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Will Hawks kill Larger Breeds?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Central Florida, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. Central Florida

    Central Florida In the Brooder

    Dec 19, 2008
    We had two Buff Orpingtons and one Frizzle pictured in the avatar and about a month ago a hawk flew into their run and killed her....my wife was horribly upset and now we will not let our Buffs out...I feel bad to limit the amount of time they can range and wonder if they are large enough the hawks will leave them alone...we thought the Frizzle was big enough and the hawk that killed her was half her size. Has anyone had Buffs or similar sized breeds killed by hawks?


  2. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Songster

    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    Hawks will kill birds larger than themselves. I lost a black sex link last month to a Cooper's hawk that was half her size. Keep them protected until the hawks migrate in the spring.
  3. Barred Rockstar

    Barred Rockstar In the Brooder

    Dec 7, 2009
    Humboldt County, CA
    Yeah, it's pretty much a crap shoot. Sometimes they leave the standard size birds alone, but if they're hungry enough I'm sure they wouldn't hesitate. We have a lot of red tail hawks here, but so far I've only had a problem with them taking immature birds.
  4. Iowa Roo Mom

    Iowa Roo Mom Resistance Is Futile

    Apr 30, 2009
    Keokuk County
    In my personal experience, the hawks seem to be indifferent to my standard size free range chickens, but then again the natural prey around here is plentiful. I'm sure once the rabbits and mice kick off or the balance shifts, they'll look at my birds in a whole new light. That being said, hawks, owls, and eagles are amazing predators, and I wouldn't put it past one that is hungry enough to take a larger chicken.

    ETA: I also only free range whilst I am outside, and I know and accept these risks [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2010
  5. jwchicklady

    jwchicklady Songster

    May 29, 2009
    Howell, MI
    I have read that the red tail hawk is large enough that it will go for a larger chicken. other hawks, not so much. ever since i got chickens last spring, we have had a beautiful red tail hawk hanging around our property. it did get one of my smaller roosters a couple of weeks ago, just left a little pile of feathers on the ground.
  6. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    I've had Cooper's Hawks take bantams and both small and large standard size birds. They've caught ones as small as a bantam faverolle pullet up to my very large BLRW roo easily twice the hawk's size.

    I have found the hawks go for the lighter birds over the darker ones. I assume they're easier to see.
  7. quailbrain

    quailbrain Songster

    Mar 26, 2009
    Hawks , escpecially when hungry, will take any food they can get. I think your wife might be right (ofcourse wifes always are right anyways [​IMG] ) When the hawks leave the area might be a better time for roaming like everyone has said. Sorry for your loss.

  8. HennyJenny

    HennyJenny Songster

    Dec 26, 2009
    Bennington, NE
    I have a big red-tail that sits on a telephone pole 30 feet from my coop -everyday and looks down into (my netted) run and just waits for the opportunity to grab one of my buffs. I hope he finds a new home in the spring - he's big enough to carry off my kids - let alone my birds.
  9. newchickengirl

    newchickengirl Chirping

    Nov 19, 2009
    In My experience, cooper hawks have only targeted My bantams but red tailed hawks are another story. I had a 5.6 game rooster that got killed by a red tailed that was his size if not bigger. Got metal pie pans and a new grt pyr so hoping this wont happen again. I feel it the hawk is hungry enough it will go for anything.
  10. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I had 2 duck decapitated by a hawk. One was a buff/khaki mutt. The other a purebred welsh harlequin. The were both about 6 pounds. Not huge but not tiny either.

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