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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Danger! Chickens Alarm

Once again, my hens alarmed to a danger with lots of cackling. No matter how much I talked to them, they were insistent. Today, as I finally tired of talking to them and not seeing anything, I decided to get some oats for them and try to calm them down.

As I turned to go into the house, I saw a bird soar off into the distance and another tree. I could only see part of the body of the bird and left wing. The wingspread was at least three feet. It was a solid color, gray. Since I could not see the head and got only a glimpse of the back, I have nothing else to give me a clue as to what kind of bird it was.

Beware: if you are going to have free range chickens, make sure there are bushes for them to get under. Mine spend lots of time under the swings and picnic table. Bushes, low hanging trees, chairs, tables, anything they can get under--we call it shelter from above whether it is rain or hawks. I have seen the chickens startle and head for cover when a low-flying robin darts from tree to tree.

After I had gotten the oats as quickly as I could, the hens were all the way on the other side of the yard. They had run to their best shelter--their pen. They did not come out to get oats, so they were afraid. I locked them up from the raccoon.

Your turn
If you have hens, what do they use for shelter when a hawk comes or the robins threaten them? Based on my limited description and considering I live in the South, can you tell me what bird I saw?


  1. I love that they have shelter, and will be interested to hear what spooked them so badly.

  2. EC,
    Exbf said it was a bird of prey, but I did not give him enough description. I will be keeping an eye out and find out what kind of bird it is.

    Their pen has a top that will keep out raccoons, very strong animals. Just chicken wire would keep a bird of prey from entering.


  3. In my old house, there used to be a huge fir tree in my neighbors yard that came over the fence, and protected my hens. One day they took it down. I had a marsh hawk grab one of my hens. That spring, I planted two trees in there to prevent any birds of prey from grabbing them. In my new house, I have a tarp over the dog run ( that's what my hens are in at the moment). We will build the new chicken run and house in the back of our lot.there are lots of trees there for protection.

  4. Michelle,
    I am going to cut this "tree" because it is a privet hedge grown large. a new tee is the plan. Maybe a fruit tree, but don't know what yet.

    It's amazing how little it takes to keep the hens safe from sky predators.

  5. That would be a hawk, my dear chicken lady. They are SO beautiful, but deadly.

    1. lotta joy,
      I thought it might be, but I wonder what kind. I suppose right now it is chicken hawk to me and my chickens. Thanks.


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