Black Crow Predation on flock

brideofchaos

Songster
5 Years
May 2, 2015
182
29
126
Magnolia, KY
Hi, all,

We lost 24 month-old chicks last week to a flock of crows (they hauled off 16 chicks and beheaded and eviscerated the rest. We know it's crows and we are now in the process of covering the entire run and keeping the survivors in the coop until the cover's done. Anyone else had issues with crows and their flock? I've read everything from scarecrows, to plastic owls, to tying CDs from wires at the roof. But wanted to know what anyone else has done?

When I had my last flock (in Oregon, now in NM), NEVER had an issue with anyone but raccoons (grabbing hens thru the fence and eating their heads) and foxes. So this is a new issue for me. My husband is adamant that he's going to get a pistol and take them out, one by one (they roost in the trees at the edge of our 10 acres). We had single crows land on the fencepost of the run this weekend and my first instinct was to CAW really loud and I did...and it bolted. Happened again yesterday and I did the same thing. I figure that single one is the scout for the rest of them. I know they travel in mated pairs...so if we take out one...the other should leave...until we whittle down the flock. Any other ideas in the meantime?

Even though we're covering it the run, I want to protect the flock and even ordered two Saipan Jungle Roo chicks from Ideal in my order this week. Figured there probably isn't any crow alive that will challenge a 3' tall beast of a rooster. lol

Thanks in advance,
Wendy
 

One Chick Two

Songster
Jun 13, 2013
1,067
226
206
Hi, all,

We lost 24 month-old chicks last week to a flock of crows (they hauled off 16 chicks and beheaded and eviscerated the rest. We know it's crows and we are now in the process of covering the entire run and keeping the survivors in the coop until the cover's done. Anyone else had issues with crows and their flock? I've read everything from scarecrows, to plastic owls, to tying CDs from wires at the roof. But wanted to know what anyone else has done?

When I had my last flock (in Oregon, now in NM), NEVER had an issue with anyone but raccoons (grabbing hens thru the fence and eating their heads) and foxes. So this is a new issue for me. My husband is adamant that he's going to get a pistol and take them out, one by one (they roost in the trees at the edge of our 10 acres). We had single crows land on the fencepost of the run this weekend and my first instinct was to CAW really loud and I did...and it bolted. Happened again yesterday and I did the same thing. I figure that single one is the scout for the rest of them. I know they travel in mated pairs...so if we take out one...the other should leave...until we whittle down the flock. Any other ideas in the meantime?

Even though we're covering it the run, I want to protect the flock and even ordered two Saipan Jungle Roo chicks from Ideal in my order this week. Figured there probably isn't any crow alive that will challenge a 3' tall beast of a rooster. lol

Thanks in advance,
Wendy

Hi Wendy,

So sorry to hear about the crows attacking your flock. We have had problems with ravens killing chickens. Once, a raven attacked a huge, 10 lb RIR cockerel, and he permanently lost his eyesight in the struggle. If we hadn't come outside at that moment, and I had banged together a few cast iron pots to scare it off of him, I have no doubt he would've been gone.

There are many problems with killing off crows- first, (you'll have to check on this, but...) they may be a protected animal- so may not be able to hunted (Ravens are protected and cannot be hunted.).

Secondly, crows and ravens are territorial, and protect their airspace from really destructive raptors from moving into the area... hawks, owls and eagles. Take away the crows, and it's a matter of time before others move in, or, a worse problem develops.

Covering and fortifying the run so nothing can get in is your best bet.
 

123RedBeard

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 20, 2014
1,423
1,848
336
Arizona
24 MONTHS? Or days?

Most states crows are considered "game" and need a hunting license, and only shot in season ...

Tell your husband to get a rifle .223 or .243 ... Much better range than a pistol!
 

brideofchaos

Songster
5 Years
May 2, 2015
182
29
126
Magnolia, KY
24 one-month-olds. just put them in the coop and run 2 days before for the first time. We're getting 30.06 soon. POOF goes the crow. Lol We're actually getting it in case we have issues with coyotes...I prefer a rifle, too from my Navy days.

We've ordered good avian netting that came highly recommended and will also hang the shiny CDs beneath the net. The chicks stay inside until it's fully installed. After that, it's target practice time. Where I live, no one bats an eye at a rifle shot or begrudges anyone protecting their animals. ;)
 

brideofchaos

Songster
5 Years
May 2, 2015
182
29
126
Magnolia, KY
I'm happy to say, our poultry netting has arrived from Best Choice on Amazon. It came with outstanding reviews from poultry folks. It will be installed this weekend, along with the dangling CDs to blind the rotten buggers from above. Will let you all know it goes.

Other nice thing to report is that my three dogs chased one of the ravens that landed next to the run the other day and my young (5-week-old) RIR roo ushered the other chicks into one of the dog houses I placed as ancillary shelter in the run. Was quite impressive!

My final season order from Ideal arrived yesterday and are feathering out in the house for a few weeks before putting them in the coop. So am glad I'm learning these lessons now and not when the very special breeds that I ordered end up outside!

Have a safe and fun Memorial Day weekend!
Wendy
 

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