Yikes it's a chicken hawk!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Tikichicken, Nov 25, 2011.

  1. Tikichicken

    Tikichicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    San Diego
    Well, I guess the girls won't get to free range anymore. I had noticed a small hawk in the area, but thought it was too small to be interested in the girls. He is actually smaller than my hens. I did get worried enough to move the coop and build them a larger run. Apparantly, the run is interesting since someone stopped by to check it out as soon as I finished it(seriously after about an hour). I do have bird netting on top of the run, but now I'm worried about leaving them out when I'm not home. How effective is bird netting for a Cooper's hawk? I love animals and it's kinda neat to see this beautiful bird so close in an urban setting, but I don't want anything to happen to my girls. BTW a roo is not an option - I'm too close to my neighbors.
  2. Jewels1935

    Jewels1935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2011
    Central Florida
    [​IMG] Yikes is right!
  3. real_redhead

    real_redhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2011
    Roanoke, VA
    Oh man, doesn't seem to phase your chickens.
  4. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I've never had to deal with a Coopers, but a Red tail landed in the yard once and I came around the corner and scared it off. I haven't seen it since. I suggest a shade type cover. Over the top of the netting. Cheese cloth or something like that. You may not need it at all but you are in San Diego, right?

    I wish you safe chicken keeping,

  5. sharol

    sharol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    We have a large red-tail that lives about 1/8 mile from us in a windbreak near the pond. He flys by almost every day. The other days the girls (11 of a variety of LF breeds -- the smallest is a Golden Campine) were in the yard and started making the "yikes, it's a hawk" noise. I went out just in time to see him swoop down into the little flock. I yelled and he took off without hurting anyone, but it gave me a bad scare. Now when they see a hawk (or one of them alerts) they all rush into their covered run. I suppose the hawk could fly into the run, but he hasn't shown any interest in doing that yet. The run just has heavy bird netting (nylon) over the top, but so far so good. I'm gone all day, so I don't leave them out in the yard until I get home.

    Good luck with your hawk. They are magnificent animals, though, aren't they? I really love the raptors, I just don't want them around my girls.
  6. desertdarlene

    desertdarlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    San Diego
    I just wanted to say hi Tikichicken from San Diego. Cooper's hawks are extremely common here in the city. Don't have an answer to your question, though, but am interested in an answer. One of my other chicken owning friends in town has this type of hawk in her yard, too. So far, it hasn't bothered her chickens and she has bantams as well as full sized. She doesn't have a run and they just hang out in her yard. It's very risky, I feel, though.
  7. guignol

    guignol Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 26, 2011
    if you've seen this hawk once, he's already seen your chickens a hundred times! the main reason they haven't been attacked is more a question of style than size: accipiter cooperii (that's the fellow) tends to attack on the wing, and the narrowness of your run doesn't appeal to him at all. most of their kills are songbirds that they catch in flight, either swooping through a crowd of them and getting them on takeoff or flying them down dogfight style.

    we have a pair of eurasian sparrowhawks (accipiter nisus, almost a twin to cooper's, but about 8cm shorter) that nest on the roof of the apartments beyond our yard: i've seen one eating a woodpigeon right on our lawn but having seen how they hunt i'm not too worried about the chickens we're getting.
  8. dhalezx12

    dhalezx12 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2011
    Denton, NC
    I had to stop letting my chickens free range due to a red tail. He got atleast two of my bantam roosters before I realized what was happening. He still show him self, but there is no more chickens loose for him to attack!
  9. LastChanceRanch

    LastChanceRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Lapeer, Michigan
    I've had no problems with a Cooper's Hawk in my area, although I see them frequently. They are quite impressive to observe "hunting" as (like another poster said) they will capture and take down birds in flight. They have never harrassed my chickens and I free range all sizes and breeds in my layer flock throughout the year. I'm not sure its a size thing, probably just more of a they don't like to be on the ground thing.

    I have had SERIOUS issues with red-tails and bald eagles though. The red tails more so. They are not scared off very easily and I actually got to smack one with a broom after it pounced one of my banties a few years back (she survived, but wow). I haven't seen may red tails in the past year or so after getting a mature pair of peafowl. That peacock honks bloody murder when anything comes close and the chickens run to the barn! [​IMG]

    Good luck with your raptor. Its a shame they are such an issue with the chickens because they sure are beautiful!
  10. pixie546

    pixie546 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 16, 2010
    Leonardtown, MD
    I just had this happen today- My husband came home from work and went around back to let the chickens out ( I have 10) and a hawk flew out of the run!! ( It's not covered yet [​IMG] ) It got a rooster at least but I don't want it to happen again!! I don't know what kind- probably a red-tail or red-shoulder. I put up some temporary plastic netting until I research more options. I don't want the hawk to get hurt either!!! I have my coop inside a 10x40 chain link dog run that was already on the property. Is the nylon aviary netting strong enough? How do you make sure the hawk sees it? That bugger was eating my poor rooster right next to the coop!!! No one came out from under for another 45 minutes, not even with treats. Poor things!

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