Red Tail Hawk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Stephanie R, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    So I had my first near miss with a predator. The girls were free ranging in our small vineyard (which is surrounded by deer fencing). It's a good place to let them putter around while I'm taking care of other business. I was about 50 feet away from them when I saw something that didn't seem quite right out of the corner of my eye and then all hell broke loose. A redtail had landed right in the middle of the vineyard and the girls were understandably frantic. They all skedaddled out of the vineyard toward me and the coop. The redtail just sat there until I got within about 20 feet of it and then it leisurely flew off. One of my girls had the sense to run into the coop, one ran into the shed adjacent to the coop and hid behind some shelving, and the other two I had to hunt down in the brush. All is well, but they will be sticking really close to home for the time being. They have a partially covered extended run and over the remainder I've strung lots of criss-crossed cordage with prayer flags as a deterrent. I think I'm going to close off the covered part just in case that hawk decides to get more daring. In spite of all that excitement, I got an egg from each of them yesterday.
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    I would definitely go ahead and close of that portion so that you do have a "ready-to-go" secure area to confine them in if the need arises - that way you can pen them up for a few days so that this bird will move on to more fruitful hunting grounds.
  3. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    We plan to do that this weekend. I'm afraid that now he knows the chickens are here, he will be back. We do have a pair of Redtails that make their home in our back woodlands. I love having them around, especially when they have a fledgling, but not so fond of the idea that they will snack on my chickens.
  4. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    They will be back but if they aren't allowed to get a kill they will eventually hunt elsewhere. I have 2x2 netting over my run I got it reasonably priced off amazon a couple years ago
  5. Bridebeliever

    Bridebeliever Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's good your girls knew to get out of dodge and it's good you were there too! A vineyard is actually a very good place for them to be. Because it's in rows, and the way hawks hunt them simply dashing to the next row protects them. Since they have had this experience they will be on more alert as well. I'd say overall it was a positive experience!
  6. beginnergirl

    beginnergirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2015
    Pacific Nortwest
    So sorry that happened but glad your girls are safe!!! Do consider wire that will protect from other predators in your area. A raccoon, coyote or cougar could get through netting.
  7. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh, I'm sure of it, since I think this is probably one of the hawks that has been in our neck of the woods for a while.
  8. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm happy that no one was hurt, but I lost about a year of my life.
  9. Stephanie R

    Stephanie R Chillin' With My Peeps

    Their coop is secure and the extended run is fairly safe, other than part of it not being covered. The vineyard and garden area are surrounded by deer fencing because we have an abundance of deer. I like them to go in there to peck and scratch while I'm outside working around the coop area. I can keep my eye on them and they don't wander into other areas of the property that are less visible from the shed/coop. I don't worry much about ground predators during the day, but I know that we have lots of hawks here so I never let them free range without me out there with them.

    Yesterday I went up there to let them out for a while, and while they did come out of the the run, they stuck like glue to me. They didn't even venture 6 feet away to eat the yummy grass and scratch in the leaves.
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015
  10. beginnergirl

    beginnergirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2015
    Pacific Nortwest
    Sadly I read about mammals taking chickens during the day. Not as common as Hawks though We also have Redtail hawks here as well as Cooper's hawks. I notice hawks more in the early morning and late afternoon. So I do watch my girls. We have lots of cover here and my chickens seem to like those areas.

    I decided not to hack back all the volunteer trees planted squirrels so my chickens have more areas that they can forage in. Also leaving one laurel as it provides cover too.

    Hope the hawk will leave your chickens alone.

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