How brave are Hawks?

morgannn

In the Brooder
May 7, 2016
40
0
32
I would love to be able to let my girls out to free range for an hour or so, but I have been too scared to because of hawks! I have a couple of 3 1/2 month old girls and a bantam that stay in their run all the time. They get lots of leftovers but they love to scratch around outside (I took them out a lot when they were younger). Do you think a red-tailed hawk would swoop down and get a chicken in front of me? I would be with them the whole time and they would only be out an hour or so before they roost for the night. I have mostly wooded property with the exception of my yard.
 

Shaunassy

Chirping
Apr 2, 2016
177
17
83
Fl
Under your supervision they should be fine. I let my 9 girls free range usually from morning till night whether Im home or not. We have tons of hawks here and they never have bothered them. One day i got home from work to find all 9 of my girls and a roo i had at the time all grazing surrounding a post that a hawk was just sitting on. We have 3 acres and live around woods, we have hawks,owls, snakes, foxes, racoons, you name it and ive never lost a hen to anything but a neighbors dog in the 1 and a half years ive let them free range. However, I could just be really lucky. In my case though hawks arnt a problem and none ever hang around when im out with them, my presence usually scares any hawks away. The only one id really worry about is the batam. Most hens are to large to carry away but a bantam would be easy so just watch that one extra close
 

Grub Digger

Chirping
Jan 5, 2016
206
23
86
Middle TN
Don't think because your hens are big hawks wont get them, plenty of people have reported hawks landing on their birds and ripping out meat without carrying them away. Our hawks are around early morning till about 3pm, so I range our girls later in the afternoon. It's a tricky question that I think depends on how hungry the hawk is.
 

Shaunassy

Chirping
Apr 2, 2016
177
17
83
Fl
Well like i said maybe im just lucky. I open their run gate at 6 am and they put themselves to bed in the coop when it gets close to dark and I just close the run door once it gets dark. We have never had any problems with them. And we have some Big hawks. Not sure what kind they are though
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
95,203
126,244
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I would love to be able to let my girls out to free range for an hour or so, but I have been too scared to because of hawks! I have a couple of 3 1/2 month old girls and a bantam that stay in their run all the time. They get lots of leftovers but they love to scratch around outside (I took them out a lot when they were younger). Do you think a red-tailed hawk would swoop down and get a chicken in front of me? I would be with them the whole time and they would only be out an hour or so before they roost for the night. I have mostly wooded property with the exception of my yard.
It's happened.
 

jak2002003

Crowing
Oct 24, 2009
3,146
1,271
396
Thailand
I would love to be able to let my girls out to free range for an hour or so, but I have been too scared to because of hawks! I have a couple of 3 1/2 month old girls and a bantam that stay in their run all the time. They get lots of leftovers but they love to scratch around outside (I took them out a lot when they were younger). Do you think a red-tailed hawk would swoop down and get a chicken in front of me? I would be with them the whole time and they would only be out an hour or so before they roost for the night. I have mostly wooded property with the exception of my yard.
Yes they will.

If a hawk is very hungry its hunger will override its fear of humans.

I used to work in a pet shop and we sold lots of parakeets, finches, etc. One day a female sparrow hawk flew up to the automatic shop door, which slid open. The hawk flew right in.. over the heads of the customers and straight to the bird cages.

It then tried to catch the cockatiels through the cage front.

It was so hungry I did not care about all the people around, shouting and kids screaming.

I walked right up to it and had to pull it off the cage front... then it wiggled out my hands and calmly flew back through the shop to the automatic doors, which opened and out it flew!

It was quite a shock... bit funny, and it amazed me how intelligent the hawk was to know how to use the door and not just crash into the big windows. Maybe it had been watching people come and go through the door outside for a while. Now I never underestimate and brains of even 'dumb' birds.
 

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