Red Tailed hawk casualty, new additions, feathers everywhere, rat snake and all egg laying ceased!

JeremiahLee

Chirping
May 13, 2019
42
152
80
Spartanburg, Souith Carolina
"Well it finally happened Zachary...somebody burned down my she-shed..."
Oh wait, that's State Farm, not Shady Pines Farm. Dear God what next! A danged red tailed hawk got one of my hens! I saw it come for another one until I fetched the Daisy BB gun and ran yelling to the top of my lungs in the pen. Actually I found the mutilated carcass and wondered what on Earth had happened. Then the raptor came in after I had walked away. My defense WAS red fishing line in a checkerboard pattern as a roof over the big pen. Well, I had a gap and that's exactly where the hawk entered. Yes, I realize you cannot kill it. But I certainly can shoot AT it. I've fixed the roof now. The thinking is that if a hawk cannot figure out how to get out, they will not get in (I read this in many forums).

The whole "flock" of 30 birds were traumatized. You could hear a pin drop and they were huddled. Frankly they still are. I was angry but kept thinking and humming "The Circle of Life." Well, that's MY circle dang it! The birds stopped laying the next day. And then the next day there were no eggs hardly.

Now it's been close to three weeks. I'm finding down type feathers all over the pen. It's not another dead bird because I count them. Is this molting? I'm in Spartanburg SC and it is hot as Hades.

Enter three broody hens!!! I swear we're coming to blows soon if that hen attacks me one more time. She knows to face me when I open the hatch. The other two aren't as savvy. But the stick is mightier than the hand, and out she goes. I think that their attitude has kept the other girls from going in one of the six nesting boxes I have. Those birds are just plain mean when they're like that. They're RIR's. I think they've stopped brooding except for one. But maybe this fits in this whole scheme???

Then there's the problem of new additions. I have some that were "naturally" hatched and some from an incubator, etc. All are about two to three weeks apart. SO, there are now roosters in this bunch that are about to challenge Pete, the only rooster I had to begin with. Woe be unto those gangly new roosters that think they're gonna take Pete's place!

What's my problem then? I was getting about nine eggs a day. Now I get 0 to 3. Today I got one! Is it a combination of the problems I've listed? And if anyone has experienced an attack from Rodan the Red Tailed Hawk, how long did it take your flock to get back to normal? Everyday I hear those (expletive) hawks! I now have a CO2 pellet rifle to shoot AT them but not to hit them. Oh, and I bludgeoned a rat snake, albeit small, to death because my neighbor declared there were "diamonds" on his back. I KNEW better, but I listened to him. But now I'm wondering if I have a snake out there. This whole outfit is in a pine tree area, although there are no trees in the chicken area fenced in. There are two chicken coops with small runs where the they roost at night.

Your thoughts??? I want peace in this valley and eggs again!!! I feed them plenty of Purina laying pellets and 3 way scratch and oyster shells from time to time...and they have plenty of water.
Thanks guys.
 

Quackter

Songster
May 15, 2019
374
1,513
198
Just a maybe, if the broodies are not letting them in the boxes,, you can they might be laying on the ground, and you might have an egg buster. They'll clean them up good you can hardly tell they did it.
 

chrissynemetz

Psalm 91 ❤
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Dec 19, 2013
21,242
142,172
1,827
Olathe Colorado
Offer the oyster shell all the time, give the scratch sparingly as a treat, and hang in there. Any stress can make the girls stop laying, and a hawk attack is pretty stressful. For both them and you. They should start to give you eggs again soon.
I would invest in a better cover for your big pen. The fishing line and shiny things doesn't work hardly at all...trust me I've tried it. :idunno
 

BigBlueHen53

We will get through this... together!
Mar 5, 2019
18,362
68,048
1,167
SE Missouri, USA
Oh, my!

