How much protection do Roosters offer against hawks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by quiacato, Feb 25, 2014.

  1. quiacato

    quiacato New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2014
    I lost my first chicken yesterday...I am pretty sure either a hawk got to her or one of my horses injured her and the other birds ate her. Either way I do have A LOT of predatory birds in my area. I have had chickens for a year with no issues but the more I read on here the more I think I have just been lucky.

    I want to continue allowing them to "free range". They have access to their coop, a couple trees and a horse barn for cover but spend a lot of time in the open. Would it be worth it to get a Rooster for protection from the hawks?? I am not real concerned with other predators with my large fence and livestock and dogs etc...

    Thanks!
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]

    Rosters are a little like the zinc sacrificial thing-a-ma-jiggies that you put on boats to keep the water and electricity in the water from eating the metal parts of your boat.

    Roosters are mostly sacrificial scape goats when it comes to hawks but a few will run right in there and mix it up with a chicken Hawk. All roosters will warn of danger and the more active and athletic a rooster is (while still having a good size) the more likely it is that he will see the danger in time to:
    !. Issue a warning,
    2. Drive off the hawk, or...
    3. Fall on his sword.

    There are accounts on this forum under (breeds) about American game cocks and hens meeting hawks in the air and besting or even killing the hawk. I believe it because I once had a rooster who knocked my prized Red Bone puppy's right eye out when the young dog got out and tried to play rough with a hen.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. cpegram

    cpegram Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have had a rooster die fighting a hawk off or any predator at that. They usually are the ones watching for predators and alerting the girls to freeze or get back in the coop or dive for cover a good rooster is great to have around
     
  4. taprock

    taprock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Roosters are not going to give protection, as in rushing in too fight off the hawk, but they are a great early warning system. They have an alarm noise they make and then everyone runs for shelter. My rooster let everyone know when birds of all kinds fly over. I have even heard a warning call from them over a low flying plane. The other thing to do is have lawn furniture, bushes and other hiding spots for your birds to run to. We have lost several to hawks and the telling sign with each was a circle of feathers left. Good luck! I love my roosters and wouldn't be without.
     
  5. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some roosters will fight I have seen it and there are many threads on here describing it, one even killed a good size hawk, they had the pics of the dead hawk.
     
  6. quiacato

    quiacato New Egg

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    Feb 25, 2014
    I think I have decided to get one. Is it best to get a fully grown one or a pullet? I don't want anyone getting picked on. Also, as far as temperament goes, what breeds do you like? While I want something that will be good for protection I don't want one chasing me around like my neighbors rooster chases her kids!
     
  7. fireflyhatchery

    fireflyhatchery Chillin' With My Peeps

    Iowa Blues are truly unique by keeping hawks away and living to see the next day also. Good investment for protection
     
  8. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: That's not true... Our Rooster gave the warning when the hawk appeared, one of my pullets was slow to react and the hawk attacked, I watched the rooster launch himself at the hawk and drive it off...The pullet died from its injuries but I believe the Rooster did what a good solid rooster is supposed to do... We also have a younger rooster that is learning from the older one and I have little doubt that between the two of them they have protected the rest of the flock.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    My games are very effective against hawks targeting chicks, juveniles and even hens. This based on direct observations. Roosters efforts are enhanced by availability of cover that more vulnerable birds can retreat to and rooster can launch attacks from. From cover, even red-tailed hawks can be repelled by rooster. Rooster must be fully mature and cannot be bantam-sized. In my setting no roosters means regular loss of juveniles and chicks if not tended by hens.

    Hawks I shut down using roosters are Coopers. One of these days I will film the interaction.

    I do not use roosters alone. Dogs also about but dogs cannot always get to hawk hast enough to prevent chick from being packed off. Roosters can deny hawk snatch and grab as well as call dog in with alarm calls.
     
  10. BugGuy

    BugGuy Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in North Dakota and have 6 roosters to protect 60 hens. They are Sex-linked and Australorp roosters and they will not only defend the flock, but have actually pursued the hawk the full length of the yard looking for a fight. They growl and the hens run for cover. The last display was when a stray dog came around this winter and all the hens hit the coop. The roosters were all outside the door in a semi-circle growling and displaying at the dog when I came around the corner with the gun. I will never be without roosters.
     

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