Trying to Foil a Red-Tailed Hawk

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BigBlueHen53, Oct 9, 2019.

  1. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

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    "Well, it's finally, happened, Zachary..." After years of letting my chickens free-range with hardly an incident of aerial predation, a red-tailed hawk has discovered the bounty.

    Yesterday there was a lot of cackling going which I thought was just a hen and one of the roosters bragging about an egg. No big deal. About an hour later they were at it again and this time I noticed their fenced yards were deserted. Not a chicken in sight! They were all in the hen house. Thought I better check it out. Something not right.

    As I stepped off the back porch steps, a huge RTH flew up off the ground from their run and off into the trees. I checked but there was no evidence it had gotten one of my birds. However, when I counted beaks last night, one of my BO was missing.

    So today they are confined to the smallest, inner run. It doesn't give them much room, but I'm pretty sure the hawk can't get them there. My plan is to keep them confined for several days, maybe a week, in hopes the hawk will move on.

    What do you guys think? Is there a snowball's chance there will work? Will post a pic shortly.
     
  2. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

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    So here is the hen house and the little pen surrounding it to which they are confined today. I know it's tight for 18 hens and two roos! Fortunately they all get along nicely. But ... do you think in time the RTH will move on to easier pickings if he can't get to my birds?


    20191009_092930.jpg
     
  3. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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    I think so. Maybe putting a few obstacles and roosts in that small area will make it easier for the chickens to cope. And who knows, they might like feeling safer. After an eagle attack this summer I put bird netting over my run. It seemed like my chickens felt safer because they began roaming around again. If you could expand their run and put bird netting over it that would obviously be better.

    So sorry for your loss!!!:hugs
     
  4. Henry&Friends

    Henry&Friends Songster

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    If you want the hawk to move on, that’s cool, but if you want it to really get a move on, the three S’s might be your best friend. Or I chase each hawk off with a broom at each given opportunity, so they get the message.
     
  5. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

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    Thanks, I appreciate that. :hugs
    They have a huge fenced run, close to the size of a football field. But it's too big to cover, really. They usually spend most of the day there, then about 3:30 in the afternoon (after everyone is done laying) we usually let them free range till they put themselves up at dusk. We are very isolated out here, no neighbors or anything, in a large clearing surrounded by forest. We have done this for about 9 years with no problems till now.
     
  6. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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    I hear that. The bald eagles never attacked our chickens until this year either. This year they attacked all our farms around here. They even attacked a calf the moment it was dropped!!! No kidding, they have photos. Something is different this year. Human intervention in the eco system backfiring again. :th
     
  7. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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    Security, security and security?
     
  8. Henry&Friends

    Henry&Friends Songster

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    That’s personal preference, I suppose.
     
    MROO, penny1960 and ValerieJ like this.
  9. Trish1974

    Trish1974 Araucana enthusiast

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    Sorry you are dealing with this. I can't answer your question, but wanted to say keep an eye out for your BO. I would think there would be some signs (feathers, etc.) if the hawk got her. My neighbor had a fox take off with a hen and she came back a week later. Unfortunately she was so tore up and infection had set in so he put her down. But odds are your girl is just off hiding somewhere.
     
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  10. ValerieJ

    ValerieJ Crossing the Road

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    I was just trying to figure out what the 3 S's were. LOL
     

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