the boys. They are currently loose, and TERRIFIED. They can't get into the coop, they can see and hear the hawks, and so are just hiding VERY QUIETLY under the coop or porch, and at night they hide in my porch. This isn't working for anyone!
    I am trying to decide if I could introduce broody into the big coop with her chicks, and tuck the boys into the small coop. Everyone has been getting alone on the separate sides of the fence, and I have no worries that momma can defend her chicks, but I am also uncomfortable with introducing them so soon. They are only 3 weeks old, and broody was NOT a member of the flock prior.
    I could just hang on until I sell the little babies. . . But the hospital pen is really not big enough for 2 birds any length of time, and I don't know how long these hawks are going to stick around!

    What would you do!?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  3. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Crowing

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    I have a couple of dog crates, but nothing big enough for active growing chicks and their momma, or to keep healthy growing boys in for more than a day. They are fine for keeping a sick or injured bird isolated and/quiet, but not for any sort of long-term confinement. . .
     
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  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Well, might work long enough to get another larger enclosure set up.
     
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  5. 123RedBeard

    123RedBeard Songster

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    Or ... put ONE cockrell in the dog crate ... and put the other one in with the pullets ... ???

    It "may" upset his outlook on things if he doesn't have his buddy with him ... and may give you a week to or even a few days ... then switch him with the one in the crate ...
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Yeah, I didn't mean to put both boys in the same crate...I should have been more specific.
     
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  7. llombardo

    llombardo Crowing

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    Where do the boys sleep?

    Maybe surround a small area with electric fence and get netting draped around the top and down the sides(use those green posts to support the net?

    Maybe put the crates in that area and once they are in--move crates to secure area at night? Will be a pain in the butt, but for short term it may work.
     
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  8. llombardo

    llombardo Crowing

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    I do have a rooster living inside in an extra large crate. I put a branch in there for him to roost too. He will be an indoor rooster until spring when I can get him his own area. He seems pretty happy. Screams at me in the morning to bring him his treats..lol
     
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  9. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Crowing

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    Well, when I came home for lunch there was one hawk perched on my mailbox, another on a post across the road, and my poor roosters silently foraging underneath my perch.
    So, I unceremoniously plopped momma hen and babies into the big coop and the boys into the small one.
    It was a complete non-issue. Momma hen went in ready to tear some feathers out, but the other pullets just ignored her. I watched for a little while to make sure they all found food and water, and moved the chick waterer near her nest, but everyone was perfectly content! The pullets seem to instinctively give her a wide berth.
    They have all bedded down nicely, and I even had a new layer pop up ( the GLW?!) so nobody seems to have gotten their feather ruffled!
    The poor boys, meanwhile, attacked their food and water like they were starving, then napped inside the coop until at least 3 (when I had to go for evening chores). I had moved some food and water to protected areas, but I guess it wasn't protected enough.
    Regardless, everyone is safely settled in for the night, and in the morning will be able to do chicken things without threat of hawks!
     
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  10. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Crowing

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    I was worried that there might be some fighting today, and was all prepared to separate momma and chicks if I had too, as the littles were picked up last night and I have the hospital pen again.
    But I guess I was worried about nothing. It's like they've always been in this grouping.
    Momma and her three enjoying some warm mash with blueberries. 20180916_073555.jpg Mingling with Billie.
    20180916_073143.jpg "Is that an apple??"
    20180916_073148.jpg The boys!
    20180916_073113.jpg
     
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