Would a hawk come *in* to the coop?


11 Years
Apr 30, 2008
We live in a young suburban neighborhood with open space all around. The only animals I have seen in our neighborhood are rabbits, an occasional squirrel and hawks/eagles. We have seen hawks take birds rightout of our bird feeder, so we know they are near by. Otherwise, I have seen nothing else.

We lost one of our favorite 'girls' last night (or early this morning). The only evidence is feathers EVERYWHERE! They are both inside and outside of the coop. The vast majority are in the coop, under the roosts. We are trying to figure out what did it. Though there are patches of feathers in various spots in their run (and outside of it), we have found no carcass. It appears whatever did it, attacked her in the coop and dragged her out. The run is not covered, so it could've flown out, but there are places where smart, smallish animal could easily crawl under our admittedly lame fencing.

I am thinking it was a hawk because I have never seen anything else and because there is no carcass. Dh says he thinks it is a fox because he doubts a hawk would go into the coop. Also, Gertrude was a big girl. Not as big as a brahma, but on the larger size of chickens. Could a hawk take an animal that big?

ANyone have any ideas? have you ever heard of a hawk entering a coop (it's 6x5 feet)? Would the large amount of feather indicate a bird? Don't they pluck their prey?

I have had the experience of a Red Tailed come in to my coop and attack a cochin hen. They are very smart. I too live in a suburban neighborhood. Unless your pen is topped, they will find a way to get at your birds.

I'm no pro but, it sounds like a four legged eater. We've had an owl in the coop. He ate the head. Also had two hawk attacks and they ate the head also.

Sorry about your loss!

Colby in KY
I have my run covered with chicken wire on the top and some wire along the top of the coop too. When I put in the new run I made sure to dig down to bury the wire and then put heavy boards around the base of the run. We have hawks and coyotes around here. When on of my chickens was a little younger Mom had them all outside in the afternoon to play in the backyard. When it was time to bring them inside she noticed an extra chicken next to one of hers. It turned out to be a chicken hawk the same size as the chickens and in just a few minutes while she was trying to get the rest in the coop it killed the chicken. So we don't let our chickens out anymore which is a shame.
Make sure as soon as you get a chance cover the top of the run with wire. That will slow them down.
Wow, that's amazing how persistent it was! I guess that certainly indicates it is possible it was a hawk.

I'm still wondering though, if a hawk could carry off a 7 pound chicken. Gertrude was a big girl.

Thanks. I do have some deer netting I bought last summer that will probably do the trick.

We will have to totally redo our fence. It's so bad, I'm too embarrassed to even describe it. However, it's still winter here, so we are going to have to wait until it warms up a bit. Ground is still very frozen.


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