This is why you should have a covered run


Feb 11, 2021
United States of America
This 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.


Aug 19, 2020
I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me on this.... but I'd put money on it that the chicken was killed by something else and the hawk went in scavenging. Hawks don't kill too many adult happens, but it's infrequent. Also, hawks don't walk up to chickens and peck them to death. If a hawk kills a chicken, it does it by swooping down fast and hitting the chicken from above with it's feet.... the hawk couldn't have swooped from above inside this run.
Azygous above commented that "it would have been an easy shot" except for the federal protection.... as if that is a bad thing. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but I'm very glad they're protected. They're beautiful, incredible birds. I live my chickens, but they cost $3 if I occasionally lose one and have to replace it. In 15 years of having chickens, I've lost quite a few to fox, dogs, possibly a coyote, bunches to raccoons, and I had a weasel problem once.... I do suspect that one (1) was lost to a hawk....but it's just a guess. One chicken in 10 years isn't worth killing all the hawks in my area (if it were legal). However, if it were legal...I know they'd be slaughtered. I caught my neighbor shooting a beautiful big redtail because he thought it "may" kill a chicken someday, and our rabbit club kills dozens of them a year. It's tragic that all people don't value these birds more.
Well you just lost your money! I was just out with my chickens. They were all alive and fine. I went to get their snack came back outside Upon walking into the enclosed run wondering why they weren’t visible I notice a hawk 20 feet away from me! The little pullet was laying there dead. The hawk couldn’t figure out how to go back 60 ft and take a right through the screen door. I assume my chickens ran into the fully enclosed run when the hawk flew towards them and the hawk followed them in through the door.

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