what to do about crows

Posted by: Lisa Robinson

what to do about crows - 05/18/06 02:21 AM

there are alot of crows in my area, and they are taking eggs from many people, and this is perhaps the reason i have no eggs from 4 good hens, how do i beat the problem of crows. would killing one help
Posted by: Jo Jo

Re: what to do about crows - 05/18/06 04:51 AM

Wow - how big are Australian Crows? The crows here will steal eggs and chicks from wild-bird nests, but I dont think they could carry a chicken egg. I wouldnt put it past them to eat it in the nest though.
We actually like the crows, because they warn the hens about the resident hawk. -jo
Posted by: Lisa Robinson

Re: what to do about crows - 05/18/06 04:17 PM

australian crows are vrey big, and carry chicken eggs away in their beaks, they are a big menace over here, but maybe i should be lucky we dont have any hawks like you do.
thanks alot for your response smile
Posted by: David T.

Re: what to do about crows - 05/18/06 05:54 PM

Hello Lisa,

We solved the wild birds getting in the coop problem by totally enclosing the coop/run and only having a small (chicken size) door. Most of the wild birds, and none of the larger ones, no longer get into the coop. Our chooks don’t like the larger predatory birds like magpies and ravens and actively chase them off (or call a human to do so). I believe that if you had birds stealing all your eggs everyday you would know.

As you said, at least they don’t attack adult chooks.
Posted by: Jeniece C.

Re: what to do about crows - 05/18/06 07:35 PM

I have quite a lot of crows also ..They do take some eggs..If I get them early enough you can get them first ..At first I got really frustrated when I saw them but, they have saved allot of my chickens and ducks ..They will gang up on a hawks or eagles and chase them away I have even seen them go after a few cranes that was tiring to eat my fish in my ponds ..
Posted by: Cranberry Creek

Re: what to do about crows - 05/19/06 06:49 AM

I for one hate crows and hawks, because I love to watch and help wild song birds and it makes me very mad to see a crow carry off a baby bird.

My chickens lay eggs inside the chicken coop and we have the whole area screened in from the sides as well as the top to prevent areal attacks. We have enough trouble with ground rodents. There was one especially sneaky racoon that found a bit of wire that wasn't stapled down and folded it up so so that the wire couldn't cut him and ate half a chicken right inside the chicken coop. They are nasty preditors. and darn hard to trap to.
Posted by: Lisa Robinson

Re: what to do about crows - 05/20/06 03:30 AM

you poor folk in america have alot of preditors to deal with, i had no idea cute little racoons{only seen by me on tv) would actually eat your chickens, i am shocked, and starting to feel gratefull the crows are my only menace. I guess the only option now is to enclose the whole pen grrr, darned crows.
thanks for all responses
Posted by: CJR

Re: what to do about crows - 05/27/06 08:07 AM

Predators are like the sunshine and the rain--we will have them at some time! And like sunshades and roofs and umbrellas, we protect ourselves from both when necessary. To avoid predator loss, we simply have to fence, screen, enclose at times (night for some of them).

Where I live: the fox or the lynx or bobcat,will take one bird and leave (return next night for another.) The raccoon will kill everything that moves and may take one "home", leaving a slaughter house. The skunk prefers eggs, fresh is okay, but the farther along in incubation is gourmet choice, however will take home a bird if the right size. The weasel will kill by attack to the neck of the bird, just one at a time, they often will eat the head and leave, if they cannot drag the bird away, but they enjoy chicks as either an appetizer or entree. Mink usually eats at the "restaurant" and may not come back, if a roving connaisseur. Hawks drop in and according to size will peel feathers, some or all, to reduce weight and may eat the head,then carry as far as convenient to feast, if a small hawk, or carry the whole bird away if a large one. Owls also will take off the head and carry the rest with them. Hawks, cats, always leave a some of the feathers, where they hit and catch--a clue if it was from the sky. They do not wait for a Doggy bag. Dogs, one or a pack leave a horrible mess of feathers and carcasses. Eating is not their purpose--just casino fun. The 3 Bears (or just one) break down the door or window or fence--and leave chaos and a SMELL! I have more predators about, than those mentioned, but I don't have snakes, rats, possums or some of the other predators, thank goodness--enough is enough! But ONE loss to several of them closed My CAFE, and I no longer serve chicken except by invitation at my own table! It is up to you. Unlike many poultry people, I do not think free range is funny or necessary, and not a bit better than confined grazing--just easy and too risky for my birds--I have none to waste! CJR

I do keep a 22 by the door at times, and one Magpie lying in the pasture is deterant to that species. Other varmints are not warned in that way--are individuals. I enjoy wildlife, have lots of habitat variety on my farm--and as long as they do not bother my chickens, they are part of my farm! Now deer? 80 on a 10 acre hay field are also varmints! A single young elk joined them last fall. CJR
Posted by: Lisa Robinson

