Surviving a Hawk Attack?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by huxlius, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. huxlius

    huxlius Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2009
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    We have had our 3 chickens free ranging for a year and have been very lucky. We live in the woods in CT but the only predator attack we had was a stray dog who was mostly just playing with them and did not actually hurt any of our chickens.

    However, a hawk attacked one of our chickens today. I heard it and by the time I got outside I guess the chickens had scattered to hide. My neighbor said that it didn't look like the hawk attacked our chicken, Nugget, but didn't actually carry her away. She didn't know if Nugget was injured or not. One chicken returned shortly after, and the other came back about 20 minutes later. I still haven't found Nugget yet, though. During the dog incident, Nugget was also the one attacked (I think she's the slowest) and she hid for about an hour before coming back home, so I'm hopeful that it will be the same this time.

    Has anyone had chickens hide out for a while before returning home? Nugget has been missing for about 2 hours and I would really like to know if she is injured or not. Should I remain hopeful that she will come home soon?
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    I recently had 2 ducks attacked by hawks. The hawks tore their heads off [​IMG]
     
  3. huxlius

    huxlius Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2009
    SW Connecticut
    I found Nugget 2 hours later! But she's has a pretty big wound on her back and a wound right above her ear. The one on her head is pretty deep and keeps bleeding - looks like the skin is pulling away - and the one on her back is about 2 inches by 2 inches and I can see the muscle underneath. If she were a person I would say that she would need stitches to stop the bleeding on her head and possible on her back, but I don't know anything about stitches for chickens! So far we have put neosporin on her wounds but what else should we be doing?
     
  4. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Isn't there a vet grade "super glue" you can use? Neosporin sounds like a good idea.
     
  5. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Regular super glue will work fine.
     
  6. huxlius

    huxlius Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2009
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    Thanks for the advice. We've rinsed the wound and put on Neosporin. She is in a dog crate now with food and water and she is busy scratching away at her food and eating.

    Should we be thinking about giving her an antibiotic?
     
  7. racuda

    racuda Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The same thing happened to me last weekend. A hawk injured my smallest OEGB hen. She had a couple of puncture wounds, which I sprayed with Blu-kote. I didn't give antibiotics, but will monitor her for infection.
     
  8. TeriNick50

    TeriNick50 Out Of The Brooder

    Sure hope your lil' Nugget is feeling better.
    I'm interested to know how the neosporin and super glue worked out.
    Those were both very good ideas.
     
  9. huxlius

    huxlius Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 4, 2009
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    We ended up not using superglue on her wounds - we were afraid that we might not have been able to clean them out enough and would trap dirt/bacteria under there. Nugget is still in the dog cage and seems to be doing okay as far as we can tell. She's eating and drinking and her wounds don't seem to be infected. Our only problem is that our vet (who is not a farm vet and doesn't know too much about chickens) prescribed antibiotics for us, but they are liquid and we can't seem to find a good way to get her to take them. The first day I put the liquid on some bread and she ate it fine, but that trick hasn't worked again. I was a little nervous about using a syringe and putting it down her throat because I wasn't sure if I might accidentally asphyxiate her. Any suggestions?

    I've heard the hawk outside several times in the past few days and the other two chickens are staying close to the deck and the bushes for cover. One of our dogs is pretty good at protecting them but the chickens had strayed over the electric fence line so he couldn't do anything during the attack. Hopefully now they will stick a little closer to home.
     
  10. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Hang cd's or shiny wind spinners in the area your chickens are in. You can also use shiny metallic tape to hang in a fringe pattern. The hawks dislike the reflected light, and it's believed they think the shiny tape is fire. Although this works well when there is a breeze, it obviously does not work as well when your chooks wander to different areas, or there is no breeze. I have spent a lot of time studying hawks, as they are the # 1 predator we have. I have learned some things I thought were interesting. For one thing, once a hawk targets a certain chicken, it will keep targeting that one. Over a period of days or even weeks. I don't know why, but I know that's true as we have had that happen a lot of times. Also, our hawks seem to target chooks with patterns, like hamburgs...black and white or attractive patterns. Or chickens with white backs and a solid colored body, as Red Stars and that variety of chicken often have. Our solid colored, and dark colored chooks, and even the all white ones, seem a lot less appetizing, for some reason. They also almost always go after the hens. I don't know how they know. We have found that bottle rockets shot into the air work well as a deterrent. (You don't have to shoot it AT the hawk) Recently one of our banty Silver Spangled Hamburgs was harassed by a hawk all day. It got her once, we chased it away and she was uninjured; later in the day it got her again, wounded her, and unfortunately though we spent a couple of hours looking for her , we could not find her in the dense brush. The hawk did, though. It came back a third time, and killed her. After all that, it did not even get a meal, unfortunately, as it was frightened away by ourresponding to the hen's cries. (she shut up when we were trying to find her) It was very discouraging and sad. But, we set off a few bottle rockets. There were two hawks together. They never came back after that. Another thing you can try is playing a radio (like a talk show) off an on throughout the day, to simulate actual people presence. I have read that hawks primarily hunt in the late morning to early afternoon, though not always. Get a rooster, if you can, they help, too. Don't forget to give your injured hen some electrolytes to combat shock and help her recover generally; pedialyte works ok. Hope she does well, sounds like she probably will.
     

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