Chickens Predators Seasonal Care Stories from Our Nest


Today I was working in the backyard with our contractor replacing a window.  I kept hearing the chickens sound the alarm.  I could only assume they were reacting to the power tools and hammering.  Little did I know that the threat was real.  I decided to investigate after they were squawking for a while.  As I rounded the corner, I was taken a back by this juvenile Red Tailed Hawk perched atop the coop staring down at my chickens!  It was big, about 2 feet tall, and it was not fazed by my presence.  The girls, on the other hand, were down in the far end of the run fearing for their lives.

I snapped a quick picture with my phone, went into the garage, and grabbed a 2 x 4.  I was ready for battle.  As they are federally protected, my intentions were not malicious, just scare tactics.  It was not until I was about 5 feet away swinging that it went up into a nearby tree.  I was shaken.   After a few minutes standing there, it took off, buzzed my head, and flew into the woods.  I am sure it will be back.  I now will not dare let the girls free range.  I had never been within a few feet of such a magnificent creature.  Nor do I think I want to be for a long time.  The worst part was, poor Fifi was trying to lay her first egg inside the coop while all of this ruckus was occurring outside.  She never did lay that egg.

Photo Credits: Tilly’s Nest

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  • OH MY GOODNESS!!! I'm simply speechless.
    Glad to hear everyone is okay. That's just a wild photo.

  • You said it Flock Mistress! I am still shaken. It did return a few more times. Tomorrow's post will be how I finally got it to leave.

  • oh no! What happens if they don't lay their eggs? 🙁 Did she lay it later that day?

  • Dollwood Farms~ She still has not laid her first one. I imagine she might have been just practicing. If she did have an egg, she should lay it by morning, or as crazy as it sounds, I swear sometimes some seem to fall out of them while they are sleeping :O

  • Awww, your poor terrified chickens!

  • Wow! I do believe that injury to the bird while protecting your livestock would be permitted. (Maybe you know a sharpshooter)

  • Oh no! Those poor girls. I hope they have been able to settle down. We have a big hawk population around here. I wish they would go after the chipmunks and crows…they are everywhere.

  • I even showed the photo to my husband. We are avid birders and love looking at raptors in the wild, but that close to my girls would make me sick. And they way they were all cowering in a ball together. Poor girls. I've never been a fan of the rubber owl but you might want to consider something like that to deter the hawk.

  • Wow, amazing photo, BUT Hawks will get chickens. GLAD your girls were all locked up. I wouldn't take the chance, especially now that the HAWK, has made them part of it's territory and WILL be back. Hawks, all, live in a territory and don't allow any other hunter in their area. CAUTION is better for all. Good luck! Virginia

  • Wow everyone! Thank you for all of your kind thoughts and words of wisdom. I've been talking to my husband about making a larger enclosure for the girls. I am still amazed that it would be so brazen!

  • i think the same brazen hawk is in our yard this morning. Its sitting on the deck railing looking right in at the girls. They're all standing tall in defiance;) I chased it with the mop but it just flew up into a low tree. I guess I'll be watching the yard all day.

  • Yikes Debra, be careful! Try hanging some old CDs around the yard and on the coop. They seem to be afraid of the them.

  • Oh wow!
    We have hawks here…I don't let my chickens out because of the dogs. Who will be moving with my daughter soon…now I have to worry about hawks. I'd not thought of this.
    I'll have to keep an eye out for these types of things.

    thanks for posting.

  • wow what an awesome photo 🙂
    We actually keep birds of prey (including a hawk) but I think I'd still get a tad twitchy if I saw one eyeing up my hens.