When Do Hawks Hunt Chickens? 10 Hawk Questions Answered

When Do Hawks Hunt Chickens?

Farming is an amazing way to generate income and build self-sustainability. But it can be tricky to protect your livestock from predators and sometimes it is hard to know when predators such as hawks like to hunt chickens. Hawks are birds of prey and they have a natural instinct to hunt. If a hawk spots a defenseless chicken alone or in a bunch of birds, it will hunt the chicken.


I’ve been asked that question more than once. For instance, a reader wrote to me recently, “I am having trouble with chickens and hawks. I have a flock of 10 hens, six of which are Rhode Island Reds and four are bantams…I’ve lost three hens in the last five months, and each time it has been during the day. I just can’t figure out where I’m going wrong.”

It’s not uncommon for backyard chicken keepers to lose birds to predators. Flocks of free-roaming birds are especially vulnerable to hawks. Raptors may also take caged chickens if the cages don’t offer adequate protection from above.

When Do Hawks Hunt Chicken?

The answer to the question “When do hawks hunt chickens?” is, “Every chance they get!” Hawks are raptors and raptors are birds of prey. They live by killing and eating other living things, including rodents, rabbits, snakes, lizards, frogs, fish and other birds.

But the reality is that hawks are efficient predators because they have to be. There are many different species of hawk in North America, but all of them eat meat. Any meat they can catch will do because they’re opportunistic hunters. They have evolved to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

Birds are highly visible in the sky, so they don’t sneak around very well. Their best defense is speed and agility. Many kinds of hawks will hunt chickens when the opportunity arises, but the most dangerous enemy for free range chickens is the Red-Tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis).


This big hawk can spot a chicken from a great distance away and has the speed to close the gap quickly. Hawks will also hunt chickens if there’s no other food to be had in their territory.

Hawks are birds of prey that feed primarily on small mammals such as mice, rats, and rabbits. The first thing to know about hawks hunting chickens is that hawks are always predators. While they will hunt and kill other small animals, they can eat small birds and rodents as well.

They may even scavenge for food in garbage dumps if no other food source is available. This means that hawks may not always be hunting chickens.
To answer the question “when do hawks hunt chicken?” Hawks can hunt chickens any time of the day. This is because Hawks are diurnal, meaning that they hunt any time of the day.

Having said that, hawks are flexible raptors and can hunt for the entire day. This is very common during winters when preys are scarce. They also throughout the day during the migratory season.

Will Hawks Attack Full-Grown Chickens?

If you’re considering free ranging your chickens, a good question to ask is this: Will hawks attack full-grown chickens? The answer is yes, but it’s a lot less likely than you might think.

Hawks are not out to eat adult chickens. They want to eat baby chicks and injured or sick chickens, because those are easy targets.

The key to protecting your chickens from hawks is to make sure that they are in their coop at night and that you don’t have any chickens that are injured or sick enough for a hawk to consider them a meal.

However, some hawks will not attack full-grown chickens because they are too large and there would be no point in trying to catch them.
The hawk would have a better chance of catching a chick because they are smaller, so they can be carried off in one swoop.

Will A Hawk Keep Coming Back For Chickens?

It surely will, especially if the chickens are in the same territory as the hawk. They generally avoid human areas and spend most of their time hunting small rodents and similar creatures. But there are many reasons why a hawk would return to a farm for chickens.

The hawk could be hungry, or it could be looking for shelter. Sometimes, traveling hawks likewise settle around some bird feeder or chicken coop. This usually occurs when hunting a chicken is simpler than other animals. If hawks are hunting your chicken, you should discourage them.

Types Of Hawks And How They Hunt

Different types of hawks are found in different parts of the world. The most common type is the red-tailed hawk which hunts mainly by watching for prey from a perch.
Cooper’s hawk is known for hunting by flying low and perching on a tree branch.

The red-tailed hawk is one of the most commonly seen hawks in North America. It mainly hunts by sitting on a perch and waiting for prey to pass below it, but it will also fly low to catch its prey if needed. Meanwhile, Cooper’s hawks are known to fly lower than other species and prefer hunting from a tree branch rather than a perch.

Accipiters are woodland hawks. They’re often called “chicken hawks” because they can be seen hunting poultry farms. These hawks have long tails and short wings, which makes them fast fliers through dense foliage. Their diet consists of small mammals like squirrels, rabbits, mice, and birds like pigeons and doves.



Buteos are open country hunters. They soar above the trees looking for prey below. These hawks have broad wings that help them stay aloft for long periods of time. Their favorite food is rodents like mice and voles.

Kites fly in graceful arcs over open areas looking for insects or small animals darting through the grasses. Kites may also eat carrion (dead meat). They rarely hunt by dropping on prey from above because they lack the ability to dive sharply due to their weak feet.

What are The Hawk’s Predatory Tactics?

The Hawk is a predatory bird that hunts for its prey. A hawk has a sharp eye for spotting potential victims and then it uses its speed and agility to catch them. The hawk is an expert hunter that can spot potential victims from afar and use its speed to capture them. The hawk’s predatory tactics include pouncing on the prey, fighting with other hawks, and capturing the prey in mid-air.

