Very first raptor attack

I guess a chicken farmer gets to know what his chickens’ noises mean. They’ve got “feed me” noises and “I just laid an egg” noises and “it’s apparently just a beautiful morning to make a lot of noise” noises but the only noises that get me out of my chair without thinking are the “something’s trying to kill me” noises.

Usually it means a squabble has gone serious, but this morning at 6:30 it meant something worse. I was sitting right here at the ‘pooter, waiting for my houseguest to come over for coffee on his last morning here. And the girls started gobbling their “Serious Alarm!” noise. I went to that big window I insisted on retrofitting into the bathroom wall two years ago, scanned the chicken yard and didn’t see a single bird. Widened the scan and saw a single bird – a big ol’ hawk perched on the gate.

Sorry, I could go for my camera or save my chickens, but I had to pick one. So no pictures.

It flew off when I ripped open the brand-new back door, which is already paying for itself. No damage done this time. But it’s the first time I have real evidence of raptors’ interest in my stupid loud birds.

hawkmeme

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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4 Responses to Very first raptor attack

  1. MikeS says:

    I don’t know how much area your pen encloses, but I used to string wire with streamers on them over my pen to keep raptors out. It seemed to help. Coons, possums, skunks, and feral dogs are a whole different problem, of course.

  2. Joel says:

    Yeah, I’ve got a good top cover over most of the yard but the front at the gate is open enough for me to get in and out.

  3. Mark Matis says:

    So string it with monofilament fishing line. The raptors won’t be able to see it until it’s too late. And it’s a lot quieter than a shotgun. And the chickens will be glad to eat raptor pieces and parts…

    Probably ought to go for about 30 lb. test to stand up to the UV and still be strong enough to stop a screaming dive.

  4. Waepnedmann says:

    A few years ago, my formerly free range caged flock was being still wiped out in their run by migrating Cooper’s Hawks.
    I called the state Fish and Game folks and asked about the procedure to get a depredation permit.
    The joke spread rapidly through the office and I heard multiple public servants in full chortle over the phone. A few seconds passed as the public servant composed himself and informed me, in a most serious and officious manner that raptors are federally protected and there was no way I could proactively protect my property.
    I noted that my chickens were being taken out of their runs. I was told to build a roof over it.

To the stake with the heretic!