Hi everyone! I was hoping you could help me with a free range related question.
My flock has always free ranged from sun up until sun down when they are then locked in their coop for the night. The last couple of days I have been noticing eggs missing from their nesting boxes and this morning I caught the culprit red handed. A big black crow!
My question is how the hell do I stop him? Unfortunately my hens don't all lay in the morning and so I can't just grab all of the eggs and close the coop door.
I love having them free range and so if the only answer is that they should be locked up day and night them I suppose the crow can just have the eggs but I guess I was looking for other suggestions from knowledgeable free rangers! ☺
What I did was they were locked up until they laid, gave em some early morning feed. Then let them out to free range, but the dang magpie figured a way into the coop so now the girls all try to lay when I am there and can get the eggs. We have a couple that want to brood and took them out some of the eggs only had 1 kennel I could put them in , but they got a little space and are much happier, will have to make a smaller coop where they can stay in until they are big enough though to fend for themselves as both the raven and magpies once they find an easy meal are terribly stubborn and are highly intelligent when they want something about getting it. Feeding them as sunrise they are usually all done laying by noon, with a couple that won't lay until they come back in anyway, It's shortened time free ranging but safer for the birds and the eggs. I had to put down one of my best layers due to the severity of the injuries she received defending her nest from several of them. Both ravens and magpies I have seen kill just out of spite, and they are cannibals too.