Owls and domestic animals

Owls and domestic animals
Q:
Do some owls in the Pacific Northwest take domestic animals. And, if so, which ones? Do they take cats, dogs or chickens? How can you tell if you have an owl in your neighborhood? Is there anyway to get them out of your area? - Columbia County, Oregon
A:

There are several species of owls, depending on where you live in the PNW. I grew up in Oregon and have worked professionally as an Extension agent in NW Oregon for 33 years. I have not heard of a cat or dog being taken by owls. By coyotes, bobcats, raccoons, cougars, etc. ...yes. Owls, no. Chickens are another subject. They can be killed by the predators mentioned above and you can add rats, domestic dogs, domestic cats, foxes, weasels, owls, and hawks to the list (and I'm probably missing a few more). The bottom line is that if you are going to raise chickens, you must build a predator proof coop for the nighttime and either watch them carefully during the day or have a strong, enclosed yard for them to be outside in. Owls and red tail hawks often take the head and leave the rest, depending on the size of the bird. Both owls and hawks are legally protected species and both do a lot of good in ridding areas of field mice and rats (if rats are around). I know of nothing that would scare them away nor really, should you try to do so. They are beneficial for the most part. If you want to discuss poultry protection, email me with more specifics or give me a call at the number below. I hope this helps. Chip

 

Chip Bubl
Agricultural Extension Agent and Staff Chair
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