YupThis morning I had an awful scare. I went out to clean my coops and all of my hens had stuffed themselves under the rear coop in the covered run. However, my two roosters, who normally free-range all day, had vanished. All was deathly silent.
Expecting to find two mangled bodies, I went in search of the roos. I walked in an expanding loop around the run, and as I was getting farther away, I heard the boys frantic screeching back in the vicinity of the run. I ran back and found them sheltering next to the fence around my squash patch. I led them back to the run where they were very eager to go in where it was safe.
I assumed it was a lone coyote that sometimes lurks, contemplating what chicken tastes like. (Probably a lot like wild turkey) I headed into the house to make tea and calm my nerves when the chickens all started making a hysterical racket. As I looked around for that spooky coyote, I caught a glimpse of a large bird gliding overhead. It landed in a pine right next to the run. Did I mention my run is covered? I ran into the house and grabbed the camera. View attachment 2835185 As I stood watching, a raven flew in and landed on a treetop nearby. The hawk pretended to ignore it, but flew off a minute later. Since the ravens moved into the neighborhood some years back, I've had very few hawks where before, they were dive bombing my chickens, sometimes while they were standing right next to me. Now the ravens will chase the occasional hawk out of the area.
It would have been such an easy shot with a .22 rifle, but these predators are protected in the United States under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 (16 USC, 703-711. It wasn't necessary, at any rate, since the raven took care of the problem.