Owls as predators?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by krjwaj, Aug 28, 2008.

  1. krjwaj

    krjwaj Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    Apex, NC
    We have an owl that's been hanging out in the woods and 'hooting' at night. Tuesday, as I pulled the curtains closed on our window it flew right by me! It was pretty, and huge....pretty huge!
    Our chickens are closed in with wire on all sides and latches on the hutch doors.
    We didn't hear him anymore after I saw him fly by. We think maybe he is moving on because he couldn't get to the girls..or maybe wasn't interested anyway.

    I read Owls hunt mice, birds and frogs.

    Any experience with owls and chickens?
  2. monarc23

    monarc23 Coturnix Obsessed

    Jul 18, 2008
    Indiana, Pennsylvania
    Owls will kill and take away cats and skunks...depending on the species...

    was it a great horned owl???

    Even in a fully enclosed coop an owl or a hawk can hurt or even kill a chicken...they wait until they coem close enough to the wire then they swoop down and BAM! Had a leghorn hen bleed to death when one tallon got in the wire and poked her in the side. <--red tailed hawk.
  3. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    We have great horned owls I hear them hooting all day and all night, they will take a chicken no problem. Had them kill my geese and gut them also, very sad. [​IMG]
    Do hope it moved on!
  4. whitecra

    whitecra Songster

    Mar 12, 2008
    I had a great horned owl get in our silkie pen and kill one and also take a guinea. Our silkie pen was covered but there was a hole that he found to get in. He just didn't remember where it was at to get out. That is how I know what killed the silkie.
  5. Lunachick

    Lunachick Chicken Slave

    Mar 19, 2007
    Brick, NJ
    I suspect a Great Horned Owl had taken my cat one night. Awful. I still hear them hooting in the woods behind me. I like the sound, very woodsy. This particular cat had bad luck written all over him, unfortunately. We did the best for him, oh well, that's nature. The owls do a great job controlling the voles that we seem to get lots of. One night in February around 2:00 in the a.m. this one HOOTED all morning right outside our bedroom window. It was a neat sound to listen too during the night.

    You have to be careful of any bird of prey in your area. Just do the homework. [​IMG]
  6. MagsC

    MagsC Queen Of Clueless

    Jul 27, 2008
    When I was growing up, we had an owl that killed a couple geese and several ducks.
  7. Jilara

    Jilara Songster

    Aug 4, 2008
    Bay Area, CA
    Heck, when I was growing up, we had an owl (I think it was a barn owl) that only missed carrying off my father's Yorkshire terrier because my mother literally threw herself between them, and she had nightmares for months of outstretched talons in her face as that owl suddenly braked, veered, and flew off.

    Small animals like chickens look like dinner to big owls. Keep them in an enclosed place.
  8. mark3208

    mark3208 In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2008
    I have had numerous chickens taken by great horned owls here in ohio.mostly free range chickens snatched out of the trees where they roost at night. A great horned owl uses its call to locate chickens and wild turkeys on their roost.wild turkeys will gobble in reaction to it ,and roosters will crow. Their is a big one coming in here every morning just before daylight,fortunately all of my animals are in secure pens. If it were legal to kill them,it would already be gone.
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    I'd be very cautious if our GHO population was anywhere near as extensive as our Barred Owl load. The guy below (Barred) was already up and running 45min. before sundown. Barred's are medium sized and would probably take smaller breeds/or little pullets. Ours eat pond frogs, snakes and Southern Nocturnal Flying Squirrels.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: