It's definitely the season for hawks...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by RikkiMarie, Nov 25, 2014.

  1. RikkiMarie

    RikkiMarie In the Brooder

    Awhile back I had posted about three of my baby chicks; two of them had disappeared and one had been found dead. Well, what ever it was came back and took my young grey chick and then not too long after, came back and killed my Silkie hen. While I am still upset, I found out what the predator was - a hawk. Now I have no choice but to keep my ducks and my young chicks locked up. While I still have duck eggs, my hen was not only my best friend, but also my egg layer. Now I have to wait until January (our annual farm show) to get some more hens to bring back into the yard, but I don't think it's going to replace my Silkie. :(

    Is anyone else having hawk problems? I'm assuming this is the season for them. I live in Pennsylvania and I noticed around this time of year hawks are EVERYWHERE. Unfortunately I can't have a rooster - it's against the borough's rules, but when my fiancé and I buy our new home out in the country, there will be all sorts of animals to protect my flock.
    Does anyone want to share their stories? Also can someone recommend some good hens for me?
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2014
  2. heiditam

    heiditam Chirping

    Aug 8, 2014
    I am sorry. :( We are having hawk issues too. I see several in sky from about 9 am-3 pm. Several have perched in our trees, stalking our girls, and I have them soaring below tree level often. :/ I am not sure if it was a hawk or cat or whatever, but one of our hens went missing after free ranging. :( The girls are in their covered run and coop now. I *am* seeing more than usual. Red tail, coopers, and what looks like broad wing...they are everywhere it seems. We have hawks year round, but it seems to be especially bad right now. I am supposing it is fall migration. I was under the impression that hawks were not like other predators that would come back again and again, but I have since learned that that is exactly what they will do. :(
  3. RikkiMarie

    RikkiMarie In the Brooder

    I agree with you completely - it is in fact exceptionally bad right now. A few years ago when I first started learning how to take care of chickens with my mother-in-law, she had absolutely no problems with hawks once-so-ever and her twelve chickens used to run loose all the time! They were pretty big chickens actually but it seems like back in 2012 and 2013, nothing wanted to bother with her chickens.

    Now that I'm starting out anew, it seems like everything wants to suddenly come into my yard and attack my animals! :( It breaks my heart so much because while being an animal lover, it's also not fair to them. They should feel safe with me and my home, not like they're under any threat. And I feel so bad that they have to be locked up. Usually I'll let them out while I am out there in the pen with them, but when it's time for me to go back into the house, I have to shoo them all back into their pens and lock them up with a padlock and key.
  4. heiditam

    heiditam Chirping

    Aug 8, 2014

    What breed were your mom's chickens? I wonder(and anyone out there that knows please chime in) if the super big breeds(orpingtons) are less likely to be hawk bait? Like the hawk may just not even try because they are so huge? If that is true, I will seriously switch over to large breeds lol!
    1 person likes this.
  5. KernH

    KernH Songster

    Sep 9, 2014
    Newman, Ca.
    I too have had hawks trying to get my chickens. I feel bad for the chickens, as they used to have the run of my large backyard, and now I am afraid to let them out of the enclosed safe pen. They come to the door and want to be let out so badly. If I go into their pen I have to really guard my entrance as they will almost try and run over me to get outside. When I do let them out they run and fly in joy. I have only been letting them out when I can stay and guard them. I have Cooper's Hawks. They are not a very large hawk, but they would probably kill a chicken easily. Kern
  6. RikkiMarie

    RikkiMarie In the Brooder

    We had a Silkie chicken. As for our seven chicks... I'm not too sure of the breeds.
  7. RikkiMarie

    RikkiMarie In the Brooder

    I believe I may have the same hawk that is stalking my ducks and chicks... It's not a very big hawk, but apparently strong enough to pick up baby chicks and take off with them. It managed to get my hen halfway across the yard before it tore her up.
  8. CliffB

    CliffB Songster

    Oct 5, 2014
    I had a marans chick go MIA about 2 weeks ago and yesterday around 4-5pm something had all my chicks hiding in the coop and when i did roll call last night my new Salmon Faverolles was MIA. Looking like i've got myself a hawk also. Only 2 more weeks till finances will be available to buy the chicken run canopy/cover.
  9. MrHodari

    MrHodari In the Brooder

    Dec 10, 2014
    Detroit, Michigan
    I have 3 Rhodebar's I just had a close call YESTERDAY... If it weren't for a quick jump by the Hen on top the pecking order she would have been done for! It lasted just a few seconds but very traumatizing for them!... How do I know all this happened?.... I was 15 ft away from them when it happened! I was under a tree cutting some wire for the coop, where it couldn't see me, and saw it swoop down out the corner of my eye... Had I not been there I would have one less bird! As soon as I stood up and yelled out it flew away. Thankfully none were physically injured! Now I feel like I'm being watched by this hawk! A few weeks ago my son saved a pigeon from the same hawk by trowing a lemon at it. They are very smart and study before they attack.
  10. Just sayin

    Just sayin Chirping

    Sep 9, 2014
    Gosh I hope you're right. Because I intend to keep our dog out whenever the chickens are out. He is good at guarding against eagles and hawks. I'd gotten complacent, and he was in with me. And I lost one of my little peepers two days ago... the lighter-colored one.


    Hadn't had time or heart to come back and report it till now.

    I heard a great commotion outside, momma and the rooster were hollering and running around, so I go look at what's going on... All the other hens were under the porch, where they often go when there's trouble.

    I let Foster, our dog, out. He ran into the leanto and jumped a little hawk/falcon thing that was on top of a peeper. It was a little tiny thing, not much bigger than the peeper. A friend said from my description, likely a coopers or sharp shin. There was a ruckus of dog and hawk, and hawk flew off. Foster stayed sniffing the peeper, so I knew it was bad.

    I picked her up, she was not quite dead, but by the time I got her inside and under the heat lamp, and got the momma and the other peeper inside, she had died.

    It's a hard world for the little things. Broke my heart to pick her up. I'd really bonded with these little babies... the first we've ever hatched here. I am thinking this little hawk is too small to take on an adult chicken, but I fear for the other remaining peeper. So far, momma has been keeping it in the barn all day, she hasn't come back outside with it, and that's just fine with me.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015

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