Thwarted Hawk Attack

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Patinas, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. Patinas

    Patinas Songster

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    Mar 22, 2017
    Washington
    I've had my flock for a year now and other than one hen mysteriously going missing, I've had no known issues with predators going after my flock while they are foraging. Until now...

    A few days ago the flock was out and they were just off the back patio and my DH was sitting out there reading and out of no where, a hawk swooped down, talons out, going for one of the hens. Fortunately, because he saw it right before it got the hen, he yelled and scared the hawk so it veered at the last seconds and flew off. Whew! Of course the hens were terrified and ran under a separate outbuilding we have that's up on blocks and stayed under there for a good half hour.

    Also, about a week ago, my daughter brought her 9 month old blue healer pup over to visit and we always tether him up when he's outside because he isn't "chicken tested". Well, he slipped out the door and the hens were out and he bee lined for one of them and chased her. He didn't bite her so still not sure if it was aggression or just the "I have to chase that" mentality. Again, the flock was terrified.

    So with two close calls within a week, I have noticed the flock is now understandably, super sensitive to anything out of the normal, including new people. Any sudden movements send them running for cover. Even if I have something large in my hand they freak out. For example, I walked out with an empty black plastic garbage bag in my hand and they freaked out!

    Part of me thinks it's a good thing that they are on hyper watch but the other part of me worries about them constantly running for cover over anything unfamiliar.

    Do you think they will settle back down a bit after awhile?
     
    puffypoo22 likes this.
  2. Harmony Fowl

    Harmony Fowl Songster

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    They will. It’s actually good training for them, since thankfully they learned the lessons without losing any flock members. I, too, have had birds lose their minds over a garbage bag, but my eight month old once did, too. Mine were also petrified of a pile of dead leaves. But they relax and learn and adjust. It’s good that they are wary. The predator they spot is one they can avoid, hopefully.
     
    Brahma Chicken5000 and Patinas like this.
  3. Patinas

    Patinas Songster

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    Mar 22, 2017
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    @Harmony Fowl : Thanks for the reply. I know it's a good thing they are being more vigilant but I feel like I have to move in slow motion around them because even my own fast movements send them running and screaming for cover. I guess I'm just surprised that they are that jumpy towards even me. They used to seem very calm when I am outside with them but now even I am suspect in their eyes.
     
  4. deepbluesea

    deepbluesea Crowing

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    I'm glad that you were able to prevent any fatalities! They'll get used to you again eventually, don't worry. And the startle response is a valuable trait.
     
    Patinas likes this.

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