Red-Tailed Hawk took one of my girls

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by suburbanhomesteader, Nov 11, 2007.

  1. Today as I was in the backyard with Bo and the Production Reds, I heard the rushing of air and stood up from my gardening, just in time to see a mature RTH strike the back of one of the Production Reds not 30 feet away. She flapped furiously; the other hens scattered, and the hawk took off with her in it's talons. She was still flapping her wings as I lost sight of her over the row of 8' shrubs which cuts my property in two, and I ran after. The hawk couldn't get enough altitude to clear the row of 30' trees at the back of my property, and she was still flapping her wings, and he dropped her.

    I ran to her; he had obviously punctured a lung, as she had blood coming from her mouth. Her feet were not moving; only her head and wings. As I held her, she "bawk"ed a couple of times, and with tears running down my face, I walked with her to my dispatching tool, talking to her. I told her that she was going to be alright, that she was going to the big coop in the sky, where she would always be safe, and she let out one low, long, "bawwwwkkkkk", and passed away.

    I hate to say it, but I wish the hawk had kept her; at least if he had gotten a meal out of it, it wouldn't have seemed like such a senseless death. As it was, I went ahead and processed her, so she wouldn't go to waste. She was the only one of the Production Reds laying eggs (they're 28 weeks old!!!), and they were big, fat beauties. When I opened her up, there were all those unlaid eggs inside, just lined up, waiting. That made me cry even harder. I asked my neighbor if he would take her; I knew there was no way I could eat her, not after having seen that.

    I thought if I was near, the girls would be safe to range in the back yard. I don't know what to do now; they will be miserable in a tractor, but I don't want to lose another girl. That makes 2 gone, of my original 5, and Bo (the Barred Rock) is still laying pullet-sized eggs after 8 weeks of laying!

    RIP, sister.
  2. Jemjoop

    Jemjoop In the Brooder

    Oct 18, 2007
    Caledonia, IL
    so sad, I'm sorry [​IMG]
    and how traumatic for both of you
  3. tx_dane_mom

    tx_dane_mom Songster

    Sep 23, 2007
    SE Texas
    I'm so sorry! About a week ago I think it was a blue heron or something similar that flew overhead & my rooster made a noise I have never heard chickens make and my daughter & I had to rush all the birds back into their pen (which is covered w/shrimp net.) That bird was big as me I swear & landed in the ditch behind my house...scary episode. Thank God my birds were sorry your girl wasn't as lucky [​IMG]
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    I'm really sorry about your girl.
  5. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    [​IMG] I'm so sorry about your girl.
  6. Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies

    Flufnstuffs~FluffySilkies Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    I am SO SORRY - what an awful thing.

    I am glad it droped her, you will have a hard time with that hawk trying again.
    BUT if it had gotten a good meal out of it I am afraid you would be in for more of a fight.

  7. Smitty's Farm

    Smitty's Farm Songster

    Aug 24, 2007
    St Clair County, Il
    I'm so sorry about your chicken. Those pesky hawks! I have two that live in the area and circle around my yard from time to time.
  8. krturpie

    krturpie Songster

    Nov 11, 2007
    I am truly very sorry about your loss.
  9. jjthink

    jjthink Crowing

    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    I'm so so sorry :aww
    Poor hen - terrifying and painful. Brazen hawk, to attack when you were essentially right there. I've been assuming (hoping) that when I'm around and letting my two free range they will be alright. Sadly, no guarantees...
    How dreadful for you to watch this happen, tho I am glad for her sake that you were able to hold her in your arms for her last moments.
    Wishing you peace. Somehow.
  10. Scrambled Egg

    Scrambled Egg Flock Mistress

    Aug 29, 2007
    Fayetteville, NC
    That is so sad for your little hen it makes me want to cry. I do wonder if those redtails are overpopulated or if we have just so overenroached that urbania is now their territory becasue we have alot here too and I live in neighborhood city. So sorry for your loss.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: