New predator: Great Horned Owl. Will it eat chickens or ducks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Wyo Chick, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Wyo Chick

    Wyo Chick Songster

    I have had chickens for quite awhile and have never scene an owl after them. But, then again I am not hanging out at night looking for them. My husband and I were out last night. I heard a weird screeching and saw an owl flying over the chicken coop. Will they eat chickens or ducks? At night my chickens and ducks are safely put away, but he wanted a try. Hoping he will eat the mice!

  2. destiny_56085

    destiny_56085 Songster

    May 29, 2009
    Sleepy Eye, MN
    Hope ya got a covered pen....
  3. hisdaughter

    hisdaughter Chirping

    Apr 30, 2011
    I imagine they would eat either if they could get their claws into one
  4. Chemguy

    Chemguy Songster

    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    There has been a discussion on this in another thread, and there is a lot of well-founded spectulation. I think that the agreement is that a horned owl could indeed kill a chicken or duck, but that they would not be able to carry one off. I agree with destiny_56085...that you hopefully have a roof on your run!
  5. stilldeb

    stilldeb Songster

    May 28, 2010
    NW Kentucky
    Saw something interesting once. Our neighbors had a pond full of ducks, and an owl came over and picked up one of the ducks, very wet, and went up and sat on the power line. Apparently, it sat in a very bad /live spot and it blew up the owl, blew his wings off, and he was still clutching the duck dead on the ground.

    So, yes, they will definitely eat ducks and I imagine chickens as well.

    deb g
  6. Wyo Chick

    Wyo Chick Songster

    Oh yes I learned the hard way. I have a covered and wire buried deep run! I had about 12 chickens killed at one time a few years back. I thought a fence would keep a predator out. Hahaha My husband and I built a predator proof chicken house and coop for them!
  7. kesali

    kesali Songster

    Mar 27, 2011
    far northern Wisconsin
    The great horned owl will certainly grab an unwary chicken. Also, do not underestimate other owl species, like the barred owl. They may not be able to carry the chicken away, but they can easily kill them. The horned and barred are also the deadliest enemy of crows and ravens because the owl attacks them when they are roosting at night and can't see well. That's why crows and ravens give owls such a hard time during the day. We chicken people must always be prepared for attacks from land, sea, and air - day and night! The enemy knows no mercy and no quarter is given!! [​IMG]

  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Absolutely! Your cat or small dog is not immune from attack either. They even eat skunks.
  9. harveyhorses

    harveyhorses Songster

    Jan 16, 2010
    yes they do eat skunks! A friend of mine could not figure out WHERE the skunk smell was coming from, she has a nice little run in shed for the horses, nicely shaded, we were looking for what might have gotten sprayed and spotted what was left of Peppy hanging about 15 ft above her shed. It took months for it to smell clear again. She said that was one owl that would be sleeping on the sofa for a while!
    We have a ton of owls here, as long as my girls are locked up they can have at it!
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Normally by the time the sun is up fully the owls are done. I have one sitting in the tree next to the house every dawn.
    Night hunters they shouldn't be a problem if your girls are in at dusk.
    They will eat birds if the birds are out.

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