Will a hawk go in the coop to get at chickens?


9 Years
Aug 11, 2010
Greenacres, WA
I was just wondering if a hawk would actually go into the coop to get at chickens, or if they are more of a "swoop in and attack" kind of predator. On occasion I have seen a couple of hawks fly over my yard while my chickens were out (and I was out with them). If the chickens ran into their coop after spotting a hawk, would it actually go in there after them? I hate to keep them locked up all day because I can't be standing guard all the time.
Hawks will lower themselves to ground attacks when they are really hungry. They are slow on the ground though. The chickens would likely be able to escape from a ground attack.
There are a few hawks that will attack from the ground but I think the risk is pretty small. I would worry about other animals attacking them at ground level...hawks would be at the bottom of the list for ground attacks.
On two occassions I have had Cooper's hawks enter pigeon lofts through the bobs and kill and eat pigeons in the loft. They will do the same thing with chickens. I have a friend who had a red tail enter his loft, and Great Horned owls will readily enter lofts and chicken coops.
Hawks are less likely to go into a coop than to swoop down after a chicken. They will go into a run though. They will also try to reach INTO a run through the fencing. We lost our first chicken to a Red Tailed hawk who waited for our baby Silkie to come close enough to the fence to grab. And he did. Wasn't pretty.
We immediately reinforced with hardware cloth all the way around the run. Lesson learned.

The bad guy. No fear:

Scouting out the prospects up-close:

Thanks. We thought it was amazing to see him up close too. UNTIL we realized he had already dispatched the Silkie.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom