FluffyButtBabies

Chirping
Jun 24, 2020
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I have a small backyard flock of 4 hens and 2 roos. They stay in a tractor for most of the day, but I watch them run around for an hour in the yard before nightfall. They've all been raised together, so even though the numbers are small the boys get along very nicely. One of the Roosters is a Polish, and the other is a young Faverolle. All of my birds are INCREDIBLY sweet and mild-mannered, and they love cuddles and such. The reason I have roosters really are to a) have chicks and b) protection. Well yesterday they experienced a very frightening hawk attack. The thing had been stalking them in a tree with perfect camouflage, and then swooped down two feet away from me to snatch one of the hens. Of course I grabbed a stick and ran after it screaming, and my hen managed to escape unscathed. But here's what I don't get: my boys did nothing at all! None of them did, really. I would have expected at least one of them to see the hawk, or at least alert the girls when it attacked. But the girls just ran into the open grass (which is stupid), and the boys stood there dumbfounded. Granted, this is their first real attack and they sounded the alarm after I shood them all in the coop, but it was a little late for that. What I'm wondering is, will they get any braver as protectors? Will they be able to spot incoming danger at all? I've been clipping the Polish's feathers to help him see, but I've rendered him hopeless. And the other is really sweet and loves cuddles, has a crossbeak, and just seems too innocent and tiny to help. They're all bantams, so they aren't really the strongest/biggest. Will the hens at least learn to fend for themselves? Thanks for the advice!
 

HappyDuckie

Our faith can move mountains ~ Matthew 17:20
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Sep 30, 2020
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How old are your chickens? Bantams are pretty feisty, in my experience. The polish will need his feathers trimmed consistently so that he will be able to see.
 

HappyDuckie

Our faith can move mountains ~ Matthew 17:20
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It really depends on the chicken, but as they get older they should start protecting the hens. Not all roosters will take on hawks, but they should at least alert the hens of one. Good luck.
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
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Jul 26, 2008
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But here's what I don't get: my boys did nothing at all! None of them did, really. I would have expected at least one of them to see the hawk, or at least alert the girls when it attacked.
I have never understood the "i have a rooster to protect the hens". In my experience, they die.

With such a small flock, that would be heart breaking.

Now ganders, or my male muscovy, yes.. they could keep away and fight off eagles etc.

Roosters? Nope.
 

FluffyButtBabies

Chirping
Jun 24, 2020
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Virginia
Well I never really bet on them attacking/defending against the hawk, 'cause they're all pretty small. But I at least thought they'd be smart enough to call out to the others or hide. I know one of my youngest hens did just that, she ran under a thick bush and hid herself by crouching. All the rest though ran right into the open in a panic, which I would think made them an even bigger target. Will they at least learn how to hide?
 

Alaskan

The Frosted Flake
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Will they at least learn how to hide?
Some might, some might not.

Polish and Faverolles are not noted for any predator smarts.

Now some dark brown Leghorns, those are impressively flighty, and might do a bit better.

But in general, sweet fluffy pet like chickens are... sitting ducks for predators.
 

roosterhavoc

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It’s already been said that roosters don’t really do much against predators but the two breeds you have would definitely be considered useless. They’re two of the most docile breeds out there.
 

FluffyButtBabies

Chirping
Jun 24, 2020
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Virginia
Yay! I guess I raised a bunch of hawk chicken nuggets. 🙄 Lol it's fine, I still love them. I'll just have to be more careful and watch the skies better (with a stick).
 

SulkyBantam

Flock Consultant
Nov 3, 2020
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Yes, sometimes they don't protect until they are actual roos. How much do you trim though? My polish boys give alarm call ALL THE TIME ( :rolleyes: ) regardless of trimming, but other polish have vision difficulties.
 

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