American Crows

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by hansolo, May 23, 2011.

  1. hansolo

    hansolo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fremont, CA
    We live in a city block with 3 fully feathered 3+ months old chicks.
    Just over this weekend, there are one or a few crows hanging out on the trees around the house. They are super loud none-stop and the chicks are not fond of them.
    Is this a crow mating season or is there something about our yard? The chicks have been outside for a while but the crows are new.
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Crows will eat eggs and even small chicks, but yours are much too large to be bothered by them. Crows have the upside of being very aggressive towards hawks, so at least you have a natural defense system against aerial predators in place.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  3. Farmer_Dan

    Farmer_Dan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I let my month old chicks in the yard, there was one with a bit of a crook neck. We thought she was getting better so we let her run with the others. 10 minutes inside to make some coffee and looking out the window, a crow was carrying the poor little girl off.

    Probably shouldn't have let them roam free at such a young age, but the rest of the birds seem fine and the crows don't seem nearly as interested in the healthy ones. My guess is that since she was injured/weak that the crow thought it'd be easy pickings.
     
  4. hansolo

    hansolo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2011
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    Thanks! I didn't know that.
    There are also wild geese passing by (only seasonal) and all sorts of wild birds that will come down to eat feed, and a couple squirrels seems we are feeding. Should I be concerned about disease?


    Quote:
     
  5. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    We get wild ducks on our pond, and they swim about 5 feet away from my domestic ducks. We've never had any health problems other than egg-bound, or bumble foot.
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Crows, American and fish, both have 2011 breeding efforts underway. Most by now have a least eggs in nest, many with chicks. As chicks increase in size, adults will become more brazen in efforts to acquire food. Three month old chicks too large for crows to take but since crows approximate hawks in size and operate mostly overhead, chicks will be unnerved. Crows may steal some feed but will be concentrating on animal prey to feed their brood. This time of year they will not be as likely to take on prey items that can not be carried back to nest in beak.
     
  7. hansolo

    hansolo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 7, 2011
    Fremont, CA
    This is so interesting. I would know zero about birds if have not started urban chickens.
    I wonder if their nests are nearby, be so cool to see babies.
    Should I leave some food out for them? Why are they so loud though?
    I've also noticed little birdies picking up shed feathers from our chicks. They must be using it to build their nests!


    Quote:Crows, American and fish, both have 2011 breeding efforts underway. Most by now have a least eggs in nest, many with chicks. As chicks increase in size, adults will become more brazen in efforts to acquire food. Three month old chicks too large for crows to take but since crows approximate hawks in size and operate mostly overhead, chicks will be unnerved. Crows may steal some feed but will be concentrating on animal prey to feed their brood. This time of year they will not be as likely to take on prey items that can not be carried back to nest in beak.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,487
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    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Crows, American and fish, both have 2011 breeding efforts underway. Most by now have a least eggs in nest, many with chicks. As chicks increase in size, adults will become more brazen in efforts to acquire food. Three month old chicks too large for crows to take but since crows approximate hawks in size and operate mostly overhead, chicks will be unnerved. Crows may steal some feed but will be concentrating on animal prey to feed their brood. This time of year they will not be as likely to take on prey items that can not be carried back to nest in beak.


    Lots of birds use shed feathers in nest construction. Light weight, excellent insulation, and with some species weave well to give strength and volume.

    Foraging by American crows here most restricted this time of year. Nest likely not more than a few hundred feet away. Dad does bulk until chicks come into pen feathers that start to open enabling chicks to thermoregulate better as group in nest. Dad may have a helper as well, usally from last years brood. Around here, usually more than one nest in close proximity to each other. Males, and helpers if present, often forage together. They like to stay in earshot of females in case alarm call given. Communication you here may be intended for females back at nests or rival foraging groups of males. Much of what you hear also contact calls between foragers. They may appreciate you leaving food but take into consideration that can make a considerable racket. At some point chicks will fledge at which point they will start making some really distinctive calls when begging for food. A couple to few days later, they will leave natal tree to follow adults around as they forage and begging for food. Begging stops about two weeks following fledging. Juveniles will appear charcoal grey and fly differently. Takes time for them to acquire full flight capabilites of adult. Their voices will also be different from adults at least through fall.
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  9. JoePa

    JoePa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I don't like crows - they eat baby birds, rabbits .etc - also bird eggs - they are very smart birds - I try to keep their numbers down -
     

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