Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by NewBostonChick, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. NewBostonChick

    NewBostonChick Chirping

    Jul 14, 2010
    New Boston, NH
    Hello, I am new to this forum and a new chicken owner too. My girls are now almost 10 weeks old and outside in their new coop and yard. My older son has not finished putting the netting over the top of their yard.. For the last 2 days I have seen a hawk fly over a few times and I ran out to make sure my 7 girls were ok. Today I have put them back in the coop and now worry it may be too warm in there, even with the window open.. My question is can a hawk fly into a yard and take one of the chickens and fly back out again with no problems? The yard is about 6 feet high.. I put a few chairs in the yard to help deter anything from flying in, hopefully.. I am feeling a bit nervous.. geesh.. Thanks for your answers... :)
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio

    The answer is yes, a hawk can definitely fly in and take one of your pullets. We have hawks around our place too, and my chickens free range alot. I noticed that I usually only see the hawks in the morning hours, so I don't let mine out to free range until around 5:00, when I'm home from work.

    I would say to get that run covered, pronto! [​IMG]
  3. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    First of all, [​IMG] Hawks usually won't mess with full sized chickens. They usually go for something they can carry off if a fast getaway is in order. The larger hawks will take Bantams & young ones though. Set up a Purple Martin house & they will be your hawk chasers.
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    As someone who has lost full-sized chickens to hawks, YES, they will take them. Depends on the particular type of hawk you have. Cooper's and red-tailed will take out larger birds. May not be able to carry it off, but will eat it where caught.
  5. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Songster

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    I keep seeing posts that hawks can't or won't take full sized chickens. That is totally false! I have lost full grown BR and Black Giant roosters to them and even seen one take a wild turkey! [​IMG] They don't have to fly off with that they kill. They are perfectly comfortable dining on your birds right where they make the kill. I have had them carry off bantams to safer locations but they have had no problem taking any bird on the lot that they catch unaware.

    Cover your runs or keep your eye to the sky!
  6. NewBostonChick

    NewBostonChick Chirping

    Jul 14, 2010
    New Boston, NH
    Thank you everyone... My son is now home and will put up the netting tomorrow to cover the run.. then I will feel so much better! I am curious however.... Birdaholic, what is a purple martin house?
  7. bakerjw

    bakerjw Songster

    Apr 14, 2010
    Johnson City, Tn
    I haven't had any hawk problems yet although we do have them in the area. I put deer netting over some of the sections of our run as well as a bunch of CDs up in the trees. Supposedly that does the trick too.

    I definitely need to look into some purple martin houses. Our neighbor had them when I was a kid. Sparrows love living in them too so you need to keep them out until martins move in.
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Quote:from whatbird.com (http://identify.whatbird.com/obj/230/overview/Purple_Martin.aspx):
    Purple Martin: Large, vocal swallow with glossy dark purple-blue body and forked tail. It is the largest North American swallow. Black bill, legs and feet. Stong, graceful flight, alternates a few rapid wing beats with long glides. Catches and eats insects in flight and also forages on the ground.

    Martins live in colonies; the "apartment house" styled bird houses that are set on very tall poles are purple martin houses. They will also inhabit birdhouse gourds.​
  9. Tomhusker

    Tomhusker Songster

    May 28, 2010
    Hamburg, Iowa
    I saw a couple of hawks soaring high above yesterday. They were maybe a quarter of a mile north of my place, so I am thinking they were scoping out another field. However, this is the first time I have seen any hawks. My chickens have a lot of cover and spend quite a bit of time under it, whether it is bushes, trees or my truck.
  10. Stonerowfarm

    Stonerowfarm Songster

    Sep 16, 2008
    Cheshire, MA
    Like so many others, I have hawks as well. Most of the chickens are under cover, except Ginger, who wanders the yard all day. She has 'learned' that if she hears the crows, she takes off for the barn. I have been encouraging crows for three years now and am pleased to say we have a nice murder hanging around in the pine trees out back. Just yesterday I heard them cawing, setting up the alarm and out the door I flew. Sure enough they had chased the hawk into the cemetary across the road. Quick head count and roo brought all his girls into the coop and Ginger was in the barn (under the tractor). My bantys and babies are under netting already.

    Your young ones will learn. If you watch them now you should see them scattered if a bird flies overhead. It seems to be instinct. In the meantime, get your netting up and perhaps try something I saw on another thread - mylar strings hanging from fishing line. I guess the theory is that they move in the wind, the chickens are not afraid of them and they deter the hawks from swooping in on your chickens.

    Good luck and [​IMG]

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