Moving chicks from hens for their own safety

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by AmericanMom, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I made a difficult decision tonight, after repeated Hawk attacks and a 50% loss on the last broody chicks DH and I went out and took the last four chicks from the hens.. All are 3+ weeks old but I just cannot allow the hawk to keep harassing these little ones all day, Hens kept them all close to or in the coop for the last two days because this crazy bird is so committed. My chickens free range 1/3 acre so there is no way to cover it, we have cedar trees and lots of cover but it didn't matter... Next year we will be ready, once our Oregon rains taper off this winter were adding on a broody coop and a separate run (completely enclosed) for the hens to raise the chicks, when the hens decide they are done raising them. hens go, chicks stay until they are not as tempting. I know the hawk is doing what hawks do but it was sad to hear the mommas clucking for the babies... Got a hen due to hatch her chicks hopefully by this weekend, I'll let her have them for a few days to make sure they are eating and drinking then sadly, I'll be taking them too. I didn't get into backyard chickens to feed the local wildlife.
     
  2. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    That is sad. Good plan building the broody coop.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    You're doing what you have to do to keep your chicks safe. If your chicks are all over 3 weeks old, the hens most likely are close to being done wanting to raise them anyway. They'll adjust.
     
  4. Aurosphoenix

    Aurosphoenix Out Of The Brooder

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    I just lost my first chicken to a hawk today. My 7 week old SQ sebright cockerel. Let my flock free range for an hour beforehand. Came outside right after i heard commotion and saw it happened. Now my little bantam flock is too scared to go out in the open. I'm planning to get some plants or shrubs so they have some cover. Only cover they have at the moment are lemon grass plants. Only my fully grown standard size breeds are ok.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Do you have rooster(s) in with broody hens?
     
  6. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, we have a nice big blue Orpington, he weighs in at around 11-12 pounds and is the biggest chicken there is (no pun intended).. I told DH although he is a stunner to look at he wont be sticking around for next years breeding...he cowers in the corner or in the coop as soon as a hawk makes an appearance, in every other way he is awesome except that he is a coward.
     
  7. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, both hens are fine... Was clucking trying to find chicks this morning but by afternoon they are hanging out with the flock not minding their freedom at all it seems [​IMG]
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Can you show picture of the cover available? What hawk species involved?
     
  9. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They free range 1/3 acre, not sure if I have a photo of the whole set up.. There are 4 Cedar trees, 2 Pine trees and 3 apple trees... There is also blackberry bushes, rock piles and other various things for the chicks to hide in. The various mess that's under the tree's in the first photo has been cleared away

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    Kinda of gives you part of an idea.. The coop sits to the right and in front of the third photo...

    Here is our hawk

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Bird in picture looks like a juvenile female Coopers Hawk. Very ballsy to be taking on full adult large fowl. You do not have cover I can see in images. Cover I consider forces hawk to approach on foot rather from air.
     

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