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Will buzzards attack chickens?

14 replies

Whatthechicken · 06/08/2021 17:41

I’ve seen a buzzard twice in as many days in the garden. Once flying from a tree and once trying to land near to where I keep the chickens. Never seen them in the garden before, only flying way above it. Is it trying it’s luck? I’ve googled and it says they may try and take chicks or bantams, but mine are regular ex bats. Anyone know?

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snowdropsandcrocuses · 06/08/2021 17:48

I would be surprised as buzzards are primarily scavengers and don't tend to hunt. I imagine they would take an easy score if hungry though. I know they steal prey from other scavengers and hunters also.

Tractordiggerdump · 06/08/2021 18:08

No. I’ve never seen this happen and I’ve had hens 6 years and there are loads of buzzards here. If you can get a cockerel he’ll keep them safe.

RoseAndGeranium · 06/08/2021 18:09

We’ve kept and bred free range chickens of varying sizes for decades and for most of that time there’s been a breeding pair of buzzards close by. Never lost a hen, even a young one, to a buzzard. I really wouldn’t worry about it with ex bats. They’ll be fine.

MarianneUnfaithful · 06/08/2021 18:12

Buzzards hunt mice, rats, voles, small lizards and baby birds. They might also eat eggs. That’s why crows battle them away from their nests.

But not a full sized hen.

Whatthechicken · 06/08/2021 18:19

Thank you all, feeling reassured. I’ve strimmed the grass near the wildlife pond in the last few days, maybe it’s coming down into the garden for the mice/voles etc. TBH if they were trying their luck, they’d struggle with one of my hens, Barbara, she’s a bit of a hard case…she took on a squirrel that was stealing corn the other day!!

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RoseAndGeranium · 06/08/2021 18:30

Love that you have a hen called Barbara.

Whatthechicken · 06/08/2021 18:36

She knows her name too. I spent a good few weeks getting to know Barbara when she first got here as she had a prolapsed vent, eventually we sorted it though and got her back with the flock. It was a baptism of fire though. She attacks my dog as well if she gets too close…I think as she’s bottom of the pecking order, it’s her little way of proving her worth to the others (I am aware I’m giving her human emotions!)

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BlueSurfer · 06/08/2021 18:38

I’d be careful. Buzzards are known to attack joggers and cyclists here so it’s not outside the realms of possibility although I wouldn’t expect them to do it.

RoseAndGeranium · 06/08/2021 19:09

@Whatthechicken

She knows her name too. I spent a good few weeks getting to know Barbara when she first got here as she had a prolapsed vent, eventually we sorted it though and got her back with the flock. It was a baptism of fire though. She attacks my dog as well if she gets too close…I think as she’s bottom of the pecking order, it’s her little way of proving her worth to the others (I am aware I’m giving her human emotions!)

Barbara is my hero! Well done for helping her recover, that’s amazing. Your hens are very lucky to have come to you.
MarianneUnfaithful · 06/08/2021 19:21

Adult buzzards are shepherding their young as they are learning to fly at the moment, so flying from tree to tree short distances apart. Closer to the ground and habitation.

Are they making an incessant ear piercing squealing noise?

Whatthechicken · 07/08/2021 00:24

I’ve not heard any noises, but I did not known that they make high pitched noises, so I will listen out for them (we’ve had some landscaping going on, so it has been otherwise noisy). Going from tree to tree and closer to the ground would make a lot of sense though and I’ve not seen them before so close to the ground.

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Whatthechicken · 07/08/2021 00:30

@RoseAndGeranium Barbara is ace, I always make sure there is 4 of everything (cut corn on the cob into 4, 4 little bowls of corn etc.) so she doesn’t get picked on.

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uktrippin · 07/08/2021 00:30

No idea but love Barb Grin

whymewhyme · 10/02/2022 05:57

We have all manor of birds of pray where we are, i even saw a buzzard on my fence and it just ignored the chickens roaming about.

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