Red Tailed Hawk

MotherHen75

Songster
Dec 18, 2018
281
256
141
South Carolina
So just recently a red tailed hawk moved into our neighborhood. Me and my neighbor both have chickens, and there is a small society of wild/stray chickens in the woods that someone left. We have a lot of squirrels, but i’m wondering how often red tailed hawks prey on chickens. Does color attract them as well? Are they more likely to prey on a white chicken rather than a brown one? And this red tailed hawk is about the size of our rooster, he’s a cochin bantam. Maybe the hawk is a little taller. Our chickens are free range. Bushes and trees to hide in and free access to the coups.
 

floppysquirrel04

Songster
Jul 24, 2019
311
527
142
Northern Ca
She’s probably looking for a spot to nest. Hang up old CDs, the color bothers them, and garden chimes that make noises in the wind can scare them too.
 

hayley3

Crowing
12 Years
Aug 16, 2007
819
713
276
Southern Indiana
I'm no hawk expert but every red-tailed hawk I've ever seen is rather big. Big enough to say whoa...but maybe you have a juvenile.
Red shouldered hawks are smaller and they never bothered my chickens in 13 yrs of living right next to the woods. And I don't think hawks have a preference for color.
 

nnumb3rulz

In the Brooder
Mar 14, 2019
8
23
18
We had one swoop in a few times but unsuccessful. They will perch somewhere within eyesight of your chickens and watch if they're interested. Don't waste your time on a fake owl. Add some thin wires over the run if you can.
 

Folly's place

Crossing the Road
8 Years
Sep 13, 2011
17,527
22,896
906
southern Michigan
Having a covered run is safest, at least for times when there has been an attack. Free ranging birds are at risk, and sooner or later there will be losses, to some predator, if not a raptor.
I have both standards and bantams, and over the years, hawks have killed a couple of young standard birds, and the others have all been bantams.
Coopers hawks have been the culprits here most often, although we do have red tailed and others, and owls.
There are a lot of comments about white chickens being more vulnerable, but that hasn't been true here at all. Some of my most 'camo colored' birds have been killed, and the white birds are fine. I think it's more about luck and wariness, not feather color. Raptors have incredible vision!!!
Mary
 

nnumb3rulz

In the Brooder
Mar 14, 2019
8
23
18
Thanks! We actually have a fairly loud wind chime, but i’ve never heard of the CD trick. What do the wires over the run do?
Prey birds have a hard time swopping in if you make aerial obstacles. The wires give your hens a bit more time to find cover. I've seen it work with an owl in our free roam area. Wires are strung between trees about 9 foot high in a criss cross pattern.
 

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