11 Years
Aug 14, 2008
Semora NC
What in the world is going on at my house? I lost my first chicken a few weeks ago to a young hawk. It couldn't make off with the pullet and wasn't very big, so I'm guessing it was young. It was our only BO and our favorite. Maybe some of you remember my post about it. I got two more BO's to replace it and within a week, both gone. No trace, no feathers, no nothing. Just gone. I got THREE more to replace those two. Guess what??? Do I even need to say it? Within the past week, ALL THREE GONE. I have got 7 pearl gunieas, 9 lavender guineas, one RIR, two SLW's, one BB banty, 4 polish, one GLW, a mixed roo and hen, and six milles. The hawks semm to perfer the BO's over everything else.
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Oh goodness! I am so sorry for all of your losses. At this point it sounds like you'd be safer (or the Buff Orps. would) to stay away from that breed for now. Poor chickens.
It sounds like you need to keep your birds in for a while so your hawk can go locate a new meal ticket. What a shame. I'm sorry for your losses.

White, light-colored, and mono-colored (as opposed to dappled or broken colors) are more visible to raptors.

Many pigeon fanciers have learned that white and flashy birds are most likely to be picked off.

I can see my Orps from 50 yards or so when they are slinking around through cover. I can't see my SLWs or brown/gold/black EE's at all until I'm right on top of them, and sometimes not even then -- I have one dog who is good at tracking them down in the brush and putting them up.

Also, Orps are slower moving and bolder (possibly less vigilant) than many other birds.

If they are in a pen, roof the pen.

If free-ranging, mebbe you need a good guard dog. And make sure they have lots of places to take cover from aerial assault.
the only chicken I ever lost to a hwk was a NH Red. And this past couple of weeks I've had a hawk buzz and swoop my little flock and the ones it is buzzing and swooping are Buff Orps. Gotta be the color!
Yeah, I was thinking the same thing. It has got to be the buff color in particular because my light color guineas are nearly white and 2 of them are half gimpy and they are fine. One of the polish are black and it seems like that white top knot would be a buffet sign.
But then again, a hawks eyesight is known to be way better than ours and I have a hard time thinking that they don't see everything going on and can see every one of my chickens with no problem. After all, most of it's natural prey items are colored more along the lines as the darker birds I have. Rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, snakes and others are all darker in color and I can see where it's easier to see buff than those colors, but I still think as good as a hawks vision is, color is less of a factor than most think.
I guess I'll go along with the theory that it's a combo of the color and the BO's being oblivious to their surroundings.
Yes, I had thought the same thing about the color of rabbits, mice & squirrels. A hawk has no trouble hunting them. In my case it was an immature hawk or was just swooping at them for the fun of it. They wouldn't have been hard to land on.

LOL I could go nuts trying to figure out the mindset of a chicken or hawk.
If you hear the guineas making a racked, more then usual....look around for a hawk. That is what alerted us for ours today. He didn't get anything today BUT we will wait for him tomorrow:mad:

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