Red Shouldered Hawk hanging around

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by momiphouph, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. momiphouph

    momiphouph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    For a few weeks now we have had a Red Shouldered Hawk hanging out at the pond close to our house. I can hear it calling and one day it flew right over our chickens, but did not bother any of them. [​IMG] We have 7 roosters crowing in the yard. 5 are in a enclosed coop/run and the 2 largest are free range with our 14 hens. (3 bantams) I am tempted to keep the chickens in the coop all day just to keep them safe. BUT... Our coop is already too small! We are working on building a bigger coop with an enclosed run... although that takes time and I fear we have none. So I am trying to decide what to do... 1) let a few more roosters out for protection? Im thinking a Hawk attack is worse than the risk of the hens getting picked on by all the roos 2) keep them in the coop unless we are outside with them. Really dont like this option but if I have to. 3) ??? I cant think of an option 3. humm [​IMG]
    Any thoughts or ideas? Are 7 roosters enough to keep the hawk away? Anyone wanna come help us build our coop and run? [​IMG]
     
  2. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    I stayed outside with my hens and they were in a run with bird netting/dried leaves over them.Still the RSH attacked.Yesterday it returned but did not swoop down. You can try to be out but the hawk will attack if you are not right next to its target.

    The roosters are good but I am not sure letting more out will be helpful.They might be interested more in mating than hawk watching.I would give it a try just to see. I wanted to get 2 roosters for hawk watch,but my dh did not let me.Said the neighbors would complain.

    I leave my hens locked up much of the day,but I have less and so far they are ok cooped up.

    Is it possible for you to put up a basic run just off the coop? I just have plastic fencing and bird netting on top,but it held when the hawk attacked.Had they been free range I would have one dead or injured hen.

    Stinks that the RSH is a year round predator.The hawk did not attack for over a year,but I bet now that it has it will try and try again especially in the winter.Do what you can!
     
  3. momiphouph

    momiphouph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is our 2nd year of having chickens and they have been free range all this time... until this guy shows up! grrrr Im guessing the weather change may cause him to get a bit more hungry so I am really worried about letting our little birds out at all.

    The roosters are good but I am not sure letting more out will be helpful.They might be interested more in mating than hawk watching.I would give it a try just to see. I wanted to get 2 roosters for hawk watch,but my dh did not let me.Said the neighbors would complain.

    Its a shame you cant have roosters. I would love to send you a few. [​IMG] We actually love ours, and although our neighbors are kinda close to us not one has complained. Ive asked each neighbor several times if the roosters bother them and they all say they dont even hear them. Which really surprises me but Im not about to argue with them. I am curious if its the rooster crows that have kept him from attacking. Im afraid he is just waiting for the perfect opportunity to swoop down. He does mainly stay close to the pond, which is about an acre away from our coop, I am thinking there should be plenty of easy prey over there but I dont want to take a chance that he will decide he's hungry for chicken.

    I can try to work on a basic run, guess I dont have much of a choice, I just really wanted to use those materials for our big run. UG! [​IMG]
     
  4. momiphouph

    momiphouph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    OK!!! My chickens are NOT coming out of the coop! My ds just watched the hawk swoop in and grab a squirrel off of my fence... right next to the coop! He has been sitting in a tree all Morning... Im thinking he is just waiting for us to let them out!!!! [​IMG] [​IMG] THIS DUDE HAS GOT TO GO!!! [​IMG]
     
  5. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    NE Alabama
    I have Red Shouldered hawks around me, and they have never bothered my chickens. If yours prefers squirrels like the ones around me, then that hawk won't bother the chickens. I've seen Red Tailed and Red Shouldered Hawks chase & catch squirrels right next to the chickens and not pay any attention to the chickens. It still scared my chickens.
     
  6. momiphouph

    momiphouph Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    I have Red Shouldered hawks around me, and they have never bothered my chickens. If yours prefers squirrels like the ones around me, then that hawk won't bother the chickens. I've seen Red Tailed and Red Shouldered Hawks chase & catch squirrels right next to the chickens and not pay any attention to the chickens. It still scared my chickens.

    Thank you cgmccary!!! That does make me feel better! Maybe I am just being over protective? Sure wish I could wave a magic wand and my coop would build itself. lol Having that one scoop down like it did, kinda freeked us out... worried about our flock. But now Im feeling bad that they are stuck inside the coop all day... seems like a no win situation... sigh!​
     
  7. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

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    {I hear the Red Shouldered almost every morning}. Other birds will mimic hawk sounds too (Blue Jays mainly & many people mistake the Pileated Woodpecker's call for a hawk).

    There can always be the errant, migrant hawk passing through (and not your resident hawks) that will take a chicken (because wherever it came from, it had chicken and liked it best). Those hawks usually attack once or twice and you have no more losses since they are just passing through. I lost a big hen last year to a hawk passing through. I did not have a rooster on duty at the time or I predict the migrant hawk would have had a problem on the ground eating the hen in front of the others. (I also did not have a dog or geese.)

    I just didn't want to mislead you. I free range mine during the day & lock them up at night. They wander far & wide during the day. I have a good guard dog, there are 2 roosters out & 4 grown geese so it is not easy for a predator. However, if you free range, realize, there is always that possibility. I worry about the hens that are on the perimeter, near the forest. I use those Nite Guard lights at night as well. Even with all that, a opossum got close and the dog got it. I'm not sure if my dog would realize the threat of a hawk though (the geese and rooster would).
     
  8. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    The red shoulders here in central florida are very common, I currently have maybe 3-4 pairs that I observe hunting on my street or at the gold course across my house. It's really neat to watch them pluck those tree rats right of the branches. They pay no attention to my girls that roam my yard everyday, mine are standard size and are bigger/weigh more than an adult red-shouldered. It doesn't mean it won't attack though, just keep lots of cover and RELAX. Of course until you see a cooper's or a red-tail.
     
  9. emarble

    emarble Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi All
    Just thought Id let you in on my thoughtS. I live in the midwest (Missouri) to be precise. We have two resident red tailed hawks on site the sit on the Power line poles by my House to date I have not had a attack by one of the Red tails YET!!! Not saying I wont! The girls are all standard size and have a day run with a top on it. Are the RSH protected in your state?? I dont know if it is due to 1 very protective Rooster or not but Boss is very watchfull of the girls on the loose and keeps them in line! I think more than 1 Roo is going over kill and might create more problems than a cure! But I would always let the head Honcho whichever he may be watch over the flock! I dont think one redtail or redshoulder on the ground (average 3 to 5 lbs) is a match for a 8 to 10 lb Roo with spurs

    Ernie

    They are allowed free time at night to roam chaperoned by myself and my ROO for play and bugg chasing time~~!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  10. Pet Duck Boy

    Pet Duck Boy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Quote:Actually, an adult red tail is a little over 2 pounds, a large female just 3 lbs. A red-shouldered is about a pound and a half, 2 lbs at the biggest. That's it, they really are just feathers.
     

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