question about hawks

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by meekasmom, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. meekasmom

    meekasmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    78
    0
    97
    Nov 30, 2010
    Elkhart, IN
    Someone told me I don't have to worry about a hawk getting my chickens as long as they are not in a large open area because a hawk has to swoop in and grab the chicken. If they are in a small pen area a hawk does not have the area to swoop. Those of you that have had the unfortunate experience of losing chickens to hawks can probably tell me if this is true or not.
     
  2. erock

    erock Out Of The Brooder

    37
    0
    22
    Jun 8, 2010
    Batavia, IL
    Totally, not true. They will sit on the top of a small run and drop down, eat your chicken, fly away and come back next week. They are very wrong, sorry.
     
  3. LyonFuzz

    LyonFuzz Chillin' With My Peeps

    400
    23
    156
    Apr 28, 2008
    South Lyon, Michigan
    Hawks do NOT need a large area as a landing strip. They will simply drop down into your pen. They will get in. I watched one sit on one of my pen posts and then just drop in. Please do yourself and your birds a favor and either cover the top of your pen or zig-zag fishing line across it to deter them. Then hang old CDs or DVDs from the top of the pen....hawks don't like the light they reflect and the movement of them in the wind. I lost one chicken to a predator, and it was a hawk. It has been 3 years since I did what I just suggested and I have not had a casualty since....knock on wood:)
     
  4. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

    553
    2
    111
    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    A full grown rooster with spurs (18+ months old) is one hellava hawk deterrent [​IMG] It's amazing to watch!
     
  5. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    65,107
    12,957
    786
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Sadly, not true.
     
  6. SnipeBC

    SnipeBC New Egg

    1
    0
    6
    Nov 7, 2010
    I also agree with a big not true. 2 hawks dropped down on my birds.
     
  7. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

    221
    3
    111
    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    Our property borders a couple hundred acres of hardwood forest, and our backyard heavily wooded. We have several varieties of hawk around here. I've seen them hunt below the tree top canopy in our backyard. They fly short distances from one tree to another, sitting a few minutes in each, watching for movement on the ground. The local predators are very efficient, not much small game around here.

    We haven't lost any chickens yet, but there have been close calls.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    456
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I suspect it's true they PREFER to hunt that way, a big swoop then gone. And maybe would rather eat a rabbit, or ground critters like mice. We have some resident hawks basically in the back yard. I have not seen one go for a chicken or even really stalk one in almost 4 years of chickens here. They don't land and wait anywhere near the chickens. I think it's because there are areas nearby (where I see them circling) that they can get what they prefer, in the manner they prefer. Or maybe they are just dumb hawks.
     
  9. Kelly's Chickens

    Kelly's Chickens Out Of The Brooder

    72
    2
    31
    Jun 15, 2010
    Wiggins, MS
    I have my chickens fenced in with electeonet poultry fencing which covers a large area, about a half acre. This is broken down into 4 yards that I can rotate the chickens into every two weeks. I spent about two months putting up string and fishing line over the top of this whole area. I hung some CD's from the fishing line and orange flagging from the rest. (My neighbor thought I was putting in a car lot!!) We went from Aug '10 until today without any hawks getting in. Today one got in and hurt a full grown hen (19 months old). She put up a great fight until I got out there to chase the hawk away. I'm not sure how the hawk got in because the string/fishing line is still intact. There is a gap about 2 1/2 to 3 feet between the top of my fencing to the string line. It must have flown in through that space. My dh said he saw it fly out through that space. (It came back after I took my hen into the house to see where she was hurt. The yard was empty by then as my dh closed the coop pophole.) I have two 6 1/2 month old cockerels but they ran into the coop with the rest of the girls. They're just now getting their spurs but they are both much bigger than the hen the hawk tried to get. I'm pretty sure it was a red tailed hawk and it was only about half the size of my hen!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by