Just had first hawk attack :(

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SueSteeves, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. SueSteeves

    SueSteeves Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2010
    Southern California
    I have had chickens for a little over a year and just lost my first to a hawk. I had a cat attack a few months ago, but this is the first attack I have witnessed. I have bantam cochins that free range in the backyard all day since I work from home and keep an eye on them. One of my bantams has 6 one month old chicks. I was working at my computer when I heard the girls freaking out, I looked out the window to see a hawk swooping down....I got out the door just as it picked up one of the chicks and flew away. I am so bummed......I am ok with losing them to natural causes like illness etc....but predators really make me peeved! [​IMG] I guess mom and chicks are going to have to stay in the pen until they get bigger or I am in the backyard with them.

    Questions:

    I am fairly certain that the hawk will be back again for another easy meal when it gets hungry......do you think it would go after one of my adults if the chicks are locked up?

    How long until the hawk moves on to another hunting ground?

    My girls love free ranging and would be very cranky if I now made them stay in their run the majority of the time.
     
  2. leochickenmama

    leochickenmama Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2011
    New Jersey
    Yes, the hawk will be back. It won't stop until and even AFTER it gets a free meal.

    They're relentless.

    Older chickens that free range regularly find hiding spots like prickly bushes. I have a 10+ foot holly bush that my chickens hide under if hawks come around when they're free ranging. Hawks are deterred by branches and sharp leaves.

    Also, get a big roo. My Jersey Giant guy, aided by my Silkie roo, is the reason I was able to rescue my Leghorn before the hawk could do any fatal damage to her.
     
  3. SueSteeves

    SueSteeves Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 18, 2010
    Southern California
    Thanks Leochickenmama! I am sorry you recently went through the same thing. I grew up in Jersey and remember seeing some pretty big hawks. Sadly, I am not allowed roosters where I live....I guess the babies are stuck in the pen until they mature. All of my chickens are still cowering under the tree in our yard that has very low hanging branches. Sadly that is really the only hiding place except for their coop and the rabbit hutches.
     

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