Re: what to do about crows - 05/27/06 03:34 PM

flyfisher, trust me, if the laws allowed it, i would have an air rifle, were not allowed any guns at all anymore. and now im a bit more educated on the racoon, i'll never call it cute again.
cjr, im lucky i dont have problems with the snakes,the dog keeps them away, the rats are only a few, the cat takes care of them, and the possums are vegetarian, they never take birds or eggs, and also the magpies dont take eggs etc here, i have actually befriended a magpie family and feed them every day, maybe thats why they leave us alone.
but those bloody crows get the better of everyone
over here, they are very large, very fast, and for some unknown reason, are protected (god only knows why).
its a real shame you had to shut your diner, thanks to preditors, and in that situation i would not let my chooks out at all.
thanks lisa
Posted by: Katielulu

Re: what to do about crows - 05/27/06 04:52 PM

Well Lis 77, I'm sorry ya'll can't have guns. Guns and a good dog has helped us stay pretty much varment free. We did have a run in with a few big black snakes (they love eggs). But we shot and killed them. And one old coon visited us once or twice but it got ran over one night so since then we been lucky.Take the advice about wired in runs, save you a lot of heartache in the long run.
Posted by: Rogo16

Re: what to do about crows - 05/28/06 01:30 AM

I've lived where we had a lot of crows here in the U.S., but they've never been a problem. They also kept the hawks away (a territorial thing).

Where I live now, we have a lot of ravens, much larger than the crows, but they also haven't been a problem for my free ranging flock.

My dog's job is to protect the livestock and she's evidently doing an excellent job.


Posted by: Lisa Robinson

Re: what to do about crows - 05/28/06 04:47 AM

rogo, australian crows are the size of ravens, very little difference, and we dont have hawks thankgod, you have one good dog on your hands, to watch your livestock that well, i hope you give her lots of treats!
katielulu, im laughing at that message laugh how cool that you can actually just shoot those nasty varments!
Posted by: Murphy

Re: what to do about crows - 06/14/06 10:36 AM

I noticed that of the 27 baby chicks, every day one or two are gone missing....
Today I heard a baby chick just pipping like crazy... and there was a crow trying to get it. I saved the chick and scared off the crow. so it is true that crows will steal baby chicks?
I never had this problem before.
Posted by: CJR

Re: what to do about crows - 06/14/06 12:20 PM

They love to eat baby chicks and rob bird nests of many young--in my area, House Finches and American Robins, especially. (I have no young robins this year--ONE Raven and ONE Magpie are the culprits. (protected or not, the gun is ready, but they have been too crafty for me!) They also prey on Ringneck, Grouse, Wild Turkey babies! Crows and Ravens are true predators!
We keep posting that if you wish to protect your birds, you must have covered runs--sooner or later it will happen, even if you have seemed safe for years! It is up to us to protect our flocks! Just the way it is! Good luck, CJR
Posted by: Murphy

Re: what to do about crows - 06/14/06 03:20 PM

Yes, I am working on it now. I also parked two of my dogs in the coop... chicks are climbing all over them smile
Posted by: Lisa Robinson

Re: what to do about crows - 06/14/06 03:41 PM

i do agree with crj, that a fully coverd pen is the way to go,
i would like to add however that my 2 isa brown hens are actually protecting the whole flock.
any crow or magpie even the cat are being attacked and chased away by them, it is fascinating to me, not even the rooster does that.
i think i will get a few more isa browns!!!
Posted by: W. C. Lawrence

Re: what to do about crows - 06/14/06 06:20 PM

I did not read the whole post, but I do know this, in the US, if you kill a crow, and leave it hanging in a tree, the others will not come around for several months. I shot one here as a kid and still to this day they never come near the place where I killed that crow.
Posted by: CJR

Re: what to do about crows - 06/14/06 06:57 PM

You are correct, and the same is true of Black Billed Magpies, you only have to get one, and leave it on a fence or just on the ground in an open place. This is not true of Hawks. I do not ever kill hawks!!! They do far more good than harm--and no harm at all, if you protect your chickens with covered pens!. Like owls, most are the best rodent hunters you could ask for. And if you leave chickens available, of course, they are a bigger meal and they will come again and again. I do not make mine available! CJR
Posted by: Lisa Robinson

Re: what to do about crows - 06/15/06 03:05 AM

great, now if i could just kill one of the buggers i'll be right.!!!
were not aloud any guns here, so this could be tricky.
Posted by: David T.

Re: what to do about crows - 06/15/06 04:07 AM

If you could put a rabbit trap where the crows go and the chooks don't, maybe even bait it, then ...

