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Those dreaded airplanes ...

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by GoodEgg, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    I was out talking to my chickens yesterday, and suddenly everyone rushed into the coop, with a couple of brave ones standing in the doorway looking out over their shoulders.

    For a moment I wondered what I'd said. Then I saw it ...

    Waaaayyyyy up in the sky, a commercial jet.

    You never know when they might swoop down and grab an unsuspecting chicken.

    Reminds me of the first time the ducklings saw a helicopter.

    Seriously though, I'm glad they are keeping an eye out!

    trish
     
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Oh MY!!! Gotta watch those jets! They are fast as well! LOL So glad they are watching the sky....makes ya wonder....how do they know? Just glad they are smart!!
     
  3. Yonaton

    Yonaton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    Heh heh...mine will be in the run and all of a sudden they'll all start ducking and running to-and-fro. Look around and it's a small dragonfly that they're scared of, but if one of the giant butterflies goes by the run the chickens all run over each other trying to get at the thing.
     
  4. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2007
    There was an interesting study done on what triggers the fright response from birds with an overhead flyby. Generically, it the shape had the wings more than halfway forward, like a hawk, the birds would run. If the wings were more than halfway back, like a goose, the birds would ignore the shape. Interesting. I've watched it with my birds on many occassion.

    Bad news for you with planes is eventually they will probably learn to ignore overhead frightening shapes. So when it is a hawk and not a plane, they will ignore it. Eventually, a hawk will strike.
     
  5. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    I was thinking of that study, Foxtrapper. It really was interesting ... you're talking about the one they did using baby birds, and even they recognized which "direction" equalled a dangerous shape?

    I'm glad then that those planes don't normally fly over. We do get helicopters from time to time, but we aren't in the flight path. I don't know why that one was there ... I've never seen commercials overhead out here. Crop dusters last week, but they are rare too.

    I hope the chickens don't get too used to it, at any rate. I'm still too leery to let them out except when I'm right there, although I don't think it makes any difference that I'm there where hawks are concerned. I do like to see a dove or crow on the power line. They won't be there if there are hawks around. I'm thankful for those crows chasing hawks off and making such a racket about it. And it's strange, but even though it's pretty wooded out here, I don't see hawks often. When I do, they will hang around for days, but then I go weeks without seeing one.

    It only takes one though. And I KNOW there's been one after the chickens already. Fortunately, they were under strong netting that day, which I guess the hawk missed, or didn't care.

    I still haven't found out if there are any small weasels around here, but other than that, I suspect hawks will be my main concern.

    trish
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Interesting, I live within a mile of a small airport and boeing... Planes fly by all the time. They don't even look at the planes, even if they are low.. but as soon a a hawk is flying by, they go crazy and run for cover. I think they can learn the difference between plane and hawk.
     
  7. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2007
    Quote:Yes, that's probably the one. They'd fly the shape one way, the birds would ignore it (goose like orientation), reverse the direction, and the birds would panic (hawk like orientation). It was an interesting read.

    As for weasels, if you live on the North American continent, you've got them.
     
  8. bantymum

    bantymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes Planes are strange things! Have you seen a duck watch a plane? it looks so funny as they twist their necks just like we do and look up, really cute!
     
  9. Gracefulspice

    Gracefulspice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2007
    Pa
    Mabey my hens are different from all of your, but mine usually won't run from planes. (unless very low) They will look up, but that's about it. They will however run for cover from a hawk, geese, crows, bluejays, herion<---spelled right? most mid to large size birds, and a kite. Now the shape of the kite the wings are back, not to the side, if the kite is on the ground, they will come out, but if it launches into the air they run. We don't fly it often, and now I lock them up if we do. I don't want them to get used to something large flying over head and not be afraid. But as for shape, I find my hens don't follow those studies. [​IMG]
     
  10. Southern28Chick

    Southern28Chick Flew The Coop

    Apr 16, 2007
    I live directly under air traffic!! Is normal to see in one day 10-15 planes. They're usually very high but some of them are headed to Raleigh-Durham airport (about 45 minutes away) and can be pretty low. My roo used to sound the alarm and the girls would run into the house but not anymore. Planes don't bother them now, guess they got used to them.
     

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