Hawks killing my silkies - will they go after my other larger hens?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Jessimom, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. Jessimom

    Jessimom Cats Rule Dogs Drool

    Aug 21, 2009
    Southern California

    We have a family of hawks that live in our trees. For the past 3 years, they have left our chickens alone - they do seem to help with the gopher and rat problem. Yesterday a large one killed 2 of my 6 month old silkie hens in their run. It wasn't covered, so I suppose I was asking for trouble. But, we closed up the rest (including the rooster) in their coop area. There was a VERY small hole in the corner. A small hawk got in and killed and proceeded to eat another hen. It couldn't figure out how to get out and we had to grab it and pull it out of the coop. He was beautiful, and we let it go.

    Why would the first one have killed 2 birds and not eaten either of them?

    Today, why didn't the silkie rooster try to attack the young hawk trapped in their coop?

    We have covered the coop with netting, so they hawks shouldn't be able to get in again But I have another coop and uncovered run.
    Will these hawks try to go after my Rhode Island Red, Delaware, Barred Rock, Black Sex Link or Easter Egger hens? 1 is about 4 years old, the rest are all about 1 year old. These girls are all much bigger than the silkies were. But there is no rooster there to protect them?


  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    First,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, VERY SORRY TO HEAR YOUR LOSS.. [​IMG]
    Silkies are often called hawk magnets. They are very docile chickens, that do not see overhead dangers well. Polish breed chickens also share this disadvantage. Silkie roosters are not known to be such great protectors against hawks. Your larger chickens are in less danger of the hawk, then your silkies. Less desirable because of being larger and able to fight back better. Hawk takes the easiest meal available. If the hawk is really hungry and desperate, then it may try for the larger chickens. It seems that at this time of the year, food sources get scarce for hawks. I read many postings of hawks attacking chickens, but it seem that at this time of year, there are more. ( this is my personal observation ) If you are able to cover top of other run, then do so.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I agree with these sentiments. A hawk attacked one of my standard birds a while ago and i think that my wife intervening was the only thing that saved its life. They currently go after my 6 week old chicks at the moment.

    1 person likes this.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Silkies are so slender there really isn't anything there to fill up a hawk. They probably think it's a rabbit or something. If you cut back the crest and beard, your silkies will be able to see better. They are still at a huge disadvantage as any bantam would be - small but, silkies cannot fly because of their unusual feathering. Any rooster that takes on a hawk is going to end up dead so your flock would still be unprotected. The best a rooster can do is sound the alarm so the hens run and hide if they can.

    Raptors are migrating and they need a lot of calories to complete their flying journey. They will certainly go after bigger chickens, cats small dogs or puppies etc.

    You would be better off with a solid run cover, provides shade in summer and helps keep rain or snow off the birds. Hawks that don't notice the netting in time, will probably go right through it - . Raccoons can climb and tear their way in, fox can jump high, and so can coyotes. They are determined killers, and have to be taken seriously.

    I am so sorry it got your silkies
    2 people like this.
  5. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    I had a hawk - I think it was a sharp shinned - kill one of my big hens yesterday evening. I must have intervened before it got to the eating part as it flew away when it saw me. However, my girl was dead and I couldn't even see any blood. Not sure how it killed her.

    Sorry you have lost some of your chickens.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Jessimom

    Jessimom Cats Rule Dogs Drool

    Aug 21, 2009
    Southern California
    Thanks for all the posts!! I am so sorry to hear about your losses.

    We just used dark green netting to. cover their coop, which is chain link, until we can fix it. Yes, we will be covering bother runs today.

    Do the hawks go after other birds? Like at my bird feeders? I'd love it if they went after the crows and squirrels.

    Thanks again!!
  7. BlueTannery

    BlueTannery Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 9, 2015
    Roosters are generally considered effective hawk/general predator deterrents, right?

    So what happens if my rooster mysteriously dies, but is not eaten or anything...?

    That happened to me last Friday, I suspect it was a hawk or something similar, but the odd part is that I found an almost totally-uneaten chicken body on the ground. I've been considering getting a mechanical/blow-up owl or something similar, would that be effective?
  8. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chicken Obsessed

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    Mechanical blow up item not likely to do any deterring.
    What is it that you suspect a hawk to have done your rooster in.??? Roosters and hens die of other natural causes also. A hawk may have killed your rooster though, and fled when sensed someone was coming. SORRY TO HEAR YOUR LOSS [​IMG]
    Best is over head netting or tarps. Consider this........ What the hawk does not see, is safer from danger..
  9. Rreese

    Rreese Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 4, 2015
    Dripping Springs, Tx
    Yes they do !!!! They go after many different kinds of birds!

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