Mourning Tigger, hawk attack

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by wood&feathers, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    I feel guilty and sad. For a few days I have kept my flock cooped after noticing several migrant hawks in our area. Today being a holiday with the whole family home, we went ahead and let the flock out. We were active outside and things were OK until we went in for a few minutes about 3:30. It wasn't 5 minutes, just time enough to spread cheese on a bagel!

    I heard a ruckus outside and stepped out, not surprised to see our meat/feather roosters squabbling in their pen. DH and son came out and went for a walk. I noticed someone missing, our 10 wk old mutt roo Tigger. All the birds were clustering near me, eyes skyward and growling. Finally I found Tigger's remains 50 feet from the coop under a cedar tree. There was a Cooper's hawk in a nearby treetop that flew a short distance away when I approached.

    The hawk had eaten the crop and neck meat, leaving the head on the spine. The body was otherwise intact. The hawk hung around until I boxed the remains for a funeral.

    Thus far I have lost two young birds to raptors. None to the various toothy predators I know are thick in our woods. Question for others - are flock guardian dogs less able to protect against raptors? I think my dog is as frustrated as I am. I guess everyone is going to stay cooped for a longer while now.
     
  2. ginbart

    ginbart Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 9, 2008
    Bloomsburg, PA
    [​IMG] I'm sorry I've been there and had that done to. Some people say to take CD's and put them in trees it seems to help keep them away or use one of those plastic owls. Do you have any place they can run under if they see a hawk?
     
  3. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    I have a covered 10x10 run attached to the coop. When they free range it is on our 108 acres, which is mostly woods. The weird thing is I had no losses this summer, while a pair of Cooper's hawks nested almost in view of the coop in an oak tree that hangs over a cliff. Tigger's mom Digger is a master of hiding and camouflage. But it is tough for a bright white youngun. I am considering swapping out my favorite roo to avoid future white chicks.
     
  4. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    Digger tried very hard to help him hide - I noticed she usually sandwiched him between her and a rock or tree while resting. Since she is a blue partridge Marans she blends VERY well. Failing that she is also fast on her feet and flies better than most.
     

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