How many chickens would one hawk kill?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jmorriso, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. jmorriso

    jmorriso Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 28, 2010
    I went to lock up the flock yesterday and noticed that about 1/2 of them were missing. I started looking around and saw something move in the gully. I assumed it was a chicken and started over towards it and it was a large hawk that flew off. I investigated and it had killed my EE rooster I just got, but I've still got 5 hens and 1 rooster missing. Would a hawk kill that many in one day? I've had a few go missing last week, but I assumed they were all from my neighbor's dog that got out because he called me about it and apologized because it brought one home. It's been a rough week for my chickens. I guess I need to leave them locked up for a week or so and hope the hawk looses interest. I've noticed a lot of hawk posts recently, is it the season for hawk kills?
     
  2. birdicus7

    birdicus7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2010
    Coatesville, PA
    All predators appear to be worse in the winter time for two reasons. First is it's cold and they need to eat more to stay warm. Second your birds lack the cover provided by all those leaves that fell off in the fall. Add snow to the mix and they stick out like a sore thumb just begging to be someone's diner. Hawks and such will usually take one for a meal and fly off or maybe sit in your view and eat away. They will return for an easy meal until they can't get them anymore. If you are missing numerous birds a good many may be hiding out scared to death to come out. Most will return in a day or so if they are ok.
     
  3. CrazyerThanAverage

    CrazyerThanAverage Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 11, 2010
    Oro Valley, AZ
    I hope your birds were just scared and have returned. [​IMG]

    But, in answer to your original question, yes, hawk(s) will kill more than one chicken at a time. Last month I lost 6 (of 7) chickens to a family of Harris hawks. The chickens were free ranging at the time. I discovered the killing field when I went to check on them and had to chase off two of the hawks that wanted to protect their kill. The hawks had cornered my ladies in a corral and slaughtered them. The part I find most distressing (besides lossing my chickens) is they only bothered to feed off of 3 of them. There was no reason for them to kill all six. I only saw two hawks by the chickens, but I know there are four hawks in this family (they nest in one of our trees, but I'm not allowed to "disturb" them!). So yes, hawks could have killed that many chickens...might have to appologize to the neighbors dog. (Is he a retreiver?) [​IMG]

    BTW...a week may not be long enough.
     

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