Size matters

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gootziecat, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. gootziecat

    gootziecat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2007
    Hampshire Co, WV
    How big does a chicken need to be before they are too large for a hawk to carry them off? I assume a hawk could carry off, say a white leghorn, but not a EE. Just curious as to what everyone's experiences are.
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I'm not sure they will ever get "too big" for a red-tail to carry them off. Maybe some of the larger breeds, but I wouldn't put money on it.

    GOSPELSOLDIER Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 27, 2008
    new britain
    i have seen a red tail take off with a neighbors embdem geese. It was huge but it still flew off with it.
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Unfortunately, no chicken is large enough to be safe from large hawks. It's also a natural behavior for hawks to kill and eat their prey on the ground, if it's too heavy to carry off. Smaller chickens are just an easier, safer target, since they can take off with it.
  5. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Chickens are never too big for a hawk. I had a Cooper's hawk destroy a full grown Wyandotte hen. The hen was literally twice the size of the hawk. The hawk couldn't kill her, but it took months for her to heal up after the hawk was done with her.
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    If hungry enough, hawks will kill or attempt to kill birds much larger than themselves. They will kill and eat right there. A red tail only weighs a couple of pounds so what they can fly away with is rather limited. That red tail that flew away with an embden goose must have been an eagle.[​IMG]
  7. MMPoultryFarms

    MMPoultryFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    Okarche Oklahoma
    If the bird is to big for the hawk it will just eatit right there on the spot so no size is to big. [​IMG]
  8. gootziecat

    gootziecat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 27, 2007
    Hampshire Co, WV
    Very interesting. It would seem if prey was too large to easily carry off, they would look elsewhere. Evidently not!
  9. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    Quote:I don't think my local Cooper's hawk would kill anything in my yard it couldn't carry away; I firmly believe it's too afraid of my dog. Of course my dog thinks that it is her job in life to run off doves and hawks. I see the hawk daily and even saw it take a dove last week, but it never even hit the ground with the dove. When I first got my chicks I saw my dog and the hawk in a standoff with hawk on the wall around my property and just over a large cactus so the dog couldn't get to it. Smart bird. Oddly enough I don't worry much about it being a danger. My chooks free range all day and we haven't had an encounter since they've grown and the hawk visits the tree in the neighbor's yard daily. Hopefully the darn hawk doesn't prove me wrong now.

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