Owl Attack!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by No Barn Farm, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. No Barn Farm

    No Barn Farm New Egg

    Dec 7, 2010
    West Virginia
    Yesterday Morning I was greeted by a Great horned owl in my Banti Chicken pen. It is 8ft tall with a plastic netting on top (which I gotta change now). The Owl made a hole in the top and dove in and lopped of my Bantom Rooster Head. I saw his remains. The owl got in but couldn't fly out. I caught him with a net and I let the owl go. DNR wouldn't be very kind to me if did anything different, also it is quite beautiful I didn't think he would come back since it was manhandled by a human. My wife calls me on the phone today and says it came back and ripped a bigger whole and left only a wing of my prized hen. I moved the banti's in with my large hens that has a better top.

    Any ideas on keeping the Owl away?? Help!

  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Hopefully reinforcing the top of the pen will discourage him so he moves on. I don't know if it's possible to "keep him away". Especially since he's had 2 tasty chicken dinners. Beautiful picture of the bird, by the way. Those feet are amazing - the talons look ferocious!
  3. Finn's Mom

    Finn's Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Wow, amazing photo! I can't even hold onto one of my guineas like that!
    I am sorry for your losses and am now thinking about the roll of wire laying on the ground next to my run that is meant to replace the netting . . . ,[​IMG] and now the daytime high is 30F. Yikes.
    Welcome to BYC, by the way!
  4. No Barn Farm

    No Barn Farm New Egg

    Dec 7, 2010
    West Virginia
    its been 20 degrees for the past 4 days, I've been working my electric fence for my goats and been making chicken water warmers. I build boxes out of 2x6's and OSB or plywood. I take a can light and take the socket out with the wiring, it has a thermo switch. When it gets to hot it kicks the light off. So I mount this inside the box and wire it to an extension cord. Nail a piece of plywood on top. So for 8 dollars I have a water warmer.
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] They are more fearless and brazen than mink or weasels. You must make your pen impregnable. This bird will return again and again and again. I had one get into a pigeon loft through the bobs (dumb on my part to leave them unsecured.) Killed and ate several pigeons. I removed it with a fishing net. The next night it was back walking around on my loft trying to find a way in.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I can't believe you are holding it bare handed, and survived. What a beautiful bird tho? Maybe if you leave a sacrificial offering (like really chubby mice), he will leave your chickens alone.
  7. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    First of all..Welcome to BYC and second, that is a beautiful bird. You are brave or blind?? I am so glad that Owl didn't rip your hands open....please be careful. There was a post on here earlier in the summer where a lady tried to knock an eagle off of her chicken and it flew up and drove it talons in her arm....very sharp and very painful for her....
  8. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 9, 2010
    north of eternity
    You've taken quite a beautiful pic there, but I'm really very sorry for your losses. That's always so tough to experience.
    I'm glad you were not injured while handling the bird. When having to handle even wounded or shocky birds I was always gloved up at the least. Physical contact with a human doesn't seem to phase them at all when an easy meal is within reach. Changing out your top netting for good wire should do the trick.
  9. RainbowBirds_of_a_Feather

    RainbowBirds_of_a_Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2010

    1st, [​IMG] Wow what a magnificent bird! I am glad that you released him even though he attacked your flock. I have a mini suggestion, I say get heavy duty wire this time around just the octagonal mesh or the Rectangular mesh. That way he can land but not break through. Also a decoy owl with hooting sounds may do the trick. Because if there is an owl already there the real one will stay away. If not use a clear roofing so the birds are safe. I would hate to see any more birds become owl dinner. Just wondering, Can you post a picture of the Coop that the owl destroyed? If that is okay with you.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by