How does a hawk attack a chicken?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by andythescot, Oct 27, 2010.

  1. andythescot

    andythescot Songster

    Nov 29, 2009
    Central Mass
    I know that he somehow kills the chicken with its talons/beak, but is there any specific flight maneuvers that the hawk will make before it kills the chicken? Does it depend on the specie? People who have witnessed hawk attacks?
  2. xenorph

    xenorph In the Brooder

    Jun 27, 2010
    I've only ever seen them kill mice and squirrels, but I'd assume it's the same for a chicken. Swoop down onto them, dig in with talons and beak, eat aforementioned chicken.
  3. shuizar209

    shuizar209 Songster

    Jul 11, 2009
    Deending on how big the hawk and the chicken is it will swoop down and take the bird away. Be careful a hawk swooped 2 feet away from DH to get a chick.
  4. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    If the chicken is too big for the hawk, he will just perch on its back after the kill and eat the head and neck after he rips out the feathers.
  5. Higins00

    Higins00 Songster

    Nov 19, 2008
    I have witnessed a atempt on one of my chickens and also found 3 or 4 of them already eaten. My husband has witnessed 2 of them eating the chicken but it was too late to save them. They swoop down and will continue to do so until they catch them. (Unless you or your dog scare them away) Then they rip their feathers off and when they get down to the skin they continue to eat the chicken alive in chunks. They leave the body half eaten with a big hole in it. They will return the next day to eat the rest of the carcus. If they are caged the hawk will try to get in on top but if he can't he knows and gives up. It is a awful death.
  6. The Tinman

    The Tinman Songster

    Jun 10, 2010
    Fairfield County CT
    A hawk will swoop down on a chicken from behind pin it to the ground and just start plucking. I`ve had a Coopers hawk swoop into my pen. I don`t know if it was after one of my girls or a chip monk. It did not get either. It could not figuire out how to get out. It would fly over the chicken wire but would get knocked back in by the bird netting on top. I ran to my garage to get a net but by the time I got back the hawk was exhausted and on the ground. My roo and the girls went after it like a pack of hyenas after a lion. I could not believe it.
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Hawks also use a technique where they attack at a high velocity and slam into the prey hard enough to stun, severely injure or kill it. It depends a bit on the size of the hawk and prey. Other than that, they tear them apart with their beaks.
  8. chkn

    chkn Songster

    Jun 27, 2010
    I lost a chicken to a hawk. It sat in a tall tree until it caught one of the younger ones on its own underneath. Took the head clean off right off the bat.
  9. andythescot

    andythescot Songster

    Nov 29, 2009
    Central Mass
    GAH! Thats so freaky. I knew that hawks would eat their prey alive... Just imagine how painful a hawk-death would be. [​IMG]
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Generally, they strike from above at "warp" speed killing as much by impact as by talons. Yes, they will eat/attempt to eat an immobilized living chicken. Many years ago I heard a strange mewling/squalling sound around the corner of the house. There was an immobilized bantam hen straddled by a Cooper's hawk half her size. The hawk had already stripped much of the feathers off of the hen and was starting to eat her. I'm not sure how painful it is. I think that under such circumstances a prey animal goes into such shock that they may not feel pain. My mind flashes back to a video taken in Yellowstone where a pack of coyotes were eating a standing, immobilized elk. The elk was just stoically standing there. I'm fairly tough about such things having spent my entire life in the outdoors. That freaked me!
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2010

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