Question on Hawks?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by elite8, Jan 2, 2011.

  1. elite8

    elite8 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have heard many stories about hawks attacking their chickens. Others have said that they have had few problems with hawks attacking their larger chickens over the years. Last week I found one of my chickens, a buff orpington, dead missing all appendages, guts removed and feathers all over the place. This occurred in late afternoon 1 hr before dark. Two dogs were also in the yard that normally have little interest in the chickens. The next day I noticed hawks flying over the yard and today there were two sitting in a tree overlooking the chickens while they were free ranging in the back yard. The back yard is fenced in. The only part of the chicken that I found was one foot and the main body. When I found the dead chicken it was still warm and the dogs had not been around for very long and no evidence was found on them. Actually, my dog had been there all day. I think dogs would normally consider the birds as a toy and not eat the head, wings and legs. Could a hawk have done this and left the rest of the chicken with dogs in the area. That would require a very brave hawk that was very quick at butchering and the ability to fly away carrying multiple parts. The description fits what a coon would do but I can't see that being the case around dogs in daylight. Since then, the chickens have no fear of my dog. The other one was my neighbor's dog. If it was a hawk...how long before it will move on? Right now the chickens will have to make do in the run feeling like they are in prison. Still scratching my head on this one. Dog or Hawk?
     
  2. ezgreen

    ezgreen Out Of The Brooder

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    If you have seen a hawk, chances are that is what it was. Hawks killed all of my chickens one year during a drought. If food is scarce, like when it is cold or during a drought, they are ruthless.
     
  3. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I am not sure, but think it fits more with dog than hawk. The reason is that the least nutritious parts were taken. It would be hard work for a hawk to remove the appendages, and all for what? To carry off parts without much meat? Also, I do not think a hawk would waste its time picking out the intestines, just to leave them there. I think a hawk would pick off as much meat as possible from the meatiest part of the bird. It's looking for the most pay back for the least work within the least amount of time. The pattern you saw is more consistent with an animal who is not serious about eating the bird, in my opinion.

    Hawks will definitely go for full sized chickens, but in your case they may be hanging around with hopes of scavenging those carcasses.
     
  4. elite8

    elite8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you think dogs would just sit there and watch? The area is probably no larger than 1/2 acre so I know they were aware of the situation. They are both large dogs.
     
  5. elite8

    elite8 Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm wondering where the body parts went. Didn't find them anywhere. Most of the intestines were gone.

    Thanks for your opinions. I just don't want this to happen again if I can prevent it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  6. ezgreen

    ezgreen Out Of The Brooder

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    I copied this re. predators:

    Several birds killed; mauled but not eaten
    Dog

    Several birds killed; lots of small bites on body, bodies neatly piled, some heads eaten
    Mink or Weasel

    Several birds killed; heads and crops eaten
    Raccoon

    One or two birds killed; mauled, abdomen eaten
    Opossum

    One bird killed; head eaten
    Hawk

    Several birds disappeared, no trace
    Humans

    Missing limbs, birds inside fence
    Raccoon

    One or more birds dead / missing; no more than one removed; pile of feathers; those not removed with broken necks, clumps of feathers taken from neck
    Fox

    Chicks killed; abdomen eaten, lingering smell
    Skunk
     
  7. elite8

    elite8 Out Of The Brooder

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    I read that too which makes it puzzling. Possum, coon and hawk all fit. I would have to toss out possum and coon in the daylight around dogs. My neighbors dog was only here for 1/2 hr and it was during that time that the chicken was killed. The dog is very energetic and loves to chase and shake toys. But would it eat all the body parts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2011
  8. greenriver

    greenriver Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a pair of hawks decimate my chickens over many months. They open up or unzip the skin and eat the inside leaving the skin.
     
  9. elite8

    elite8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Did they do anything with the heads or appendages of your chickens?
     
  10. elite8

    elite8 Out Of The Brooder

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    Did they do anything with the heads or appendages of your chickens?
     

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