Posted by: Jeep

Re: what to do about crows - 06/15/06 06:59 AM

And don't forget one other nasty bird...the Scrub Jay!! They kill baby chicks just for the sport of it. I had one find a small enough gap in the fencing, that I missed, and it managed to get in and kill the babies, except one. It was easy to tell what had happened by seeing where the baby chicks were in relation to their feeder. They were in the farthest corner they could get, of their pen, and away from the feeder. The scrub jay had the feeder to himself, but he never ate any feed. Just made me sick mad
Posted by: Lisa Robinson

Re: what to do about crows - 06/15/06 05:44 PM

thanks david, great idea, i'll try that do you think i will get magpies aswell, cause i dont want to kill them, we have befriended the magpies and dont want to hurt them.
Posted by: David T.

Re: what to do about crows - 06/15/06 07:07 PM

Unfortunately while my idea would (probably) work it would also be very indiscriminate. It is just a likely to trap a magpie or a number of other birds as a crow. Given that you have ‘friendly’ magpies I would recommend either do not try it or use it with a lot of care.

Posted by: Murphy

Re: what to do about crows - 06/16/06 07:56 PM

I think I have figured out why the crows are a problem now. The baby chicks I have now are from a hatchery. So the chicks have no mother hen to protect them. All my previous baby chicks were raised by hens and they are extremely protective of their babies. The hens, roosters and teenages do give a damn about the new chicks.
It does suck though, I think all my Araucana's are wiped out by the crows. I have no idea what I have left. Some are silver, gold and colombian wyannedots, and also mille fleur and golden seabrights bantams. I sure hope I still have an araucana left.
Posted by: Lisa Robinson

Re: what to do about crows - 06/17/06 02:31 PM

what a shame to loose so many chicks to crows, they are so nasty.
is there any way you can keep the chicks fully covered until there a bit bigger?
i hope you dont lose any more!!!
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: what to do about crows - 07/17/06 10:05 AM

ive seen crowns take my baby ducks that were a few days old and just to be mean they fly really high up and drop them on hard surfaces like streets ,drive ways and even on our cars
Posted by: Jasfrtas

Re: what to do about crows - 08/17/06 03:49 AM

I'm in Tasmania, and I had bemoaned the crows for years, until I saw them chase off a goshawk! I've seen them do this three times now, and I think their egg-thefts are reasonable payment for their guarding the chickens from the hawks. They are my "guard-crows"!! J.
Posted by: Wilds of PA

Re: what to do about crows - 08/17/06 02:39 PM

I use to hunt the crows here. but I stopped because they chase the hawks and owls off.

When I see crows around I know there isnt any hawks or owls in the general area.

Posted by: Foehn

Re: what to do about crows - 08/18/06 10:51 PM

Interesting what preditory creatures you've all got that like a feast of chicken and or eggs. We're pretty lucky in NZ. No snakes, no foxes, but that doesn't mean we don't have a few problems. The varmits we have are introduced. Australian possums, which may be vegetarian in Australia, have adapted rather well to our climate, have no natural preditors, carry TB, eat native bird eggs, and graze the canopy of flowers and seed of our precious native bush. We have some wild ferret, but ferret are now illegal to keep as pets unless sterilized and will soon be obsolete. Stoats British imports eat our ground nesting native birds eggs. Australian magpies which are pretty aggressive in the breeding season, are not liked in the south, but I think they are beautiful birds and I love their singing. They make great pets, and will talk very well. Harrier hawks, also an Australian import are probably the biggest threat, but it's amazing how strong the self preservation instinct is in hens here. They will run for cover and let out a warning even if a harmless seagull should fly overhead. We do have Norwegian rats, but there tends to be plenty of fruit to tempt their pallets and I have never had problems with them. I lock my hens in at night but they have free range of the back yard during the day. Preditors here would be more likely to be the two legged human variety. Some chooky breeders have had problems with their breeding birds being stolen and not for breeding either.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: what to do about crows - 10/29/06 05:25 PM

I love crows. We all hate peditors who hunt our flocks, so my pens enclosed, they free range when i'm home and about, and our dog always leaves presents for us like dead possums...... anyways crows are in the corvus family, very smart, if you leave a fake crow statue on the ground- on its side, as if it was dead, they will circle the area and leave w/o landing. might help? better then a smelly decomposing body.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: what to do about crows - 12/08/06 03:23 PM

I just feed my crows really well-- we have a thriving bird population in the middle of our town, and I make cheap peanut butter suet for the crows and starlings to devour. I've never seen them steal any babies or eggs from any of our local nests (none have been missing in all of the ones I can monitor). Sure, they can be pesky birds, but if you shoot them all, more will just move in. And despire any problems our American Crows and English Starlings give us, they are beautiful adn interesting flock birds. Heck, I have a pet Starling, and I would adore a pet crow smile