One thought: I wouldn't shoot at anything I didn't want to hit.... my luck, I'd hit it for sure. I threw an empty pie pan "at" my dog once, no hope of hitting her. Gracie couldn't catch a ball if I put it in her mouth. She turned and looked right at it... and it beamed her between the eyes. I don't throw things any more.
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,478
1,287
Washington State
"Well it finally happened Zachary...somebody burned down my she-shed..."
Oh wait, that's State Farm, not Shady Pines Farm. Dear God what next! A danged red tailed hawk got one of my hens! I saw it come for another one until I fetched the Daisy BB gun and ran yelling to the top of my lungs in the pen. Actually I found the mutilated carcass and wondered what on Earth had happened. Then the raptor came in after I had walked away. My defense WAS red fishing line in a checkerboard pattern as a roof over the big pen. Well, I had a gap and that's exactly where the hawk entered. Yes, I realize you cannot kill it. But I certainly can shoot AT it. I've fixed the roof now. The thinking is that if a hawk cannot figure out how to get out, they will not get in (I read this in many forums).

The whole "flock" of 30 birds were traumatized. You could hear a pin drop and they were huddled. Frankly they still are. I was angry but kept thinking and humming "The Circle of Life." Well, that's MY circle dang it! The birds stopped laying the next day. And then the next day there were no eggs hardly.

Now it's been close to three weeks. I'm finding down type feathers all over the pen. It's not another dead bird because I count them. Is this molting? I'm in Spartanburg SC and it is hot as Hades.

Enter three broody hens!!! I swear we're coming to blows soon if that hen attacks me one more time. She knows to face me when I open the hatch. The other two aren't as savvy. But the stick is mightier than the hand, and out she goes. I think that their attitude has kept the other girls from going in one of the six nesting boxes I have. Those birds are just plain mean when they're like that. They're RIR's. I think they've stopped brooding except for one. But maybe this fits in this whole scheme???

Then there's the problem of new additions. I have some that were "naturally" hatched and some from an incubator, etc. All are about two to three weeks apart. SO, there are now roosters in this bunch that are about to challenge Pete, the only rooster I had to begin with. Woe be unto those gangly new roosters that think they're gonna take Pete's place!

What's my problem then? I was getting about nine eggs a day. Now I get 0 to 3. Today I got one! Is it a combination of the problems I've listed? And if anyone has experienced an attack from Rodan the Red Tailed Hawk, how long did it take your flock to get back to normal? Everyday I hear those (expletive) hawks! I now have a CO2 pellet rifle to shoot AT them but not to hit them. Oh, and I bludgeoned a rat snake, albeit small, to death because my neighbor declared there were "diamonds" on his back. I KNEW better, but I listened to him. But now I'm wondering if I have a snake out there. This whole outfit is in a pine tree area, although there are no trees in the chicken area fenced in. There are two chicken coops with small runs where the they roost at night.

Your thoughts??? I want peace in this valley and eggs again!!! I feed them plenty of Purina laying pellets and 3 way scratch and oyster shells from time to time...and they have plenty of water.
Thanks guys.
So sorry about the hawk attack! :hugs It is horrible to come out to a murdered chicken! It's pretty horrible for the chickens too. We had an eagle attack in July. One chicken was killed outright, one was injured and succumbed to her injury a week later and one died of shock a few days after the attack. It was simply devastating for me and my chickens. After a bunch of shuffling in the pecking order, and very few eggs, things were getting back to normal. That was a couple weeks ago. Then another hen died of unknown causes on 8/15 and we started the whole thing all over again. And now they are beginning to molt. :th

I'm just sayin'...I can empathize. :( Don't worry though. They will work it out and get back to normal. It takes time.
 

JeremiahLee

Chirping
May 13, 2019
42
152
80
Spartanburg, Souith Carolina
Just a maybe, if the broodies are not letting them in the boxes,, you can they might be laying on the ground, and you might have an egg buster. They'll clean them up good you can hardly tell they did it.
Oh wow! I have been finding some in the yard sporadically. I'll bet you that's it! There is the biggest commotion at the door to the laying boxes because some of the hens want in and these broody hens won't allow it. Thank you so much!
 

JeremiahLee

Chirping
May 13, 2019
42
152
80
Spartanburg, Souith Carolina
Offer the oyster shell all the time, give the scratch sparingly as a treat, and hang in there. Any stress can make the girls stop laying, and a hawk attack is pretty stressful. For both them and you. They should start to give you eggs again soon.
I would invest in a better cover for your big pen. The fishing line and shiny things doesn't work hardly at all...trust me I've tried it. :idunno
Yes. That's why you aren't getting many eggs, also. My RIR is molting and the run looks like a chicken exploded. Sorry about your hen.
lol. It does look like an explosion!!!
 

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