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Ravens...what are they doing?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by BarkerChickens, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    We have 2 roosters and 28 hens...all adults 9 months or older. We have TONS of ravens that hang out in our area and they kindly keep the red-tailed hawks at bay. The past couple days, a raven has perched either on the fence top of the chicken run or on the Joshua tree next to the run. Our JG rooster is good about protecting the flock (he'll call all the hens under the the trees if the neighbors turns on a weed whacker!). But, the JG roo can be just feet from the raven and he doesn't care. So, should I not care either? Supposedly, the ravens will only go after chicks and/or dead birds, but not adults. So, is he just eyeing their food maybe? The ravens have never been so interested in our flock, so I am not sure how to feel about it. (The nests are inside the coop...out of sight of the ravens, so that is not it either). I don't want to shoo him away if he is just hanging out. I mean the ravens protect our flock by keeping the hawks away, so if he isn't gonna kill my chickens, then he is more than welcome to hang out.

    What do you think? Worth worrying about?
     
  2. GraceAK

    GraceAK Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 28, 2009
    Eagle River, AK
    How big are chicks before the raven can't get them?

    Im asking because the ravens where I live are like pterodactyls [​IMG] and Im hoping to hatch some chicks this winter so they can range in the spring......
    I would definitely like to hear what the experts say.
     
  3. ErieSpurs

    ErieSpurs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 5, 2009
    Elyria, OH
    Maybe the raven has a crush on your JG roo? Maybe it thinks he is the biggest raven in the world!

    I wouldn't worry too much. If the roo thinks the raven is a problem, he'll take care of it. The raven is probably just interested in the feed.
     
  4. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    I would guess the feed is the attraction. I only feed mine in their coop. Water is only thing outside. When I bring treats for the cluckmore gals, no crows or ravens better get in their way! The treats disappear like time-lapse photography! [​IMG]

    Regards chicks, I think the ravens would eat them in a New York minute. [​IMG]
     
  5. PandoraTaylor

    PandoraTaylor RT Poultry n Things

    Jun 29, 2009
    Alaska
    actually Ravens will kill & eat chickens if they are hungry enough....

    I have a neighbor down the road, that has lost 13 chickens and 10 ducks to a Flock/pack of ravens.
    after hearing about it, I covered my run with a Tarp.
     
  6. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    How big are chicks before the raven can't get them?

    I have heard that 8 weeks is about the average age (that I have read on BYC anyway). I saw a neighbor's chick of about 2-3 weeks get carried off.

    Maybe the raven has a crush on your JG roo? Maybe it thinks he is the biggest raven in the world!

    [​IMG] Too somehow, I don't think their relationship would work out too well.

    actually Ravens will kill & eat chickens if they are hungry enough....

    I have a neighbor down the road, that has lost 13 chickens and 10 ducks to a Flock/pack of ravens.
    after hearing about it, I covered my run with a Tarp.

    I can't use a tarp here. [​IMG] We get STRONG winds here (up to 70 mph gusts today...and this is pretty common). We have to use hard wire, etc. The top is covered with rows of twine (enough to keep hawks from being able to swoop in), but this spring when finances are a bit more stable, we'll have to do a hard wire cover. (I just finished school and start work in January and DH got laid off just before T-giving, so money is a wee-bit tight right now to say the least.[​IMG] ). I didn't know that ravens could be predators to adults.

    As for the feed...we have a large feeder in the coop and a small feeder outside, so it could be feed too. It is only one...not a whole flock of ravens.​
     
  7. newchickmom09

    newchickmom09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2009
    ARIZONA
    My best guess is he is looking at the feed. Now that winter is here and everything is dieing off every bird around is coming in trying to get to our feed. Our ducks do a good job protecting there feeders though. Another idea is you might have little mice running around that have caught the ravens eye. I have never heard of a raven taking away a grown chicken though.
     
  8. Ibicella

    Ibicella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    Quote:Mercy, something must have been seriously wrong in that ecosystem for THAT to happen. Ravens usually try hard to scavange before they will predate.
     
  9. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Ravens not really being afraid of humans, and also being brilliant animals, I think they are likely to just nab food. My birds don't care either, and I invite them around. I have hawk issues, so I toss bread to the crows, but only in the fron yard so they aren't sharing poop space with my birds- i am concerned about sharing disease, I suppose.
     
  10. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    DH thinks he was wanting the chickens, because it happened before he refilled their outside (smaller) feeder. [​IMG] The ravens are huge...about as tall as the hens, but our JG roo could probably take it down given his size! The JG roo seemed that he could careless about the raven and he is normally very protective, so hopefully that means that the raven is nothing to worry about. It is just one curious raven...not a whole flock. He may have been looking to see if their were any small chicks or something too...we've had neighbors with free-range chickens and the ravens have taken the chicks (so I am sure the ravens know to look for them now). Our brooder coop/run is attached to the main run, but if we have chicks, it gets closed off since it is fort knox compared to the larger run. I don't worry about chicks here since nothing is getting to the them. [​IMG] (no chicks currently, so it is a moot point right now anyway). I definitely don't want to scare away the ravens since, like many others, they protect our flock from hawks!
     

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