redtails driving me nuts

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by scooter147, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    The redtails are driving me crazy, not to mention my hens.
    This little devil has no fear of me or my two dogs. Yesterday I let the hens out to run around the yard while I and the two dogs were out doing yard work and enjoying the nice fall weather.
    First, I heard the unmistakable sound of chickens being spooked. I look and there that pile of feathers with meat hooks is on the ground eyeing which hen he is going to try to snatch as they are hiding in the honeysuckle hedge row. I ran at him and he stood his ground until I got within 15 feet of him, then he flew off.

    Second, I heard my rooster give the hawk call and the hens all ran under the hedge row again. I looked around and followed the eyes of the chickens as they were watching it. The little dirtbag was sitting on the roof of the house. I started walking towards him (me between the chickens and the hawk) and he took flight, not away from me NOOOOO but right at my chickens. The free loader flew right at the flock, mind you he had to fly around me to get to them, in an attempt to flush them from the hedge row.

    In 40+ years I have never seen such a bold bird.
  2. LyonFuzz

    LyonFuzz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2008
    South Lyon, Michigan
    I saw one this morning too...right on top of my barn eyeing my ladies! I freaked out and kicked a metal bucket and it made a loud ruckus, but he took the time to look me in the eye before he left. I'm glad you were out there to guard your birds.
  3. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    They will only get bolder as they get hungrier. When the belly's rumbling a critter will do what he has to.

    Good thing you were there! Our hawks are getting bolder, too. I had one hungry fellow land on the fence while I was in the yard with my girls last week . . .
  4. backdoorchicken

    backdoorchicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2009
    newport news va
    it should be legal kill hawks if it is done without a gun and you are protecting your flock.

    paintball gun?
  5. koifarm

    koifarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
  6. koifarm

    koifarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've lived in Florida all my life, we have had chickens for four years, we constantly have redtails in the air and nesting in the pine woods next door.
    We have never had the first red tail bother the hens, never, not even close, not even cruising low over them in the yard.
    I have personally watched a red tail at the end of our driveway going after mole crickets while the chickens were in the front yard within 50-75 feet of them.
    Red Tail hawks, Red Shouldered Hawks or any other raptor that lives and breathes is Federally protected by the laws governing raptors:

    You are the one that put your birds in front of the hawks, you do not have the right to "protect" your chickens by shooting a hawk, period. If you choose to let your flock free range then expect to get bothered, you are in the Hawk's territory, not him in yours.....
    If hawks are bothering you, make a run with wire on top to "protect your chickens"

    Generally speaking most FULLY grown hens are way too big for a red tail to even think about eating let alone killing one, Bantams are another story. Eagles will take a hen, both Bald and Golden, black vultures will not bother anything alive....
  7. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    I do have a covered run and my hens are well protected. I only let them run around my fenced yard when I am out and about to "protect" them.
    I personally feel that when I take in and take responibility for any domestic animal wether it be a dog, cat, cow, goat, duck or chicken I have the responsibility to protect them from any threat wether that be animal, human or disease.
    I counted 8 squirrels and three rabbits and more birds then I can count in my acre yard the other day so there is more than enough prey for this bird feed itself.
    Honestly, this would be one dead bird if I could discharge a gun were I live period.
    Yes a redtail will take a full grown heavy breed hen, they may not be able to carry it off but they will feed on it where they killed it.
  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I had to change my ducks from free ranging in my back yard to giving them a covered aviary. I think it was a hawk that got 2 of my babies. Hubby thinks it was an owl. Anyway, since you can't kill either, I got deer netting and used my clothes line and a large grape arbor to create the aviary. No more losses so far (knock on wood).
  9. CallyB57

    CallyB57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2009
    Northeast Louisiana
    Quote:Imagine if you had between 8-10 hawks (huge, but a couple of smaller ones) circling above your head, you had 24 chickens enclosed in a large pen around you, and the hawks were diving at you and circling about 30' above your head. All you had was a leaf rake and your mouth. Yep, happened to me and I was screaming and when I heard my X husband load a round in his shot gun - I started crying (from fear something could have happened to my birds), but the slowly drifted away when they saw him standing there with his gun. I would never have believed such a thing - such, as you said, BOLD birds, no fear whatsoever of my screaming and waving of the rake. Unbelieveable. Then I read a post about hanging CD's from 30# fishing line around my run. I did it and guess what? I have seen only one hawk since then..dipped down, then flew sharply up and away and I have not seen any hawks (except for some circling far away) anywhere around my pen since. The CD's spin and reflect colored light up and all around on the ground and sides of the hen house - disorients the hawks, I think. I have not lost a bird since I bought them and the oldest ones came as day old chicks on March 4. Don't worry about what the nighbors might think about your CD's - just hang them and stop worrying about the hawks.
  10. Ladyhawke1

    Ladyhawke1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I agree with you. You are correct with your information.

    However, I also seen many humans who let their children free range. These critters run over lawns throw rocks, play knock down the fence with the soccer ball, scream their heads off when there is nothing wrong. Some people do not understand “penning” in or taking proactive care of their own livestock. Then they get upset if these creatures somehow get hurt or are run over or kidnapped. [​IMG]

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