Thank you jenna. The garden is enclosed by two fences, but the hawk got in there anyway. I'd have to cover the whole thing with wire. I thought with all the trees and plants in there, they would be able to avoid predators, but this chicken wasn't very bright compared to the other two. Now I'm worried the hawk will come back to try to get the others. He didn't take the corpse with him; my husband scared him away, but now he knows he can kill the little chickens, he'll probably be back. But I don't want to close them in their little house,where they spend the night, because they are used to having the run of the garden and being able to forage all day. Hawks are always a danger to chickens here, we have both Red tailed Hawks (this was one) who hunt in the open, and Cooper's Hawks, who fly under the tree canopy. It was a perfectly "natural" death for a small bird, but I'm sad, she was a sweet little chicken.
I'm so sorry. That must have been really hard. I've always been scared of predators getting my chickens, but we don't have many hawks here, just racoons. Maybe a plastic, life-size owl placed somewhere in your garden would keep away the hawks. I don't know if they are scared of owls though, but I can't think of anything else besides that or a wire enclosure like Jenna mentioned.
So sorry. Hawks have been frequent around my place lately as well. I suppose since harvesting is going on, the mice are all fleeing to the little forest we have at the back of our house, bringing owls and hawks with them. I put my birds inside as a precaution.
You have silkies? I have a 6 year-old silkie rooster named Snowman. They are very sweet aren't they? It is so tough to lose them.
So far the hawk has not returned, this has not been his hunting territory typically, mainly we've been getting the Cooper's Hawk, who is smaller and less likely to go after any but the smallest chickens.
Thank you all for the good wishes. It's quite difficult to keep these birds without predator problems, especially if one tries to allow them a more natural foraging existence outside of a cage.
The hawk didn't get her meal ultimately, though, she didn't take the chicken carcass because my husband scared her off (too late, as she had already killed the chicken). I put the body in the woods, so some other animals had dinner.
I don't resent the hawks, nor am I angry at them for being hawks. I'm very much torn on the issue of penning the chickens or leaving them out. I have some out and some penned. The ones who are out have a more varied life and diet, more interest, more exercise, more choice on sun and shade. Those who are penned are safer and have more protection from the weather.
Chickens are the result of thousands of years of human selection, from an unknown ancestor bird. Their inability to defend themselves and reliance on human keepers for defense, is one of the ugly consequences of animal husbandry. The longer it goes on, the uglier things get.
As someone with a head injury, I find this story inspirational. Here is someone with a worse head injury than I have, my injury seems like nothing compared to his, but he didn't let his disability stop him from being successful. He found a job he could do, in the entertainment industry, where his disability was an asset instead of a handicap, and lived many happy years despite his serious head injury. I aspire to be like him.
A forum community dedicated to vegetarian, vegans, and vegetable enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about agriculture, preparation, cooking, recipes, scales, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!