MYTH BUSTER! Tiny hawk kills full grown chicken inside the coop in middle of the day!!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by valerie in CB, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. valerie in CB

    valerie in CB Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 27, 2012
    So much for the blabber that once your hens are full grown predation from hawks is not an issue any longer. How sad to have been misled by inaccurate information. I am not prepared for day time predation from the sky since my girls are fully grown adult laying hens. The hawk is about 2/3 or even less the size of the hen he killed. Yesterday I notice 5 of 6 hens all huddled together in the corner of their yard as far from the coop as possible. I went to check the coop for the missing chicken and I was stunned to find the hawk calmy feasting on my favorite hen on her nest inside the coop :( :( My husband was home and we chased the hawk out and removed the chicken from the coop. 1/2 hour later he was back in the coop looking for his kill!!! We chased him out and herded the remaining 5 birds into the coop and locked the door. That little hawk has been loitering around every since!! He is sitting right in front in of the coop door this morning in the rain!! Right now he is trying to get INTO MY HOUSE through a closed window - what the?? I can't get him to stay away!! I justed sprayed him with pepper spray I think I might of hit him. He flew to a tree and now he just flew away.
    We are well prepared for night time predation, and have a large fences area for them to free range during the day. Now I am so sad and I will have to build then a smaller yard fullly enclosed from the air. Too bad, they love their yard.
    So a myth busted.
  2. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    Not really a myth busted; it depends on where you are located. You just have to know what sorts of predators are in your area and how they tend to do their deeds. Bottom line is that if something is hungry enough and chicken is on the menu, it WILL try any way it can to get at it at any time of the day. If it's successful, it'll be back. [​IMG]

    Sorry you lost your hen and are dealing with this. Unfortunately, it happens. [​IMG] If you have your hens/coop in a run, some netting over the top will keep the raptors out. It's a fairly cheap/easy solution. However, it won't keep fox, racoons, possum, coyotes or any of that out (all of which can/will climb fences and all of which can/will come in broad daylight if they're hungry enough and know they can get to food).

    Check with local law enforcement as well as animal control regarding livestock predators. See what action you can legally take. Some predators are protected (e.g. hawks) and you'll just have to do what you can to keep them out, but in many instances you're permitted to kill animals going after your chickens. Just be sure you know the regs before doing any trapping/shooting/etc.
  3. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I totally don't believe a lot of stuff I read here its the internet. People make comments that they have no clue about the situation there even commenting about. Mainly just comment on something they have read about guess we all do it here & there. I personally like to comment on stuff that I have experienced. You will learn who you can trust & who you can't.
    BYC has a lot of knowledgeable folks that will give you sound advice. Its hard for me to tell someone that lives in a cold climate how to raise there birds but I can sure help people deal with heat I'm know pro but I do deal with the heat & have quite a few birds.
    I've had hawks try & attack my flock I wouldn't trust one no matter how big he is. They are hungry & don't read books are have the internet.
    Best advice is listen for hawks & keep your eye to the sky. I use to free range from 9 am till dark I have since changed my tatatics & let them out when I can be there with them but there is always a chance that a predator could sneak in need be from the sky are the ground & snatch one. You never know especially if you live in the country like I do. I've had bobcats walk right up to my barn in broad day light trying to get my birds. I carry a gun 24/7.
  4. Mskayladog

    Mskayladog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have what I think is a immature red tail hawk small guy till he spreads his wings stalking my girls and he is brazen. my coop is totally enclosed and the have a back and front run but I wanted them to be able to range a bit. Here is what I have done so far.

    That is what I first did. trout line strung all over from the barn to the right to the coop


    The sheet is for shade

    Now its almost complete but I dont have pics, I ordered deer fencing and covered the whole area where they run. 100by80ft all covered. we still have more to cover.
    in that picture we have started running the deer fencing across.
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  5. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Hawks are migrating right now, and you will have many fly over in the next few weeks. This time of year (and in the spring) I keep my birds in their net-covered run at all times.

    Raptors are protected federally, and it is illegal to kill them -- as well as unwise, as they are great predators of the varmints that cause great financial loss to people, including mice, rats, voles, and other rodents. Finding a way to protect your chickens while the hungry travelers are passing through is the best way to prevent loss.
  6. valerie in CB

    valerie in CB Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 27, 2012
    Great information. Thank you. I am going to check with the DOW here and find out more about our hawk threats here. So far today I have reduced the size of the run and have begun stringing bird netting. It is rainy and the hens don't want to come out. they are hiding on the floor under the nesting boxes. why won't they go up stairs do you think? I have not seen the hawk on the roof, it is tin and slanted but perhaps he was clambering around up there and frightened them? They don't want to come outside today, it was getting nice out but now it is raining again.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Get one adult game rooster to make so flock is not hen only. When Coopers hawk returns, rooster will in all likelihood put it to hawk. Such hawks seem not so good against prey that fights back especially before first contact made. Hen only flock in free-range setting is open buffet for the little Coopers hawk.
  8. valerie in CB

    valerie in CB Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 27, 2012
    Indeed you have nailed it! too bad we are not allowed to own a rooster here in town limits :( No more free ranging hens? The two australops tried to attack it when we chased it out of the coop. He got caught up in the netting we have up to discourage the hens from getting flighty, and he fell into the corner of the yard. The brown birds all coward in the corner, but the 2 black birds went on the offensive and would have attacked him if we had not coral them back!
    The hawk loitered all morning between being chased off, then he finally left, probably needed to eat.
    Coopers hawk you think? We thought maybe immature goshawk based on size and choice of prey. ? We live at 9000' in rocky mountains at the edge of subalpine lodgepole forest, lots of aspen and cottonwoods here in town limits.
  9. valerie in CB

    valerie in CB Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 27, 2012
    Wow!! Lucky birds, Im going to have to reduce our chickens yard to a small area that I can easily enclose. Darn I love the idea of free ranging chickens but with the threat from bears, foxes, irmine (weasel critters), and coyotes (no skunks or racoons though!!) Im skeptical. Did I mention deep snow from end of november til april?
    DOW representative told me I have to deal with year round predation from the air, it might ebb and flow but its always there.
    I guess chickens taste good!! HAHAHAH!
  10. valerie in CB

    valerie in CB Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 27, 2012
    DOW representative informed me I have to deal with year round predation from the air, it might ebb and flow but its always there. You nailed it.

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