Sunday, August 23, 2009

The hawk returned

Yesterday evening, Logan and I were sitting in the pasture with the goats and sheep. Our beautiful free rare chick, Dusty Miller was out there with us.


The chicks (who aren't really chicks anym0re) love to come out on pasture with us because we stir up all the little grasshoppers and they eat them. Dusty Miller was following the sheep around, when out of nowhere a hawk swooped in and grabbed Dusty Miller! Right in front of us. Dusty Miller put up a fight, the hawk dropped him and moved in to grab him again. By then Logan and I were both up and running over to Dusty, while yelling at the hawk. The hawk dropped him again and flew off.

Dusty Miller was freaked out, but ok. I couldn't believe the hawk grabbed him not 20 feet from us! I think it was a different hawk than the one that got Kudzu, it seemed smaller. I hadn't heard any hawks for about a month and had let me guard down. I guess they are still around.

If I can get Buttercup to snap out of her broodiness, will she start laying again? Or do we have to wait out the whole 21 days before she will lay again? Not having any eggs at all is a pain! My new girls should start laying in about a month. Then we will be swimming in eggs.

13 comments:

linda m said...

That was a really close call for Dusty Miller. I am so glad he is okay.

tina f. said...

I haven't seen our hawks around lately either and have started letting my chickens out again. It's a good thing you were there to be able to save Dusty! I have started noticing signs that the fox is back though so I'll have to make sure not to forget to lock the chickens up at night (he only comes around late at night or very early in the morning).

For what it's worth, my banty has started laying again. I can't say exactly how long it's been, but she seems to be done with her mothering. The two chicks she hatched and raised are now bigger than she is and seem to be on their own now. I'm guessing Buttercup may start laying sooner if you can snap her out of her broodiness.

Joanna@BooneDocksWilcox said...

Poor Dusty Miller, my gosh, those hawks are fearful of humans.

I think if you can get her out of the broodiness mindeset, then she'll go back to laying.

Lisa said...

How scary!!!

Gail said...

That is a perfect example of being in the right place at the right time!

Sue said...

Wow-what a close call. You must have been quite shocked too!! I'm glad it turned out okay. There are so many things that want the chickens......I guess you just can't let your guard down.

Linda said...

Oh man! We had an eagle checking out our goat kids yesterday, but I guess in the end they decided they were just a little too big. Very scary!

I asked my mother, who used to raise chickens for years, if your hen will stop before the 21 days are up. She said nope. You can try removing her from the nest and maybe covering the nest or something, but generally it is really hard to get them to quit early. It hormonal! Ya, really it is. She doesn't remember how long it takes them to start laying again.

Diane said...

MMM hawks...they are something else. Came home and saw a hawk sitting on our back fence & was wondering what it was up too. Found out that he got a hold of our female dove and was trying to pull her thru the chicken wire. Of course she wouldn't pull thru but he wasn't giving up. My terrible mistake...I had but the bath too close to the wire & all the hawk had to do was grab her by the neck & killed her while trying to get her thru the chicken wire. Found the male down the enclosed part of the dove housing sitting on the dove eggs.
I will NEVER make this mistake again...I felt so bad.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

ACK!!! What a close call. This ust comfirms to me why I still don't allow my chickens to free-range around here. I do sometimes let them out in our orchard when I'm out there with them, and they are probably safer since they are protected underneath the trees, but I still feel safer with them in their coop with the bird mesh netting overhead to keep the hawks, vultures and eagles out.

We are on a predatory flyway, so attacks from overhead are something we have to be prepared for. I've not lost a chicken to any raptors yet (knocking on wood!)

As for the broodiness, when my hens are broody I just harass them by picking them up off the nest and taking them outside...where they seem to forget, at least for a little while, about being broody. After a few days of me doing that, they finally get tired of and give up. lol!

Good luck!

~Lisa

Claire said...

Yikes! So glad you saved Dusty. I have not had a hawk attack, but I have so many chickens that I think they always move in groups. Maybe lone chickens are more susceptible to attack? i have 4 hens that have been broody since about April. Every time I take them off the nest, even if I shut the coop down, they are back at it the next day after being locked in the coop for the night. I can't break any of those 4 hens. The rest have just stuck it out for about 2 weeks and given up (if I keep taking eggs). The 4 broodies will still brood, even on no eggs. They are mindless automaton broodies!

Leslie said...

I am shocked at how bold that hawk was. Thank goodness you both were there and he dropped him. I am glad Dusty Miller is OK, those hawks could inflict some bad puncture wounds. I hope he doesn't come back again.

Fouquette said...

Holy cow! Dusty Miller is one lucky bird!!!

Christy said...

Wow what a close call! I'm glad Dusty Miller is fine!!