My first hawk attack today and dealing with the guilt....

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by leithsloft, Nov 2, 2014.

  1. leithsloft

    leithsloft Out Of The Brooder

    56
    4
    33
    Mar 1, 2014
    Gaylord, MI
    I was there, watching them free ranging as they have since May,,, and it happened so fast. The hawk came swooping down, grabbed one of my Wyandottes and tried to fly off with her. It dropped her and the whole flock, (7 hens, 1 little brahma rooster and 2 guineas, ran for cover. I finally found, after 30 minutes, my Wyandotte hen, bleeding profusely under the shed. She came out when I called her and rushed her in the house. After checking her over, and holding paper towels under her wings to try and slow the bleeding...it stopped. But she lost a lot of blood. This was at 4:00 pm and its now 9:00pm and she is still alive. I have her in my bathroom, in a crate, open to come and go. I gave her a warm bath, sprayed her wounds with, Vetericym and gave her fresh water and some food. She ate, drank and is in the crate but keeps wanting to bite at her wounds. Is there anything else I can do? Do I leave her alone or keep checking on her? I can't lose one of my babies! Feeling so bad and guilty knowing I let them be free and couldn't help with an attack.
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Do you know what an Elizabethan collar is? It will keep her from reaching the wound. You can make one out of cardboard. Keeping her from pecking her wound is very impotant.
     
  3. JensChickies

    JensChickies Chillin' With My Peeps

    923
    40
    131
    Mar 26, 2014
    Make sure she is warm!! Especially after giving a bath. Her little body is in shock and being cold won't help. Are the wounds deep?? From my experience chickens don't clot as fast as humans, it takes a while. Can you maybe try putting a shirt or something on her so she doesn't get at her wounds??? Good luck!
     
  4. FarmerWife

    FarmerWife Chillin' With My Peeps

    167
    4
    103
    Oct 27, 2010
    I'm so sorry to hear about your baby. We're having hawk troubles here too. I've been trying to figure out a way to get rid of them or deter them, but they just keep coming around. My daughter and I made two scare crows, they've helped some, you have to move them around every couple of days, and some of the members here recommended I hang shiny and noisy things on it like pie plates, and CD's. The flash seems to bother them a little, but when the sun goes down......................... They're back. I HATE them so much. I know they serve a purpose. But go serve it out in the hills, don't take my chickens!! I love all of our babies. I don't know what your chickens injuries look like, I haven't seen them. But there is something called butterfly sutures you can get at the drug store if it's a large open cut that she has, They're very small , thin strips of tape, with a section without adhesive in the center. You will probably have to cut them down to the proper size for her. What you do is put the tape at one end, stretch it over to the other side to close the cut, and leave it there , keep it clean and disinfected. You might need a couple of them, depending on the size of the cut. They usually just fall off on their own, the adhesive is very strong so she shouldn't be able to pull it off, but I can't say for sure. I hope you don't have any more incidents, we lost a hen to a hawk a little over a year ago, took our bantam right in front of my daughter, just took her away screaming. My daughter was little, and she came in screaming and in tears to tell me what happened. Now I'm trying to bring in large breed chickens like orpington's, and brahmas, that are harder to take away. But then as another member told me, they can just take them down right there on the ground. My daughter and I go outside in the evenings to sit with them and give them treats so that we keep them all near us, and we keep an eye on them. Sure enough, every evening, there they are swooping down in the yard. Wish I could shoot them but I don't want to end up in jail. Sorry, I didn't mean to rant, I just know what you're feeling. Hope your baby survives, and gets better soon, keep us posted.
     
  5. leithsloft

    leithsloft Out Of The Brooder

    56
    4
    33
    Mar 1, 2014
    Gaylord, MI
    Thank you. I'm not leaving her side till she stops picking at her wound. If she keeps up I will make her a collar. Thanks again for the needed advice, I appreciate it!
     
  6. leithsloft

    leithsloft Out Of The Brooder

    56
    4
    33
    Mar 1, 2014
    Gaylord, MI
    Thank you so much for sharing your story...it helps. I was out there supervising and watching them. I know your daughters pain. My hen is still alive and hopefully will be reunited with the rest in a couple days. I am now very Leary of letting them free range. But then, this is the life they know...how do I take that away from them? Is it fair to keep them cooped up, or let them have their freedom and enjoy life being free from the coop a few hours a day? I know its nature, but it still hurts to have them injured and in pain. Thank you.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,619
    3,201
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    There aren't a lot of options. Keep them cooped and safer from predators or let them range and take your chances. As you found out, even sitting out there with them will not always stop an attack. This is a choice that only you can make. Mine are currently cooped up after losing some to what I think was a coyote. My birds are used to free ranging, but have adjusted to being penned up. Will they be happy about it? No. But you have to weigh the pros and cons and figure out for yourself the risks you're willing to take.
     
  8. leithsloft

    leithsloft Out Of The Brooder

    56
    4
    33
    Mar 1, 2014
    Gaylord, MI
    Thank you. The wounds are deep and she bleeds off and on. When I gave her the bath, I wrapped her in 2 towels and let her sit on my lap by the fireplace till she dried. She was very content and fell asleep to the point of me thinking she was passing. She wasn't and I probably scared her when I shook her and said, " don't you die on me"! She is still alive and sleeping in an open dog crate in the bathroom where she was raised last winter. I know there will be no sleep for me tonight and she's probably thinking..."geez, just leave me alone!" No blood coming out of her wounds, so I'm assuming they are going to heal up, as long as she doesn't keep picking at the flesh So far so good! **** hawks!
     
  9. leithsloft

    leithsloft Out Of The Brooder

    56
    4
    33
    Mar 1, 2014
    Gaylord, MI
    Thank you. I struggle everyday with those feelings of what's fair to them. I have been leery about letting them free range since they were a day old. I want them to enjoy life and free range, eat bugs and run free, but after today...I'm not sure. I thought being outside with them would keep all critters away, but learned a valuable lesson today about nature and prey.
     
  10. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Overrun With Chickens

    16,957
    224
    351
    Mar 24, 2012
    Sacramento, CA
    Goodness! You're hen is a lucky bird! Sounds like she may pull through, especially since she has such a good caretaker. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by