Yesterday must have been our lucky day.
As I have mentioned previously each evening for the last hour before roosting I have been letting the older chicks out to run free with the growers.
Yesterday afternoon I let them out earlier, I was looking after a young lad and as we were about I thought it would do them no harm. No sooner had the chicks left the confines of their pen a sparrowhawk swooped down on them, M and I must have only been a foot or so away. The mother hen reacted instantly and with a clash of claws, ruffling of feathers and much squawking the hawk flew away empty handed (taloned).
Thank goodness, for once my lack of time to do all I hoped/planned to do paid off. If we hadn't been so busy trying to complete other work the mother hen wouldn't have been with her young but back with the flock. Tomorrow she will be and the young chicks will be kept safely in their run.