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Red tailed hawk killed my chicken

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Kevomxracer, Jan 17, 2013.

  1. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    I lost one of my BO hens today. [​IMG]

    I went out to give them a treat and NOBODY was out. Then saw the hawk hop from the ground into a tree. The hawks here always fly off when I approach even from a distance. I found 8 of my 19 in the duck coop. Grabbed the gun and the dog and started looking. Found my BO headless in a VERY wooded area. I finally found the rest hunkered down in a brush filled area.

    The hawk flew off but came back pretty quickly. I fired 1 round into the ground to scare it off. Again it left then came back again, with a friend. So great I think I have a pair so there'll be babies soon. They started circling low over the run and I fired another round off, that hawk turned on it's tail.

    I tried to get the one's that were hiding to come in and finally got 2 in. The rest took 2.5 hours to come running into the run.

    I've lost some when they were ranging in the pasture, no shelter out there so no more ranging in the pasture. I was really surprised at where I found the body. It looks like the hawk must have jumped down on her then drug her INTO the brush to eat. I had a hard time getting in there to retrieve her. Can't wait til my LGD grows up.

    This hen did tend to wander off on her own alot. I'd see her 2/3 of the way down the drive (which runs through 2 acres so it's not short) and have to go get her and herd/carry her back.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. kbird

    kbird Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 23, 2010
    Galena, Maryland
    I'm so sorry your girl was attacked and I hope she is better soon! I heard a terrible commotion today coming from our coop and when I ran out to see what was going on a red-tailed hawk was sitting on one of my girls, wings flapping like you described. I screamed and the hawk took off and landed on a tree about 100 feet away. I kept an eye on him until he finally flew away.

    Luckily my girl had only one spot on her back where her feathers were missing and there were feathers everywhere but other than that she seems ok, just traumatized. I managed to get her back in the coop, where my rooster and another hen were hiding, but it's getting dark now and I still have 5 hens hiding in the woods that scattered when the hawk attack happened. My girls are all full-grown and I can't believe a hawk who is not much bigger than a hen would attack like that. This is the second time this winter that this has happened. I have one of those fake owls planted right at my coop but it apparently doesn't scare the hawk at all! Unfortunately, my rooster is blind now from a previous fight with another rooster so he isn't able to protect his girls.

    I think I'll do a search on hawks and chickens too because I didn't realize hawks were so likely to attack full-grown hens! Best wishes for a speedy recovery of your girl!!
     
  3. kaeKY

    kaeKY Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 5, 2012
    Awww, poor thing tried to take cover and got stalked. I have read the Cooper's hawks will do this, so providing hiding places will do no good. I have also read that they will hide and wait in a tree for the coast to be clear to hunt. I do not let my girls out of their covered run anymore, which makes me sad, but it is too stressful for me to be scanning the sky everytime they are out. If anyone has any ideas about how to prevent such attacks I would love to know.
     
  4. eggtimer

    eggtimer New Egg

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    Dec 8, 2011
    I've started to enclose the run area because of the hawk scare. Unfortunately for the girls, they won't be allowed to roam around like they have been. I usually only let them out and about once a week to enjoy our yard, but I don't want to take any more chances. Fortunately they live in a big space, and the run area will now have chicken wire covering them.

    Sunny (Buff Orpington) is our biggest hen, so it was surprising to witness the hawk attacking her. We have a dozen hens made up of Americauna's, Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshire Reds, Light Brahma's, Barred Rock, and a Silver Laced Wyandotte, who's the queen of the bunch.

    Sunny is doing fantastic! She's recovering nicely and is incredibly friendly. We're so happy she made it, and definitely a wake up call to find ways to protect these wonderful egg laying beauties.

    My condolences to those that have lost their chickens to these predators.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  5. ChickTracy

    ChickTracy Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 17, 2012
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    I lost 2 of my hens within a two week period to a hawk in November (one on my birthday of all days), so I can relate. I was so upset. I'm still fairly new to chickens. I got my first hens last Feb/March from a lady that was giving some away...and I was hooked! That was the first time that I had any trouble with a predator, so I was devastated. I do have a rooster, and he did alert them. Unfortunately, they just couldn't get away in those two situations. I was just seconds too late getting out the door in the second attack. The hawk had just landed on a smaller frizzle hen I had, but it was enough to leave her laying there suffering. We had to go ahead and put her out of her misery. I think that made me even more mad having to do that! That was the attack that happened on my birthday, so needless to say, that wasn't the best birthday. [​IMG] I knew that predators were going to be a risk with free ranging, especially where I live. (in a rural area of Southwest VA) I still wasn't ready for it, though. I'm sure nobody is ever ready for it. I'm still paranoid and watch the sky and surrounding trees for hawks. It had better not come back after MY chickens!
     
  6. waltandlori

    waltandlori Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 5, 2012
    Richmond Dale, Ohio
    We had a turken killed by what I assumed was a hawk. Our girls free range since they grew out of the tractor with no problems. I read where hawks are more of a problem in late fall - winter because the game is more scarce. I found her (actually bub our yorkie-poo did) in the bushes with the neck meat and one breast gone. Does this sound like a hawk or something else? Makes me mad they can only go out when we are home all day. I keep the shotgun handy to dissuade any further attacks. I know you can not kill them, but I sure can scare them. I figured if I pop off when ever I see one it will discourage them from hunting around here.
     
  7. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    It does sound like a hawk.

    I keep an eye out too and I also will fire a shot off to scare them. We only have a 9mm and a rifle, no shotgun but the 9mm scared the poop out of the hawk the other day. I have read that if an area is too noisy/unsafe they will not nest there. I'm hoping with the amount of crows that we have, the number of neighbors who shoot during the day and me firing shots when they are close, it may keep them away more often.
     
  8. Kevomxracer

    Kevomxracer Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a baby rooster now about 4 months old but I'm not supposed to have roosters where I live. But I'm going to try and keep him and see how things go
     
  9. Funky Chooks

    Funky Chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 16, 2012
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm so sorry for what happened. I live in the middle of a city and yet mine are threatened by hawks quite often, (maybe 2x a month at least.) When I suspect they are being targetted, I make my girls go in their run for the day. This isn't a good solution for most people, and works for us only because we have large windows and can see our hens in our large backyard. I've seen them overhead, or see my hens freeze just once, and in they go. I then wait a couple days before they have normal habits again, letting them out more random times, etc. Those are smart birds and will always come back. I think overall, it's sad to lose one, but also sad to confine them so my answer to it is to confine unless I'm present and nearby. Hope that helps somehow.
     
  10. Kevomxracer

    Kevomxracer Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 2, 2012
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    The only solution is to kill the hawk. As soon as they know that your yard is a feeding ground they are going to come back. I don't want to kill a hawk because its nature and that's what they do. But I'm not going to let a hawk keep coming around and killing my poultry
     

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