Plucked by a Hawk! When will her feathers come back?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by City Gardener, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. City Gardener

    City Gardener Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2009


    One of my chickens got plucked by a hawk! I figured out it was happening because two of our hens were at our backdoor, frantically clucking to come in. When I looked outside I saw a huge hawk -- we think a red-tailed-- hunched over one of our hens, and an enormous pile of feathers! (We live in Brooklyn, NY, so this is so shocking for us!)

    I assumed she was already a goner, but when I went outside, the hawk flew off and the hen jumped up and ran and hid. Even then I figured she probably had serious injuries. But when we finally got her into the coop, she appeared okay.

    I could see scrapes on her bare skin, and she was holding one foot off the ground, but still walking on it. I seriously think our brahmas are so fluffy that the hawk couldn't find the meat under all those feathers!

    It's been a week now and she is absolutely okay -- she even laid an egg the next morning!

    But we've been lucky with the mild weather this last week, and I'm worried about when the cold comes back. She has big patches of bare skin (and is missing most of her wing feathers on one side). How long do feathers take to grow back?
  2. Country4ever

    Country4ever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 26, 2007
    Oh bless her little heart! A few seconds more and she would have been a goner.
    I had a coon tear the skin off the back of one of my hens last summer. It took a month for her feathers to fill in. But I had her in the house, so nobody was pecking at her new feathers. Keep your eye on the others pecking on her feathers as they start coming in. Chickens have amazing healing abilities.
    Good luck to her! She definitely got a second chance!
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Quote:Great advice! Make sure the rest don't pick on her and be patient. It's like trying to watch your own hair grow. [​IMG] So glad she made it!
  4. City Gardener

    City Gardener Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2009
    It feels like an unbelievable stroke of good luck that we didn't lose her. Maybe the hawk was a young one. It clearly didn't know what it was doing.

    I've been keeping an eye other hens. We're keeping them in the coop now -- they've free ranged in our backyard every day since last summer, but no more, unless we're out there. So I was worried that because of being cooped up they would peck on her.

    But so far so good.

    And this morning I can see feathers poking out! It's been a week, and they're just peeking out. Can't wait til she gets warm and feathered out again!

    Thanks for all your nice words and advice.
  5. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

    Dec 16, 2008
    Hi from Westchester!

    probably was a coopers hawk as thats what we have around our neck of the "woods"

    It will be back so take precausions and next time it will be better and faster at getting its food. I have 5 that circle my home every few days (probably every day but who knows)

    So glad you Brahma is ok I had one attack a turkey but my Tom ran it off and he healed just fine. [​IMG]

    They are really tough to deal with especially when you dont realize they are a threat living in the city and all.

    Good Luck!

    Oh being that your yard is probably not too big (at least I have yet to see a huge yard in Bkln) you might try a bunch of Mylar balloons with lots of ribbions attached and pick ones with faces on them or eyes.

    They keep for a while and the hawks hate them.

    Last summer I had 12 all around my yard and it really did help as the balloons are shiny and move and bother the hawks.

    BTW a hawk will atack right in front of you they are very brazzen and really have no fear of humans. I had one lande a few feet from me ignoring my yells and try to walk up to my coop. It did not fly off until I could almost reach out and touch him. There were other people in my yard at the time too!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  6. Hattie the Hen

    Hattie the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    You could try these:

    The chickens are rescued from farms (here in the UK) that rear intensively when they get rid of them after a year of laying. Then they are found new homes. They are usually in a terrible state but you should see them after a moth or so, happily producing eggs for their new owners. [​IMG]

    I'm glad your hen is OK! [​IMG]

    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010

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