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Whew, close one!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicknmania, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    I'm not sure where to put this, but I decided to post it under behaviors because as usual that is what to me is the most interesting. Earlier today I heard our yard flock rioting, as if there were a predator. When I went out they were all hiding so I did a patrol and couldn't see anything, went back in. 15 minutes later or so I went out with a basket of clothes to hang on the line. The clothesline is close to our compost pile, which is just inside the woods and usually if the chickens see me there they will go to forage in the pile, I guess they figure it's safe as long as I'm there. I was hanging clothes and they were happily foraging when all of a sudden they panicked and scattered in all directions...I saw one of our golden comet hens struggling in the brush. I didn't know what had her, I just started screaming and running towards her, I was less than three feet away when the Northern Harrier hawk let her go and flew away! Anyway, the interesting part was that after the hawk was gone, and all the chickens were safely concealed, I went in the house to tell my DH, and our dog came back out with me. She gets along well with the chickens and was wandering around, when Brownie, one of our mixed hens, took the opportunity to come out of her hiding place, and moved up closely behind our dog, clucking the whole time. She followed the dog closely til they reached the front yard, where she ran under the bushes in the front yard to be with her roo and her friends in the flock! It amazed me that she had enough sense to use the dog as a bodyguard. The Golden Comet hen (they all look pretty much alike but I think it's Gretel) is lying on our garage floor now. There are no visible injuries and she is lying in a normal position, but obviously she is in shock. When I went out there and spoke to her she tried to crawl under our workbench, so I poured some water out in a bowl for her and left her a piece of cantaloupe. She can see both. I think she will probably be ok, the hawk didn't even tear any feathers off her, but she is an older hen so I hope the shock doesn't kill her. [​IMG]
     
  2. Featherland

    Featherland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 28, 2007
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    I'm glad the hawk didn't get your chicken. Last year we had a hawk that hung around a lot trying to get a chicken and they became adept at getting in hiding places and freezing. Thankfully none of our chickens got caught. Be careful though the hawk may hang around for a while.
     
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Golden Comets are so smart, and friendly. I adore mine. We're in the Atlantic Flyway, raptors overhead most of the time and we're close to the woods with foxes, raccoons, coyotes. Needless to day we have primo biosecurity!
     
  4. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Ya know...many people say that chickens are dumb. People who DON'T have chickens!~ I believe chickens are smarter then we give them credit for. Some of my 12 week olds have really shown their brite side a time or two. I sure hope your chicken is ok and that hawk never returns! I thought I heard something in my apple tree right next to my coop...my dad and I walked over there and heard alot of scuffling going on in the bushes but didn't see anything! All my chickens were locked up at the time so not sure what it was...then we hear what we thought was huge wings flapping. My father in law later told me that a family of turkeys roost there. What a relief! I prefer turkeys over huge hawks any day!
     
  5. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    Gretel stayed in the garage for about four hours, was still there when I had to leave. When I came back several hours later, she was back among the living, with the flock, and the cantaloupe was gone! The Northern Harrier has a mate and they have lived in the woods for about a year now; not the first time they have staked out our flock. They are beautiful birds, though.
     

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