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Ravens and chicks

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BarkerChickens, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    I've done a bit of searching with no luck, so I am hoping someone knows the answer... here goes...

    At what age are chicks safe from Ravens? I have heard that Ravens don't go after adult chickens, but do go after chicks. So where is that gray line?

    We have ravens in our neighborhood, which is great in the sense that they (and neighborhood dogs) keep hawks away. However, yesterday I saw a raven carry off a neighbors chick. [​IMG] We have 49 4-week old chicks that will be going out in about 2 weeks or so. They have a large coop that they'll be in for the first few days and then we'll open the side door to the run, which is fenced. While our old run (which has the existing flock) is covered, the new run is huge and not covered.

    Any input is greatly appreciated! Thanks!
     
  2. undermywings

    undermywings chicken chaser

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    Mar 29, 2009
    California high desert
    We also have ravens. I don't have the answer to your question, but I do know that in rural areas, hawks in the day time and owls at night will carry off full size chickens and cats. So if you can put a cover on your run, I would suggest doing it.
     
  3. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    I don't think we have owls around here anymore...we've haven't heard them in YEARS. I wish we could put a cover on the run, but with the size, it'd cost way more than what we can afford right now. The run is over 1000 sq ft. They do have areas covered for shade, but the whole thing isn't covered.
     
  4. EngieKisses

    EngieKisses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2008
    Collinsville, Oklahoma
    Why not move the existing flock into the new run and put the new chicks in the old run until they get bigger?
     
  5. gene_eu

    gene_eu New Egg

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    Apr 28, 2009
    asheville, nc
    Ravens aren't full on predators more opportunisitc omnivores, so 6 week old chicks will be pretty safe from them, plus the ravens will keep birds of prey away for you, so they are a blessing as long as your chicks are older and some adult birds are around, the raven probably won't try anything. I'm guessing you saw it fly off with a chick younger than 2 weeks? Make sure the chicks have safety options too- i like to give my birds lots of places around the yard they can make a run of safety long enough for the dogs to come see what is going on-i.e. plant bushes, place objects they can run under etc. Hope this helps.


    I've got 4 dogs running my yard and they keep all the hawks, coyotes and other would be harmfuls out, plus two geese, so nothing hardly ever comes in my yard now and all my birds even bantams free range all day long- now they hate their large coop- very spoilt!
     
  6. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:Great idea! However, the coop in the small run is WAY too small for 49 chicks. That is why we built the new run and coop. Told run is 8x24 with a 4x5 coop inside. The new run is ~30x40 with an 8x12 coop.

    ETA: While 49 chicks will be the 8x12, 1/2 are roos and most will be butchered (we'll keep 3). About 10-12 pullets will be going to DH's best friend. So, we'll end up having about 25 chickens total in the coop between new chicks and existing flock (6 hens). I don't want to imply we cram our chickens into a coop that too small!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009
  7. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:Yes...that chick was about 1.5 to 2 weeks old. The neighbors have 2 hens, 2 roosters and that one chick (poor hens!). Oh, and the roosters never crowed when the raven entered the yard! They hid under a piece of wood. They have a dog, but he is a lump on a log. There chickens are all free range.

    Our chicks will be about 6 weeks before we put them out. After they are a little bigger, we will introduce our existing hens to the chicks. The hens will be separated from the chicks by a wire fence until the babies are old enough to not be pecked on my the adults. If 6 week olds should be old enough, then we should be fine. We can always lock the chicks in the coop (has windows that wed open) for a week or so as well.

    As for our property, the chicks have access under the coop and there are a few trees inside of run as well. In addition, we have 3 dogs that are chicken friendly, but bark at anything that flies overhead. We rarely even have pigeons land in our yard because our dogs scare them off. We built our run in a way that the dogs can run around the fence area to protect them. We have crows and ravens all around our neighborhood! Between the ravens (and crows?) and the dogs, we haven't had a hawk near our property in years. They stay in the open desert that surrounds our development, while the crow and ravens claim the development itself (especially trash day! Scavengers!).
     
  8. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    A friend of mine saw a crow (aka raven, right?) pluck a normal-sized bird right off a telephone wire and fly off with it a few days ago.

    So I'm not sure at what point chicks are safe. Especially in the spring when all birds seem to be a little nuts.
     
  9. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    Well I have the same problem as you well know!!! Chicken hawks are around here too, so we keep them cooped in a large area. I have actually seen the hawks resting on the top of the coop staring at them with the roo hollering his head off. I think the line with ravens is when they have enough body mass that the ravens won't look at they as prey.
     
  10. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Bawkbawkbawk, crows and ravens are similar (related species), but not the same. Ravens are quite a bit bigger than crows. From what I understand (which isn't much) crows are scavengers, whereas, ravens are opportunistic hunters. I wouldn't quote me on that though.

    Debi...I honestly can't imagine a raven carrying off a 6 week old chick, but then again, predators always surprise me!
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2009

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