I got a preditor! Sort of


8 Years
Jul 1, 2011
I'm outside spraying down the patio with one of those cheap scew on attachments to the hose. Hearing a lot of noise, look to see the chicks diving for cover in their covered, well protected pen, screaming. The pullets are moving with serious purpose, but silently under a bush. I look up and see a big brown taloned bird swooping fast to the pen. Don't think he sees me, I'm in the shadow of the house, about 56 feet away. Without thinking, I meter his trail, then lift the hose. Honestly don't know who was more shocked, me, him, or all the chickens. Startled him so much turned into the water, I think to attack, then got confused. Actually stopped flying about half a second trying to make sense if such things, then tore outta there without making his usual slow nahnahnahnah can't touch me loop.
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Whew, close call! So glad your birds are ok.

Good thing that part of the yard over yonder needed watering.

Take good care with your birds...it will be back.
He's a regular. Came by yesterday and landed on top of the pen, again scaring the chicks and silencing the hidden older girls. The first day the coop was up and running, I put the older/then younger chicks inside to get used to it. Had the coop door closed, and learned my first lesson on how brazen these preditors are. Darned thing showed absolutely no fear of humans, swooped down and landed casual like right next to the coop. At the same time, every instinct of protection/fear went through the babes, and not knowing why, they freaked out as loudly as possible. Blasted thing, just hopped back a step, wasn't afraid of me at all. Grabbed a peice of left over wood from the coop and flung it at it. Flew into the nearby orange tree just a few feet beyond my reach and spread its wings like it was sunning its self.
Yep, over the years I've come to realize that they really have no fear of nearby humans when it comes to meaning a meal that will tide them over. I'm not one to blame any creature for trying to take a meal, as is the way of life, and I've had them swoop down just feet from me or not too far from me as my chickens ran for provided cover with me running towards the pred and them trying to beat me to them...as any prey animal would do in the same situation when hungry.

They are opportunists & they are hungry for meat. I've had coyotes just feet from me stalking my chickens & goat pens, some 4 footed creatures that did not survive those encounters of course and have had preds chasing cats that barely made it out of their reach by climbing safety poles or high fences...heck, even in the past my huge beef steers have been attempted prey to larger preds even with dogs on duty.

I also live in a land of sun & citrus trees and laws must be heeded in regards to birds of prey...I provide feed for rehab birds of prey so it's obvious that I love and respect them...but guarding our livestock enclosures of netting and such is fully within reason.
I thought for sure the biggest problem would be the nasty tempered grey foxes. All the skunks moved a town away...haven't seen any raccoons in the neighborhood for a few years. Never noticed any hawks until I had chickens, my dogs are wayyy to big for fast food.

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