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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Peggy-Sue, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. Peggy-Sue

    Peggy-Sue Chirping

    Aug 29, 2012
    So yesterday I had the girls out of their run in my fenced in back yard. They were enjoying themselves tearing up my grass and garden. Suddenly I see four of my girls dash back to the run like chickens with their heads cut off. I see them all glaring up into the sky so I know something up. So I get up and look to a hawk up on the telephone pole staring down at my fifth chicken which was all alone (shes the smallest). I ended up throwing a rock up at the hawk which made him fly away. I then ended up putting my girls away for a little. The hawk wasn't very big, he maybe only stood a foot tall. Should I be worried about him attacking my girls? And why didn't my smallest girl run with the rest of the flock?

  2. coffeeshopgirl7

    coffeeshopgirl7 In the Brooder

    Aug 30, 2012
    The hawks in my area are total opportunists. Because of this year's drought I think there is less easy prey for them so my chickens are the next best thing. I would be worried about more attacks if I were you. I wouldn't let them out to free range unless you or someone is available to keep a reasonable watch on them. Usually running out is enough to scare it away, but it will definitely try again. I've been told that roosters are good at watching for danger and that they will sound the alarm to the hens, and in some cases they will fight the other bird to the death.
    As to why your little one didn't run, who can know the minds of chickens? She might not have seen him and if the others weren't squawking the alarm she might have just been unaware of the danger. Also, something strange I've noticed with my birds, they think that if they are in the shade, then they must be under something that will protect them from the sky. Whenever I watch them run for cover they go to the shade of the barn, not into the barn. I guess that goes back to hiding under a tree from an attack. She might have thought she was out of view because she was in a shady spot.
  3. aafairchild

    aafairchild Chirping

    Aug 24, 2012
    I feel for you. We don't have big hawks in this part of TX but one of the locals got my silver laced wyandotte today. Nothing left but feathers. She was the smallest of my 6 and I think the others are a little to big now to be hawk bait, but they sure are staying under cover right now. My Mom and I saw a hawk circling while working outside and I am willing to bet that's who got my SLW. My chicks are free ranging inside a 6 ft chain link fence yard so I don't have problem with dogs and in 13 yrs here I have yet to see a raccoon. I have more babies coming next week including a rooster and I will be glad for the alarm. Had my dogs been outside the hawk likely would have stayed away but I wasn't home at the time. Sucks but it happens.

    Good Luck
  4. Peggy-Sue

    Peggy-Sue Chirping

    Aug 29, 2012
    That's terrible! When they are outside of their run I am usually sitting on the porch or working in the garden and I am always looking out for them. I'm like their rooster, when I do see danger like a hawk I give a cockadoodal and they go running back to the run. Sometimes I do it to get them all back in. I don't think I'll be letting them outside of their run as much as I do.
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    If the bird you saw was that small then you most likely saw some type of falcon rather then a hawk. Not a threat unless you have chicks.
  6. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    If it was about a foot tall it was probably a Coopers Hawk or Sharp-shinned Hawk. Both are hunters of chickens, that is how they earned the nickname "chicken hawk" They ambush the chickens. They use trees to get close and fly very well through tree branches, so tree coverage is not safe for them. I have solid objects all over my yard for them to get under that a diving hawk would have trouble getting into without landing first, then my LGD would be all over it. He is very protective of the chickens. Won't even let my cats get near them and they would never take on an adult chicken. And I also practice the three S method if the dog can't get a predator. Shoot, Shovel, Shut-up.
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hawks are migrating right now, and those passing through are HUNGRY. Spring and fall you may want to keep your girls in for a few weeks until the migrators have passed through. And smaller hawks (and falcons) can take on a surprisingly large chicken.

  8. chickortreat

    chickortreat Songster

    May 26, 2009
    I saw a large hawk fly over today. He didn't slow down so I didn't bother running for the shotgun. I watched to see if he'd perch, but he flew on out of sight.

    I saw a migrating group two weeks ago. The sky seemed to be covered with them in spots.
  9. Sally_O

    Sally_O In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2010
    I've lost two chickens this week. They've been happy free range backyard chickens for two years... we lost a small girl last year. Now two this week. Terrible. Not sure what to do. Is there a good breed of dog that is good with chickens and can protect them? Or someone suggested getting a goose. Any experience with that?
  10. Summer Rose

    Summer Rose In the Brooder

    Jul 29, 2012
    Hi, A week ago a Hawk got my Bantam rooster, so I didn't let the girls out for a few days. I read everything I could find on how to protect from Hawks. I put up metal pie tins,
    tin foil hanging from branches, Bells, bought and put up two Owls and a scarecrow. Sad to say nothing worked. He or they got a Cornish hen almost full grown and a Bantam.
    I don't have a Roo but have heard that some will protect and some won't. Most of my girls are almost full grown, some are laying some are not. I am totally sad over losing three
    of them. All I can think of is only letting them out while I am down there and doing it about an hour before they roost. It will soon be too cold here to stay out much longer than
    about an hour. Just letting you know all the things I have tried so you don't take any chances like I have done. I hate it because I wanted them to have their freedom and they
    have finally started running to me and eating out of my hand:>(

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