Stop Eye-Balling My Flock!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Pinky, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,723
    11
    183
    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    I had quite a scare this morning. I always look out my dining room window before I go feed my flocks. All looked fine, but I did notice one of my game hens was in the wrong flock and she was pacing the fence to get out. One other thing I noticed was my guineas were agitated,making half hearted calls, but not full out predator noisy, and my free ranging flock was over near the neighbor's fence where their dogs bark at my chickens. They are usually perched on my lower deck preening and waiting for me to come feed them.
    When I walk out the door, none of my chickens except Stinky and Pinky, (my two rooster) go on the porch to walk me out in the yard. Just as I approach my first coop and run,
    the guineas exploded with ear piercing noises and the hens and my turkey hen scream and all my roosters (I have 5 grown, and 1 just matured) are making that loud noise they make when they see an aeriel predator. I look up (my chickens trained me to watch the skies), and perched right above me is a hawk! It was so close I could have touched it! When I seen it I screamed along with all my birds. I think it didn't see me aproaching it be cause it flew away when I looked up. I also think we scared it because it didn't just fly to another tree but it flew over my house and my neighbors house across the road (who also has chickens) and into the woods. IT WAS terrifying! [​IMG]
    The hawk looked like this:
    [​IMG]
    This is not my picture. It is from google. Google says this is a coopers hawk. Is that right?
    I was thinking afterwards, Thank God for guineas!! because I think they were making slight noises on and off before I went out that was keeping the hawk from landing in the tree in my uncovered chicken run. I think me coming out the door distracted the birds long enough for the hawk to land, but I don't know for sure.
    And this is not the first time I seen a hawk very similar to this one in my tree. Late Dec. I seen a great look a like to this bird of prey and this first encounter it flew away when I walked out to see what the guineas and chickens were yelling about. I feel bad that I didn't notice it when all my flocks did. I will absolutely be more wary of the skies after this! My turkey still had her tail fanned out after the hawk was gone.
    I do have a new-to-predators question:
    The hawk was small looking, and I want to know if male birds of prey are generally smaller than female or vice-versa OR could it have been an immature hawk looking for an easy meal? I know very little about raptors but it didn't look immature to me, but like I said I have little experience with raptors and I would like to know what I'm up against.
    Please help me.
     
  2. Grim

    Grim Out Of The Brooder

    48
    0
    22
    Jan 26, 2011
    "give a man a fish he eats fish tonight. teach a man to fish he eats fish every night."

    the easy answer would be to tell you about the animal. but the truth is i have little experience with that particular breed of hawk. wikipedia usually has an article on the different critters you will have to deal with. it usually give average sizes and male/female differences. it may not tell you how to deal with the problem but it gives you an idea of what you are dealing with. look him up, small raptors (in my experience) don't usually bother mature birds. larger ones will. the red tail is the most common here. they might take a frier but leave the adults alone. i've lost a few roosters and protective mammas to them though. but that wasn't because the hawk took the chicken. more the chicken lost the fight.
     
  3. renart

    renart Chillin' With My Peeps

    673
    0
    139
    Mar 16, 2009
    Kingston, WA
  4. LeBlackbird

    LeBlackbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,231
    36
    213
    Aug 17, 2009
    SE Pennsylvania
    The Cooper's Hawk (Aka the Chicken Hawk) Is a very well known Poultry Murderer. One took out my full grown Spangled Orloff the other week [​IMG] Although one good thing is that if you lock your birds up for a while, the hawk will usually leave you alone [​IMG]

    2 coopers hawks...

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by