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Monday, October 24, 2011

Hawk vs. Chicken

This weekend I "chicken sat" over at the Sunnyside B&B. My friend currently has (had) 17 pullets, that was until a hawk discovered her backyard. On Saturday, we went over to check on the chickens and let the dogs out. My neighbor girl (11) and Savannah (2) opened the back door and screamed! They saw the hawk attacking and eating one of the pullets. The hawk immedietly took off leaving us the corpse of a headless pullet. Savannah just kept saying "Mommy, it is so sad, the chicken is dead". The neighbor girl didn't know what to say and asked what I was going to do. I told her I would clean the mess up and used it as a learning opportunity to explain the food chain. You see, so many people here in the city don't understand why anyone would want to raise chickens in their backyard. Although gruesome, death is a cruel reality of life. In the animal kingdom, chickens are pretty low on the totem pole. Us city slickers are used to having our meat delivered on a styrofoam tray ready to be cooked. No blood, guts or a pile of feathers to be cleaned up. So although we were quiet sad about losing a chicken, I was glad to be able to use it as a teaching tool. UPDATE: Two more of my friends pullets have been killed by hawks since Saturday. Clearly the hawk remembers where he/she found the easy prey. If anyone has any good ideas on how to keep the hawk away please comment below! My friend has decided of course not to let the pullets out, but we still would love your input! Thanks!!!
This post is linked to Barn Hop Mondays!

5 comments:

  1. You need to put a bird net up over the chicken run. I lost seven hens before we put up the bird net now all are safe. If they are free range chickens then put out a small shelter for them to run to and hide. I would rather have the chicken run with the bird net. I live in north east Georgia too many predators not only hawks!! e-mail ellen@eyeopened.com

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  2. I keep my hens in a chicken run. I let them free range in the late afternoon just before they go in for the night. I'm usually outside with them with they are free ranging, but if I see the hawks circling I don't let them out.
    A rooster might help fight off the hawk, but that's opening a whole other issue.

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  3. I love that you used that as a teaching opportunity. ;)

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  4. We had a hawk try to take one of our chickens one day but our faithful border collie/lab mix almost made a meal of it as it swooped to catch the bird! I dread to think what would have happened if she had actually CAUGHT the hawk! We haven't seen it since, though.Don't know what to do in that situation. The netting sounds like her best bet.Unless she wants to borrow my dog!

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  5. Wow, have no advice...but what an ordeal.

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Thanks so much for your encouraging words!