Will a hawk return if it didn't get to eat?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dumluckcluck, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. dumluckcluck

    dumluckcluck Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2012
    I lost one of my beloved Pymouth Rock girls at dusk tonight.....caught a hawk on the ground with her that seemed to have broken her neck. She was dead, but the hawk hadn't had a chance to start eating yet when I scared it off. I'm thinking of putting my girls into their coop/fortress about a half an hour before dusk from now on. If we're vigilant for the next week, think the hawk will give up? Or do the keep returning once they feel they have a chance at an easy meal? My heart is broken...someone please tell me chickens go to heaven.....
  2. fitzhugh512

    fitzhugh512 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2013
    Chickens do go to chicken heaven! So sorry to hear that happened, always sad when it does no matter how many times you've gone through it. At least you can pat yourself on the back for loving your animals to the point where their lives' affect yours, there are a lot of people out there where this is not the case.

    I stumbled upon this article the other day. It is an about.com article... but this one seems credible! (I rarely trust what I read on about.com):


    Good luck protecting the rest of them!
  3. dumluckcluck

    dumluckcluck Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2012
    Thank you for your kind words....After reading the article, we've decided to take down our song bird feeders for a while. That may have very well attracted the hawk hang around our property. We've had very large numbers of finches feeding these past few weeks, in addtion to the usual cardinals, chickadees, titmouse, etc. We accept that living "in the woods" as we do, that we will always have predators, but will try our best to protect our "girls".
  4. DianaMallory

    DianaMallory Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2012
    Lancaster Ohio
    I live in the woods also and have been visited by a coopers hawk many times. He didn't get anything to eat but still keeps coming back trying to figure out how to get into my girls run. My girls never free range for that reason! The run is completely enclosed with hard ware cloth. A couple nights ago I noticed were something tried to dig under the run. Sorry about that coons life, but hardware cloth saved my girls from a massacre. When the coon hit the cloth that is buried six inches down he stopped digging and tried to push it's way into the run. The only thing that coon will be pushing is daisys because I caught him in the live trap last night and took care of it. After the coon couldn't get in the run it came up and ate all the seed out of the bird feeder. I only free range my girls when I am out with them. The rest of the time they are in the pin well protected.If you don't want to lose anymore of your girls I suggest you do the same.
  5. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    If the yard in is the hawks territory then it will be back,but it will stop hunting your hens if you make the run difficult to get through.

    I have a hawk that lives in my general area.Has never killed,but he loves to hunt the hens. I have no run.Just a lot of cover for them to run too.Plus a roo to die for them.
  6. alisasee

    alisasee New Egg

    Sep 23, 2012
    [FONT=arial, helvetica, clean, sans-serif]We just lost one RIR to a hawk within the last hour. He attacked her in the open pen. It being later winter, no leaves on the trees the hawk being hungry & their food source is scarce..it was bound to happen. We live in the woods and positioned our coop/run under the tree canopy.

    [FONT=arial, helvetica, clean, sans-serif]The other hens were up in the coop, stressed to the max. When we went up, the hawk tried to carry her off. I locked them up and we removed the carnage. I spotted the hawk scoping out the run for the others. It was intent upon staying there.... to the point that it made itself comfy on the perch we have in the open pen. The hens were in the coop and were very upset. [/FONT][/FONT]

    So to answer your question, yes...they will come back if they know there's a chance of bagging another hen.
  7. NotableNancy

    NotableNancy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2012
    Unfortunately they will keep coming back. And even if you get rid of the bird feeders the hawks are hunting squirrels, mice, chipmunks etc to eat so removing the bird feeders
    will not eliminate the hawks.
    My neighbor has a run with wire strung over the top to keep the hawks out but that hasn't stopped them. She sent me a photo last week of a hawk eating one of her Leghorns in the run. You will need full coverage to keep them out of the run or they will be back. They're hungry and it's just nature.
    So sorry about your loss; it must be heart breaking.
  8. tiburciob33

    tiburciob33 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 6, 2013
    I have the same problem, for a couple of years the hawks would not notice them, but they recently did. I don't let them out any more but I once found the hawk on top of the coop three days in a row waiting for the chickens to come out. I only let them free range when I am with them. So unfortunately once they know there is a food source there they will not leave it or will just give it a little look once in a while.
  9. ChickMommaSD

    ChickMommaSD Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 28, 2013
    Carlsbad, CA
    We have hawks and I always get worried. Thanks for your thoughts here.
  10. dumluckcluck

    dumluckcluck Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2012
    I have a very upsetting update.Our chicken coop is plywood with a small (8x8) double hardware encased run. It's completely enclosed, the hardware cloth is buried a foot deep all around to stave off the foxes, racoons etc from digging in. This enclosure has a hardware cloth re-inforced screen door, and it adjoins a 15x30 fenced area that has two small peach trees in it. As our girls got fully grown, we started opening the enclosure door and let them free run in the fenced area, as the coop area was too small to keep them in it all day. Yesterday, my husband opened the door as usual and let them out. Not much later, he heard a terrible squawking, and found a hawk (probably the same one that killed the day before) INSIDE the coop area, with one of the Rock girls dead on the ground. Without going into details,my husband took care of the situation. The remaining three chickens were traumatized. I have learned my lesson the hard way, we will just have to find a way to enclose the top of the 15x30 area. Hawks are only doing what comes natural for them, so I can only blame myself. Thank you everyone for your input and sympathy, my heart is very heavy today......

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