Red Tailed Hawk

microchick

Enabler
5 Years
Dec 31, 2014
7,504
28,394
1,047
NE Missouri
We have Red Tailed Hawks, Brown Shouldered Hawks, Bald Eagles, 0wls and smaller raptors like Sharped Shinned and falcons. I've had young Red Tails sit in trees 50 feet from my runs and watch the birds. The only thing that has protected my birds is netting over my runs along with no free ranging. We also have fox, bobcats, raccoons, possums and the occasional cougar to contend with also. Best safety is to keep them in fortified runs and fort Knox coops.

As for the wire suggestion, good idea! You can also use fishing filament strung back and forth over your run. Raptors are going to avoid anything that could potentially entangle their wings. I've read of instances where old or sick birds have tried to breach nets and become entangled but that is the only exception I've ever read of.
 

hayley3

Crowing
12 Years
Aug 16, 2007
829
733
276
Southern Indiana
Truth, hawks are most likely to prey on Polish and silkie chickens if they're going for chicken.
Smaller bodied birds like game hens or bantam anythings.
Hawks prefer to be able to take the kill with them if possible.
The only chicken I ever had that was killed by a hawk was a Polish chicken. Her name was Ivy. We really loved her...but even with clipped wings she flew out of her protective area inside the barn. :rolleyes: I'm sure she couldn't see the hawk with her hat.
 

Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
13,005
63,594
1,237
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
Oh thats awful!
You're right poor dear probably never saw it coming.
I can't keep Polish, Silkies or bantams my flock free ranges on a fenced in acre surrounded by woods on three sides so hawk city U.S.A. basically.
I have 7 hens that are much, much smaller than they're supposed to be so I worry about them.
The rest are big, fat, heavy things picked for this reason among others but a hungry or inexperienced hawk might try.
Thank goodness for the vast numbers of distraction squirrels they prefer to eat. :)
The only chicken I ever had that was killed by a hawk was a Polish chicken. Her name was Ivy. We really loved her...but even with clipped wings she flew out of her protective area inside the barn. :rolleyes: I'm sure she couldn't see the hawk with her hat.
 

MotherHen75

Songster
Dec 18, 2018
281
256
141
South Carolina
It looks like a Pyncheon (a natural bantam), and the color pattern is Mille Fleur. Sorry, I know you're not asking me, but we also have one. One of my favorite chickens ever!
Yes! I love them, i didn’t know the breed so thank you! We picked her up at tractor supply, she sadly died about a month ago due to a dog in the coup... I love that breed, great personality and just overall adorable.
 

MotherHen75

Songster
Dec 18, 2018
281
256
141
South Carolina
We have covered runs with a frame of wood and covered with hardware cloth (we don’t trust the chicken wire, seems easy for predators to pull apart), I’m hoping the hawk either nests somewhere else or if not hunts the squirrels or the stray chickens :oops:.

I kind of think free range chickens are safer, just a tad anyhow, they have places to run and get away. But if something gets into the coup, they can’t go anywhere and are kind of on their death bed.
 

hayley3

Crowing
12 Years
Aug 16, 2007
829
733
276
Southern Indiana
I kind of think free range chickens are safer, just a tad anyhow, they have places to run and get away. But if something gets into the coup, they can’t go anywhere and are kind of on their death bed.
I wish that were true. Mine were all free and yet something got to the ones that even flew over the fence. I'm sure it was a fox. They could not outrun that fox.
 

Cryss

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
3,939
9,569
707
Northwest New Jersey
We have Red Tailed Hawks, Brown Shouldered Hawks, Bald Eagles, 0wls and smaller raptors like Sharped Shinned and falcons. I've had young Red Tails sit in trees 50 feet from my runs and watch the birds. The only thing that has protected my birds is netting over my runs along with no free ranging. We also have fox, bobcats, raccoons, possums and the occasional cougar to contend with also. Best safety is to keep them in fortified runs and fort Knox coops.

As for the wire suggestion, good idea! You can also use fishing filament strung back and forth over your run. Raptors are going to avoid anything that could potentially entangle their wings. I've read of instances where old or sick birds have tried to breach nets and become entangled but that is the only exception I've ever read of.
Ditto! Same critters! Fort Knox for the win!

Edit: Oh! And bears!
 
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Chickassan

Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
13,005
63,594
1,237
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
You know these chickens have never even been dove at by a hawk "knock on wood".
The worry here is daytime raccoons.
They both really stink to have around but at least hawks don't see charging me as an option, raccoons are clearly fine with it. :(
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
21,842
11,820
641
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
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.
No, hawks don't prey on white chickens over other colors. This is an older picture of one of my grow-out pens. The trees and bushes I planted in it are much bigger now. Not long ago a Red-Tailed hawk breached the netting covering the pen which has since been replaced and killed several birds. All were RIR but one which was a RIW. Most of the birds killed were pullets not far from laying.
IMG_20160605_144809.jpg
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cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
21,842
11,820
641
Florida
My Coop
My Coop
Originally before I put the netting over the pens, I tried fishing line. An owl got through the line at one of my open coops and killed some birds so then I put up netting. I have lost birds free ranging so don't free range anymore. Most who do free range will loose a bird sooner or later. I didn't have enough netting for some of the pens so there was a gap. I bought some crappy netting thinking that the aerial predators would be detered by it, I was wrong. This is the same coop the owl go into when I had the fishing line over the pen and I also covered the open side with a tarp. The owl went right through the netting and killed a couple of birds. I replaced the netting with another piece of the crappy netting and moved the birds to another coop and put a camera in the pen. Here is the owl going through the netting. I have since replaced it with some good netting.
DSCF00031125 01.jpg

It appears like the owl is thinking "where did the chickens go?"
DSCF00031125 10.jpg
 
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