Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Victor

Here he is, the Victor.
At least, we hope he will be okay. 

Here is the Vanquished:

It's an adult Coopers Hawk that's been getting our birds daily.  It got Little Boots, the lesser Mille Fleur rooster yesterday.

It landed in the wrong henyard today.  I was shopping most of the day in the heavy rain, in and out of the car, until I wore myself out, literally.  I got home at 3:15, and got out of the car and immediately fed the llamas. Still raining, I realized the birds were screaming in the big henyard, and those of you with chickens will know what I mean.  I ran over there, and found my big Rocky, my big beautiful rooster, in a heap, with blood under him.

I ran in the house, calling to Keith please to come help me with Rocky, that something was in the henyard.  He put a jacket on and came out in the rain.
And no, I did not stop to take that picture, but that blood was where Rocky was laying.

When we got out there, Rocky was UP AND WALKING!  Brutus and three of the hens were still making cries and Keith walked them all in, Rocky the last to go.  When we went around the back of the henhouse, we found the Coopers on the fence.  He could not fly out. 
We came in the house and called Operation Wildlife over in Linwood.  A volunteer in Shawnee picked the phone up, asked some questions, told us how to catch him... and then told us to leave a message with OWL in Linwood.  We did.  However, after we got the instructions, Keith and I went back out there in the dark, and found the hawk in the opposite corner of the henyard.  We think he is either in shock or wounded, and Keith thinks his wing is hurt. Keith was able to throw a blanket over him, and lifted him up and into a crate lined with straw.  The bird immediately slumped down and laid there.  I wish I could have taken pictures of the defensive stance the hawk took... he looked like an eagle in the flashlight's beam... beak wide and wings wide.  But Keith handled him quietly and firmly, and then lifted him gently into the crate.  He took him to the shop, where he will be dry and quiet the rest of the night. Again, Keith is my hero.  I can't believe how this man who spent his life in the Army (though he did hunt as a youth) and knew little about animals has jumped right in with both feet, maintains his cool, and does such great stuff for us here.  What did I ever do without him!
Tomorrow we'll get the hawk over to Operation Wildlife and hopefully they will be able to get him rehabilitated and released FAR FAR from Calamity Acres!  


  1. This is Keith. That hawk met its match today. Rocky (our big rooster) took it on and whipped it. I know it sounds weird, but that is what happened. And we were able to catch the raptor and cage it so we can get it to wildlife rescue folks tomorrow. Rocky got cut on his comb, but the hawk got the worst of it. It couldn't even fly back out of the pen. We think it is the same hawk that has been grabbing the little birds.

  2. I am amazed that you are willing to take it for rehab after it's killed so many of your chickens. Go Rocky!!! Hope he recovers quickly.

  3. Wow! Go Rocky! I hope this puts a stop to all of the hen-napping that you guys have experienced. We ended up putting chain link over our run, because we have two huge owls that live in a tree not too far from our backyard. I have a thing for hawks - even though they can be destructive to our flocks, they are absolutely beautiful animals and are just doing what comes naturally to them. So thank you for showing mercy by getting it to a rescue.

    Oh, and greetings from a couple of urban farmers in KC! I hope you'll stop by our blog and say hello.

  4. Glad your rooster is going to be ok! Those hawks can be so nasty...there's one that's been flying around our neighborhood for quite some time. They have quite the scream, don't they?!

  5. OMG!! Please keep us posted on how both Rocky and the hawk do. OWLs is a great place..Thanks for giving the hawk a second chance and I'll keep Rocky in my thoughts. You guys have had quite a time of it lately. xxoo

  6. I know they are predators, but like I tell the hubby...they have to eat too.

    That's why I won't let him kill the bob cats, coyotes, possums or raccoons.

  7. You guys amaze me. I know the Cooper is only doing what he is made to do and he has to eat too; but after killing so many of your hens, I'm afraid I would not have been so kind with the hawk.
    I do hope that Rocky is doing OK!


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