What Makes Hawks Good Hunters?

Hawks are good hunters because they have great eyesight. They can spot prey from high up in the sky and then dive down to catch it. Hawks also have a special type of talon on their feet that is used for trapping prey.

Hawks In Your Area – The Pros And Cons To Having Them Nearby

Pros Of Having Hawks Around Your House

Hawks are predatory birds, but they are important to natural ecosystems. They feed on invasive species, rodents, and other birds that can be harmful to the environment.
They also provide a significant role in helping control populations of small birds.

Cons Of Having Hawks Around Your House

Some people do not like hawks, and there are a few disadvantages of having hawks around your house.
Hawks are known for their predatory ways and it may be wise not to have one around your house. Hawks eat small birds, rodents, and bats, which may be a problem if you want to attract any of these animals. They also eat small reptiles. Some people are worried that this will lead to extinction in some populations.

What Are The Signs Of A Hawk Attack?

Hawks are known for their ability to attack prey from a great distance, which is why they are also called “bird of prey.” They are excellent hunters.
Some signs of a hawk attack include:

  • A bird’s feathers being ruffled, as though it had been in an altercation with another bird.
  • A featherless patch on the back of the head.
  • Feathers strewn about the ground or on fences.

How Often Do Hawks Eat Chickens?

In this case, the question is how often do hawks attack chickens. So we can’t really ask an expert on the subject because there’s so much more to the answer than just a number.

The truth is, no one knows exactly how often hawks eat chickens. But we do know some things about how hawks hunt and what they eat. And we can estimate based on those facts and figures!

Hawks are more likely to go after small prey, such as mice and rabbits. They also prefer to hunt in open spaces where they can chase down their prey with ease. However, if an opportunity presents itself where there’s a chicken coop nearby and hungry hawks looking for food…then yes, it will happen!

So why do some people think hawks don’t eat chickens? Because you rarely see them hunting for large animals like chickens or other birds (except when there’s an injured animal). And because chickens have been bred over time to have less fear of predators such as hawks and other birds of prey; thus making them easier targets

Unlike other predators of chickens, a hawk will normally kill a chicken at a time. Hawks are excellent hunters and, in many cases, this has led to their status as a predator of small birds and animals. They have been known to be especially dangerous to chickens because of how quickly they can swoop down upon them without much notice.

Do Hawks Hunt At Night?

Not all hawks hunt at night. The red-tailed hawk is a diurnal raptor, which means it hunts during the day. Nocturnal raptors include the Northern saw-whet owl, which hunts mice and shrews at night.

Many hawks are diurnal, hunting during the day. Diurnal means active during the daytime. There are over 200 species of hawks in the world and most of them are diurnal and hunt during the day.

The Red-tailed Hawk is one of the more common species you will find throughout North America. They have a very distinctive call that sounds like “Keeeer!” They have long, broad wings, reddish tails and white breasts with dark streaks. You can see them soaring high above searching for food or perched on trees looking out for prey.

Red-tailed Hawks have excellent eyesight that helps them spot their prey from very high altitudes. When they see a small animal they like to eat, they swoop down and grab it with their talons (claw).

Wildlife-Friendly Solutions – How To Keep Hawks And Eagles Away From Chicken?

The threat of hawks and eagles in your area is a significant issue. These birds can cause a lot of damage in your backyard or farm and they can be difficult to get rid of, especially since you are not allowed to kill them. But that does not mean you should give up hope.
Here are some solutions you can use to reduce the threat of hawks in your area and make it safer for both you and the wildlife.

  • You can reduce the population of rodents, which is the hawk’s food source.
  • You can also protect your livestock from hawks by adding a guard wire to their pen and keeping it closed when they are not in use.
  • Cover the chicken spaces because hawks usually attack chickens when they are foraging in the open.
  • You can also get a bright-colored orange cover to discourage hawks from hunting chickens.
  • Predator proof your pen
  • Use a guardian animal such as roosters, donkeys, guinea fowls and trained dogs such as Great Pyrenees
  • Use intense lights such as reflective surfaces that will reflect light always
  • Call wildlife services for help.
  • Netting is one option. The most effective method is to cover the entire run with netting, anchored on every edge so that it cannot be lifted by a bird or a predator climbing underneath it. However, this can be expensive and difficult to do if you have an existing structure.
  • If you don’t have such a structure or don’t want to build one, another option is a small portable run that can be moved each day onto fresh ground or grass, where the ground cover offers some protection from attack by


There are many factors in determining when hawks are likely to go after your chickens. It is difficult to say when a hawk attacks, but it is likely to happen when the hawk feels threatened. An effective way to protect your chickens is to make sure that they are not close to the hawk’s nest.
If you have chickens, you should protect them by keeping them in a covered run or a chicken coop. Better still, call the wildlife service to help you evacuate the hawks.

Leave a Comment