Will a Swallow Tail Kite eat a chicken?


10 Years
Aug 13, 2010
Lacombe, Louisiana
My Coop
My Coop
We have always had them here,. we call them split Tailed kites,..with no problems,.. but I just had a pair in the yard swooping only 15-20 feet over my head and they took no notice of my running and hollering and waving at them. It's 90 degrees out there so all the young ones are under cover but some of the hens were out,.. DD thinks maybe it saw the black water hose and thought it was a snake,. their favorite meal,.. and she may be correct,. but has anyone ever had one take a chicken?
They are predators but are probably more interested in your fuzzybutts vs big hens, but then again there's more eating on a big bird. A good roo will help alert, guard, & fight and guineas will help alert to danger. Make sure there is cover available that birds can hide in or under (ie. loose brush pile)
I don't think it should be enough of a concern to start putting tarps and nets all over the coop, like a Red-tailed hawk for example, but shooing them away is probably a good idea just in case of attack, and like the above post, have hide-outs available. I doubt that a Kite like that could kill and eat a fully-matured Large Fowl chicken, becuase Kites are fairly small, preferring to mainly feed on small rodents and reptiles, but you should keep any bantams supervised and well guarded.
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I don't think they are a real threat. I think they go after small prey and they are pretty small and light birds.

I have some that fly over often. While they do spend a lot of time flying over the property, they don't seem the least bit interested in the chickens or ducks. The chickens act like they are a threat, like everything that flies, but the ducks just watch them.
Well I feel a little better,.. I really didn't want another thing to watch out for,..
we are always on hawk alert,..
but until today,. I never even thought about the kites,.. we just love watching them and they eat snakes and rats so thats cool,. but these were down in my yard really looking,.. and all my hollering didn't bother them,..
the flock free range all day,.. with lots of cover,. but there are still open places,..

I wonder if anyone has ever seen them take a chicken,..
We have two huge kites that live in our rural area. Hubs says to keep Little Man out of their path (a little bantam roo just 14 weeks or so), but so far I've had no problems when they are free ranging for hours. We do have lots of big trees, so probably since they like the shade, the kites don't have as much of a chance as they would in a more open area. Still, I don't trust them entirely! Come to think of it, maybe they are hanging around because of our rat problem???
Kites are raptors with long wings which spend a great deal of time soaring,. We have Swallow tailed and Mississippi kites here,.. the Mississippi kites eat a lot of the birds at our feeders,..

the Swallow Tails, we always see with snakes,.. they have a wingspan of about 4 ft.,.. and they are beautiful!
We have Kites here as well. My rooster alerts the hens and they head for cover. The Kites have never tried to go after the hens, nor the pullets I have for that matter.

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