I heard an owl


11 Years
Nov 19, 2008
Central Virginia
Last night when we got home from church, we heard an owl hooting in the neighbors yard.

We let our chickens free range in the day, but keep an eye on the sky for hawks circling. The crows help in warning the chickens.

I've never had to deal with an owl. Never heard any before.
Do they hunt in the daytime or just at night?
Will the crows help deter them as they do the hawks?

As they say..." know thy enemy" I need to know what to expect from owls so I can protect my hens.
I did some searching and found some other posts about owls that answered a lot of questions.

I have one question that I would love more opinions on.

Would my chickens be safe from owls if I keep them closed up till late afternoon and then put them away well before dusk?
If I had heard them a year or two ago, before I got chickens, I would have brought out a lawn chair and sat and listened to them.

Now that I have my dear hens, it just sends a shiver up my spine.

If I can be assured that they wont hunt during full daylight, I'll be willing to admire them.
In over 10 years at my present location, I've often listened to the owls in the woods nearby. I know by the calls that they are Barred owls, not tiny, but far from the largest, and probably not big enough to make off with a full sized chicken. They hunt at night. They call in the daytime when it's about to rain.

I've never lost a bird to an owl that I know of. My chickens go in at night, so only daytime predators have really been a problem, (I.E., the occasional fox) except the first year when we had an improvised coop in the barn, and raccoons nearly wiped them all out with night raids, before we got a new coop built.

On the other hand, I have a friend on the other side of the state, who lives in an area where there are a lot of Great Horned owls. They're huge. She's lost full-grown peafowl, geese, and turkeys to these things, when they were outside in the open. Peafowl like to roost up on the rooftops, and the owls just swooped down and carried them off. Always at night, though. She quit keeping any birds she couldn't get to go inside at night.

Can you find out what species of owl is likely to be found in your area? That will give you a better idea of actual risk. If you can get your flock in at night, I think the risk is minimal.

I like owls, and are glad to have so many helping to keep the rodent population down. We certainly have no shortage of rodents!

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