Lost my first bird to a hawk today.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by ChickenWisperer, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. ChickenWisperer

    ChickenWisperer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 30, 2008
    I'm really at a loss.

    I go outside to open the coop door that accidentally closed, and I know something is -very- wrong. All the birds are running back and forth across the fence, trying to get inside the house. Nobody came running to see me, which they do EVERY time I go out. When they saw me comming, they started squaking. I opened the door, and let them in. I'm missing the Tau'i the alpha, chika the EE secondary, my SS, one of my new BL polish, and my Dark brahma. I was missing - and I was starting to panic.

    3 girls, the Alpha hen included were behind the house, hiding. 2 missing birds. I look everywere - then walk up to the bank of the gully behind our house.

    A huge red-tailed hawk flies up, and I immediately start to bawl - I know he either had my Bailey or Kira. I ran to the house to get dad, and he come in - the hawk flew a bit further off. I couldn't take it, and ran back down to the house to count again. I scooped up Nina and just started to bawl.

    Mom come down, and told me she saw Baileys body. Of course, he got Bailey, my favorite of the two polish hens. We couldn't find Kira. I had to leave, but mom eventually found her down the bank - within sight of Baileys body - alive and well! Hunkered down in the thick brush, her color was perfect camoflauge.

    I feel like it's my fault. I know that he will come back until he kills every one of the hens. Every single one of them.

    Is there anything I can do to get rid of him?
  2. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    You can hang up shiny things or build a closed run.

    You cannot harass the bird in any way. They are protected and the fines are very high.
  3. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    Sorry about your loss. There is only so much we can do until the circle of life rolls around again. We weep for the lost and then continue taking care of the rest.

    You might consider a poultry net overhead. Be sure to leave no gaps and secure it.
  4. jason_mazzy

    jason_mazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 7, 2011
    I hear really good things about fishing line and blank cd's
  5. justmeandtheflock

    justmeandtheflock Overrun with ducklings :)

    May 27, 2009
    NW NJ
    I'm sorry for your loss [​IMG] I think that a secure, covered run is the best protection from hawks.
  6. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 19, 2010
    Montgomery County, TX
    Quote:I regularly read posts about hawks swooping between the fishing line and grabbing chickens.
  7. Reg

    Reg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2011
    Understand what your thinking. You build up a group of birds which you picked & then something like this happens.

    But it is nature at work. The hawks dont know their your special birds.

    Very sorry must of been very upsetting for you.

    I have not got my birds yet but am worried.

    Every week I come home to seens like this

    Pigeons take a hammering round here.

    Chin up & build a covered area to protect the rest of your birds.

    Reg in England
  8. ekemily

    ekemily Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2010
    Fairhope, AL
    I was in my covered run one day, when all of the sudden something LARGE hit the top of the run. My chickens went crazy! I looked up quicky to see a hawk flop over the side of the run to the ground. He got up, ruffled his feathers, looked at me like I was the crazy and flew off. It was amazing. They are beautiful, powerful creatures. They are doing what they do, killing and eating. He didn't know he wasn't supposed to eat that particular bird. I imagine the polish never saw what hit her, as I'm sure she doesn't see or look up very well. I'm sorry for loss. I would expect more losses if you continue to free range them, especially during the winter. [​IMG]
  9. Pickles03

    Pickles03 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2010
    Niagara Falls, ON
    I do not have my chickens yet, but I have bird feeders that have attracted the attention of a hawk that has been making regular morning visits like clockwork.
    Has only caught a couple sparrows so far. Wanting to avoid him going after my future chickens, I have been looking into how to deter them
    and I have read that attracting crows, which harrass hawks, is the way to go.

    So sorry for your loss.........[​IMG]
  10. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:I tried the fishing line/thread and old cd's. The cd's only worked for a little while, then the predators got used to them. And the thread strands tossed back and forth over the tree in the Run worked too well------wild birds flying in would get caught up in the thread and hang there dying a slow death-----that would scare off other birds, but I didn't necessary get the target birds trapped.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by