Red tail hawk swooped in

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BrewedInNh, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    We were out in the yard Sunday afternoon just cleaning the coop and other chores. Our 6 pullets were hunting for bugs in the lawn.

    At one point I stepped into the house and DW stepped into the tree line at the same time. Almost instantly one of the girls screamed a ba-GAWK! [​IMG]

    I spun around just in time to see a red tail hawk swooping up away from where the chickens were. A quick beak count told us everyone escaped unharmed.

    The hawk couldn't have passed more than 10 feet from DW. This isn't the first time we've seen hawks circling our yard, but it is the first time they've gotten this bold.

    Our yard is too big to put up fishing line, I think we might need more strategically placed cover. [​IMG]
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    It's that magical time of year-Hawk Migration. Be aware that this is the most dangerous time of year for free-ranging because of the hawks coming through on their way to their winter stomping grounds. Last year around this time I lost my second bird to a hawk. It was a huge red-tailed hawk that dispatched one of my ducks.
    I'm glad you didn't lose any birds. Keep a close on your birds for the next month or so.
    Good luck.
  3. Lbrad7

    Lbrad7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2010
    Ringgold, GA
    You were lucky this would be wise to keep your eye to the sky this time of year. I never let my birds free range, unless I can stay outside with them until they head back to the roost.
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Looks like crap but I have a 12' x 6' x 3' pen that is propped up to about a 30 degree angle by placing a tub under one end. When alarm sounded birds retreat to under pen. I also keep feed close to it reducing inclination to roam far from the pen.

    I also stand guard when free ranging more vulnerable juveniles which will continue until dog is in place. The get to free range from whe I get off work until dark.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
  5. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I think the hawk might have been testing your chickens to see how they would react if it attacked them in its usual manner. I've seen Cooper's do that to birds they don't normally hunt. They figure out how they react and then when they're ready to hunt them, they know how to adjust their attack. I would secure your birds for a while so it never learns how to get them.
  6. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    Thanks everyone for the advice.

    We're going to be vigilent about standing guard when they're out of the run from now on. I hate to keep them locked in the run & coop all the time, but DW considers them pets and would be heart broken if any were killed.

    I have a feeling I'll be building a tractor soon, to allow them out of the run too.
  7. wpalmisano

    wpalmisano Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 11, 2010
    Put a dog out there with them.
  8. phaethona

    phaethona Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2010
    I have a plastic owl on my coop, it's supposed to keep them at bay as long as you move it around every day or two.

    I can't tell ya that I know that it works, but so far it hasn't not worked. they're about 10-15 bucks at the feed stores
  9. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    Quote:We'd love to have a dog, but we aren't home enough to be fair to a dog. We've always been dog people, I even worked as a trainer in my teens. I can't stand to see people who keep their dogs penned up all day, every day. I refuse to be one of them.

    Retirement is still a ways off, but close enough for me to dream about it. We'll be getting a dog then.
  10. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    Quote:Doesn't the owl scare the chickens too?

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