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Mysterious bird of prey

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Crazyhen95, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. Crazyhen95

    Crazyhen95 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 12, 2015
    There has been a bird of prey hanging around my chickens. I have seen it 4 times. The third time it actually tried to get one of my chickens. The bird is grey on its back with a orange whitish belly. It's smaller than a red tail hawk and it always flies away when I run outside. I think it might be a falcon. What should I do to keep my chickens safe. They are free range
  2. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 28, 2014
    As far as I know there is nothing you can do to guarantee their safety as long as they are free range, since you can't just shoot the hawk. I just lost a bird last week to a hawk because my run is not covered and all the weeds they used to hide in have died off. They never had a problem all summer, so I'm just leaving the gate to the run open now because they are more protected under a shrub than in an uncovered run. What my point is that they know how to hide from hawks pretty well, just make sure they have lots of cover, like shrubs and stuff to hide under.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  3. keesmom

    keesmom Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 28, 2008
    Did it look like this? It's a Cooper's hawk.


    Lots of cover and places to hide will help, but as long as you free range you stand the chance of losing birds. Cooper's are skilled at hunting through wooded areas.
  4. Crazyhen95

    Crazyhen95 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 12, 2015
    It didn't look like that. The grey on its back is striped.my chickens mainly like to go in the brush on the stone wall
  5. Free Spirit

    Free Spirit The Chiarian

    Oct 21, 2015
  6. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    Yeah if they are free range your best bet is lots of hiding places. Unfortunately the hawk or whatever it is isn't dumb so will get them on their way to covered areas. We just lost one about a month ago to a goshawk, now I'm going to organise their area so they can only free range below the bushes in my garden and not on the lawn so they aren't exposed and cover the area between the run and those with some bird netting so it can't dive on them from above.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2015
  7. tdepointe

    tdepointe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2015
    Brooklyn, Connecticut
    The best thing I have found is a herding dog. I have two that stay with my flock when they are out. I have not lost any birds to predators while they were out since I started using dogs a number of years ago. I was lucky and my first dog just took to protecting the flock instinctual and the others learned by watching him.
  8. hayley3

    hayley3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 16, 2007
    Southern Indiana
    I would love to have a dog that I trust enough to leave with my birds.
  9. Crazyhen95

    Crazyhen95 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 12, 2015
    It looks like it could be a perigine falcon

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