Rare occasion My hiney...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by newchickengirl, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. newchickengirl

    newchickengirl Chirping

    Nov 19, 2009
    Ok so I moved to ky from tn in June of this year and was excited to see that I inherited chickens with the new house. So I became chicken obsessed bought tons of books as well as searched the internet. So....this is My first fall here and about 3 weeks ago started to notice that I was losing chickens.
    It started with 6 keets that I have. As soon as I let them out of there home, 2 went missing and I saw evidence of a ripped off wing in the yard.
    Next I have two 6 month old mille fluer's. Just a male and female. My girl went missing and she could fly so high that sometimes she would scare the other chickens.
    They all free range during the day and the acreage here is just two big to add anything right now but plan on figuring that out in early spring

    So all together I have lost almost 10 chickens of different breeds and 2 keets.

    I finally came across one culprit when it decided to attack right in front of Me. It was an young red tailed hawk. . Looked to be about 2-3 pounds. After seeing this I searched for hours on the internet. Types, migration, etc.

    So I Patrolled the area for a few days and nothing else.
    Oh I forgot to mention that I also have two year old Kelso's that sleep in there own house.
    I came pulling up in My drive way two weeks from today to find a HUGE red tailed hawk eating on one of My Kelsos. The other was hiding behind his house. This hawks had to have been at least 5 pounds cause he was bigger then My almost five pound one. I picked up the nearest thing and threw it at the hawk ~sigh~
    I started patrolling again every half hour and had nothing untill this past wednesday. I had two chickens die..naturally but May be sick (another story) So I disposed of the bodies on top of a mountain side that sits not even 100 feet from My house.
    I walked out last wednesday to see a big hawk (maybe same one) eating on the dead chicken.

    What My point is I guess is what can I do to keep them away. I know I will eventually have to secure the chickens and such but for now. Also yesterday and today Ive seen looks to be like another young lil hawk circuling around. I actually walked out and scared it yesterday from My apple tree.

    Also why do they say that "hawks killing chickens" is a rare thing when I have witnessed mass slaughter these past three weeks?

    I am in desperate need of some help ful answers please:hit
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    As long as there's food, they will keep coming back. I'm so sorry.

    We lost one this summer to a hawk, and I thwarted it's next attempt. We locked them in their coop for a couple days while we figured out what to do. Our chickens roam our fenced orchard so a cover over it is not an option. Here's what we did and it works. We have not had any more losses.

    Looking towards the coop:

    Looking away from the coop:
  3. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    [​IMG] No, hawk attacks are not rare. If they are a problem, you may need a covered run or a livestock guardian dog.
  4. Quote:OK, are you showing the posts with the ties on them, that scares the hawks away . . .I probably sound like a dummy but I am not quite sure of your set up.
  5. I am sorry to hear about your chickens. Hawks are a real pain and boy are they brazen, not the least bit scared of me when I go out there to yell and wave my arms at them.
    My husband had to scare one off of the roof of the coop a couple of weeks ago, it was just sitting there waiting for its chance.
    I have also had them perch on the roof of my carriage house while the girls are free ranging, I went out one day because the hens were screeching like they do when there is a predator near and I am standing in the doorway looking all around to see where it could be when I thought I sensed some movement over me, I look up and the hawk was perched on the gutter a couple of feet over my head.
    Big fat pains. They shoud be just about done with their migration through here by the end of the month.
    If you don't have a rooster yet I would seriously consider getting one. If they are good they do their job.
    Once I got a couple of roosters I was surprised at how protective they are of the hens, when they spot a hawk they do that yell that they do and round the hens up and force them into the coop.
    Do you have things the hens can hide under? For instance I tipped a canoe against the house so that they can run and hide under it if they are not close enough to get to the coop.
    I planted 15 shrubs in the back yard too and they hide between the shrubs and the fence when they get scared.
    I have seen them run and hide under lawn furniture, adirondack chairs and the picnic table.
    Try to give them some places to hide when they are out there.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    People also swear by hanging old cds/dvds (shiny/reflective) out and about where the chickens hang out, and strining fishing line across the area... you might give it a shot...
  7. HennyPennies2007

    HennyPennies2007 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    Try the aluminum pie plate thing....They make noise AND are shiny.... I don't know...hawks are brazen if they are hungry enough....especially the ones in suburbs that are acclimated to people....
  8. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    [​IMG] So sorry for your loss. I hope some of the ideas posted by others help.
  9. newchickengirl

    newchickengirl Chirping

    Nov 19, 2009
    Thank you for the replies. Yes to answer the question. I have more roosters then hens. I hope to fix that with some pullets in the spring. I will try the pie pans and the cd's/dvd's. I thought tho that the hawks are territorial so why am I seeing different ones. The one that ate My kelso rooster was a little bigger then him. I would say at least 5 pounds and was very brave. When I threw the jug at it , it just flew to a nearby tree. I bought those guineas in early september for I was told they are good watch dogs plus we have a huge tick problem.
    I have many places that the chickens can hide under. The porch, under the shed, barn, under an old trailer plus the truck...That scream that a rooster makes, or call rather has been My alarm these past three weeks as well. Im just so frustrated and tired of them. They are only trying to survive as well but when I see that people are saying it is rare has never had free rangeing chickens. Ive learned to love and sometimes obsess with them.
    We have about 86 acres and I have built a huge coop for them but have not made a run yet cause I thought they were safe free rangeing untill this happened.

    Also I will try the ole fake owl thing. Does anyone know why shiny metal pans and cd's would deter a hawk?
  10. silkiechick05

    silkiechick05 Songster

    Sep 27, 2009
    North Texas
    I am so sorry for you loss.

    What is a Kelso?

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