Red tailed hawk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Our Roost, Aug 24, 2013.

  1. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have lost 5 birds in the last year to predators. The Red Tailed Hawk has claimed 2 of those. A Bobcat and a Coyote claim one each. And our Drake Pekin duck claims the other. I had just introduced 6 new 13 week old birds to the coop and run area to mix in with the 8 other hens layers we have. None of them really had time to call the coop their safe haven home as yet before the attack by the hawk on their second day in the coop and run area. They went straight from the brooding box to the coop and had no idea what predators were or where to hide in the event of trouble. Afterall, just 13 weeks ago they were baby chicks.
    We made a quick trip to the local part store figuring the birds would be fine until we returned and found the hawk feasting on one of our new birds in the run area when I pulled into the driveway. The remainder of the birds found shelter within the coop thank goodness. I couldnt get out of the car fast enough to do any good, as the bird was already beyond help. I did scare the heck out of the hawk though!
    My older birds seemed to develop a sense for caution and alarm when something isnt right and make an automatic beeline for safe haven within the florida room or their coop. I think younger birds need time to adjust and learn from the surroundings as to what trouble may be lurking within or around them. It was 2 days after the attack before any of my girls would come out of the coop and back out into the run area. The young ones wouldnt come out until after all the older girls came out first. Something to be said there I guess.
    The red tailed hawk is a protected species but I have my eye out for the chicken killing thief and his days may be numbered if it keeps killing my birds. I believe thats fair, don't you?
     
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I've got a covered run for daytime safety. It's only chocken wire on top. but keeps the hawks out. My coop is predator proof for night time, and if a hawk or other daytime predator turns up, the flock doesn't get to free range, sometimes for an extended period. Last year a Coopers hawk showed up, absolutely fearless. The flock was locked in for almost two months; the longest time ever, until he wasn't seen for several weeks. All raptors are federally protected; I'm happy to trap and shoot coon, possums, etc, but NEVER hawks. Mary
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

    7,290
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    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I've got a covered run for daytime safety. It's only chocken wire on top. but keeps the hawks out. My coop is predator proof for night time, and if a hawk or other daytime predator turns up, the flock doesn't get to free range, sometimes for an extended period. Last year a Coopers hawk showed up, absolutely fearless. The flock was locked in for almost two months; the longest time ever, until he wasn't seen for several weeks. All raptors are federally protected; I'm happy to trap and shoot coon, possums, etc, but NEVER hawks. Mary
     
  4. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well Mary, I am angered by the loss of my chicken. Speaking out loud with inner thoughts of what I'd like to do and what I would actually do is a normal response. The Red Tailed Hawk is a beautiful bird and is thriving very well in our area. I respect its existance. At best, he will know he is not welcomed around my coop and chickens and I will do what is necessary to drive him away.
     
  5. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How about putting bird netting over the run won't take much to stop a hawk their pretty cautious about taking care of their wings from damage.
     
  6. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, thankyou, I have an 8x16 florida room roofed and wired as an attached alternative to the 8x16 coop. My run area is 30x 55 x4" high. I prefer that as their free range area and have no plans to put netting of any type on top. I have an excellent Aussie that watches over them for the most part and we just re-homed our protective but mean to people rooster. I'm sure he would have gave his life to protect his flock. The roof on the florida room gave way to heavy snow this past winter and was under reconstruction which did not provide them with the shelter they needed nor were the dog or rooster around at the time of attack. We have always kept the birds in the florida room and coop when we, the dog or rooster wasnt out there to watch over them. Basically, our oversight.
    We have numerous numbers of known predators in the area and trust that its like erecting Fort Knox to keep them and their antics at bay. Its a check, check and double check everytime I put some work into the coop and run area keeping predators in mind when building something. We have done well in the past year or so since we started only to have lost 5 birds. Because of our efforts, we have only lost the 1 bird this year unfortunately and I dont think we will have that problem again once the florida shelter room is reconstructed for them to be kept in when we are not around or out and about somewhere. Thanks for your suggestion.
     
  7. chickengirl1234

    chickengirl1234 New Egg

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    I have a hawk and eagle come by to take a look at the chickens but with my coop I call it an indoor coop and outdoor coop. Their indoor coop is where they do their egg laying and eat/drink and up top a Roost to sleep. When they want they go outside to their outdoor coop they can leave by an opening to the back by stairs and enjoy outside with the protection of chicken wiring top and bottom. So when I see the hawk or eagle I'm not worried it can go inside
     
  8. Our Roost

    Our Roost Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well chicken girl, thats basically the same setup I have in the attached florida room. They have access to go in and out of the coop into the wired and enclosed florida room. Aside from the wire, it is very airy and outdoorsy for them to romp in and get that out door view while keeping them enclosed and protected. Very protective unless they are in the open 30 x 55 run area.
     
  9. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    My Coop
    With respect, letting 13 week old birds free range or run in an area without a top is inviting trouble. They are still young, (comparatively) stupid, smaller than a grown hen, and very tempting to any predator. It's hardly fair to be angry with the hawk at this point. Your options are to protect your birds better, or be comfortable with a few losses.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    I let my brooder reared out at five weeks. They have a lot more cover than OP's, adult roosters that can help if cover is available to work from, and dogs that red-tails do not like to be on ground near. More protection needed in existing bare run.
     

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