My chicks don't run for cover when the hawks come close

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by PlymouthRocker, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. PlymouthRocker

    PlymouthRocker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Plymouth County MA
    I have 24 girls and lately when the hawks fly overhead, they act like nothing is wrong. A month ago they'd run in the coop, but now they stay in the run. The run is covered, but they don't know that. Yesterday two hawks circled the hen house for several minutes and none of them scurried to safety. Tonight when I was feeding them grapes, they didn't even pause when the hawk landed and perched on the tree close to them.

    We had guests today, and several were chicken farmers and thought we had some cockerels. I said, "The good folks at BYC have told me they are all pullets. And besides, a cockerel would sound the alarm about the hawk."

    What can I do to teach them the danger?
    I let them free-range for less an hour about 2-3 times a week. They don't come to me when they are ranging - just this week I introduced scratch to them to start training them to come to me.
     
  2. Emzyyy

    Emzyyy Runs with Deer

    Jul 14, 2008
    Derby Kansas
    My chickens learned the hard way. One of them scooped up my silkie in front of me. I chased the hawk and got her back unharmed luckily. Just because your chickens are doing that the hawks will eventually get bold enough to scoop up one of your girls. I'd keep them up for awhile thats really the only safe method.
     
  3. cphilip

    cphilip Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 19, 2009
    Clemson SC
    Quote:It appears to me that they indeed do know its covered.

    Or... shall I say that they see no reason to fear because the hawks never have done them any harm and so they are now desensitized to the sight of them.

    They may not know they are protected but they seem to have taken a liking to the fact that they are and determined that the hawks are no threat to them because they see them time and again but yet no trouble has come of it. Seems they have gotten used to it and see no need to hide from hawks... and why would they if the pen is covered?
     
  4. HappyHatch'en

    HappyHatch'en Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 31, 2009
    GEORGIA
    When mine are free ranging... if a leaf falls or a butterfly is over head, they run for cover....if a predator hasn't taught you a lesson yet it is just a matter of time and they will....watch for the neighbor's dog Fido and the hawk.
     
  5. hen-thusiast

    hen-thusiast Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Utah
    Quote:We have a covered run and hawks do occasionally fly by. Yesterday I had them out free ranging and there were some big military planes flying overhead. Our ladies ran.... straight into the covered run. Maybe they just feel safe in the covered run?

    But I agree about the keeping an eye on them free-ranging. We only let the ladies out under strict supervision.
     
  6. PlymouthRocker

    PlymouthRocker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    0
    129
    May 7, 2009
    Plymouth County MA
    Quote:We have a covered run and hawks do occasionally fly by. Yesterday I had them out free ranging and there were some big military planes flying overhead. Our ladies ran.... straight into the covered run. Maybe they just feel safe in the covered run?

    But I agree about the keeping an eye on them free-ranging. We only let the ladies out under strict supervision.

    We are always outside with them too. Later tonight the hawk flew low near the run and the girls all jumped a foot. Maybe they just don't look up yet. I dunno. I am concerned the hawks have nested nearby because I hear and see them all day long.
     

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