Yesterday was the monthly Total Goat Stall Renovation, which involves removing approximately 60 cubic feet of used bedding from the goat stalls and moving it to the compost heap. During all this activity we noticed a hawk calling repeatedly — it was pretty unusual, since in our experience they’ll call once or twice and then shut up, presumably for fear of attracting crows.
At any rate, we finished up and went back inside and I happened to glance out the back window while taking my boots off just in time to see a hawk swoop in. I immediately pulled my boots back on and ran outside to find the hawk on the ground with a 12 week old Speckled Sussex pullet pinned. Feeling that the life of a pullet was worth more than my dignity, I ran straight at it yelling obscenities, at which point the hawk took off and the pullet scooted into a hollow log.
As the hawk hit the trees finally the crows saw it and began their usual raptor persecution routine, FINALLY. I dumped the pullet out of the hollow log and checked her over, she was totally fine. Lost a few feathers but no serious injuries, evidently the hawk hadn’t hit her with any of its talons and hadn’t had a chance to get its beak on her.
The chickens are now on lockdown for an undetermined period of time. This morning when we came out not just the adult hawk but a juvenile were sitting in the oak trees, patiently waiting for us to let their breakfast out. Hahaha, hawks, joke is on you. There’s two little hens who don’t sleep in the pens that are in danger, but the rest of the flock is safely locked up for now and I’m thinking of setting out feeding stations with all kinds of snacks preferred by crows.