December 1, 2012 at 11:58 am #257399
I realised this morning that my missing eggs were down to a crow, not the chooks as I had thought. I sprang the rotten beastie polishing off the last of the yolk right outside the chook house, which explains why I’ve been finding puddles of egg white in odd places – it’s falling out through the holes made by the crow’s beak as it tries to pick the eggs up. Yesterday it even managed to break one of the plastic eggs! :huh:
I only have 3 hens feeding 6 people so I can’t afford to lose any eggs to the local wildlife. I need to find a way to keep the crow away from the eggs. The pen is a fairly makeshift structure of chicken wire and star pickets (we’re renting) so covering it over isn’t an option. The hen house itself is one of those premade metal aviaries with a couple of wire panels and a half-size door. The nest box hangs on the wall inside. The girls have the run of the back yard all day. If I leave them locked inside the hen house until after I get up they’ll eat the eggs themselves.
I’m going to try hanging some hessian over the door that the chooks can push aside. but I doubt it would fool the crow for long. Is there a particular nest box design that might discourage a crow’s interest without putting the chooks off?December 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm #528909AnonymousGuest
well my way, though neighbours might reckon i should be in rubber room, is right from go as soon as you here any of their crow chortling noises run outside jumping and yelling and much loud clapping of hands (a football rattle or clapper might be beneficial) and throw things their way they hate things being thrown at them (even if one never makes contact).
you be consistant then as soon as they hear you coming they will go on overseas trip, best if your dog picks up on teh act we had one that did when i yelled she came barking, worked a wonder and saved me hey lol.
above worked for king parrots, common coel’s and fig birds in the mullberries. she would hear all coming from a distance and race toward them as they flew in they would then fly over.
oh! you could try scarecrow (pun) made of shopping bags only thing move it at least daily, or they’ll simply laugh at it.
never leave easy to get food sources, pet food a good one.
lenDecember 1, 2012 at 1:44 pm #528910purplehatMember
You can try raising the nesting boxes off the ground so the chookies will have to jump up to get in. Also, you could turn them around to face the wall, so the chooks have to walk behind them to get in. I also put shade-cloth over the nest box opening with a slit to let the chooks through.
The other option with nesting boxes is to make a roll-away nest box. I made ones like these ones I found on Youtube and it worked well – only that my chooks HATED it and mostly would rather lay on the floor (which defeats the purpose a bit!!).
So, after I made all those alterations, I found that the crows had stopped eating the eggs anyway (since eggs on the floor weren’t being eaten!), so I put straw in the roll away nest boxes and now the chooks lay in there happily.
I also use hessian over the door of the chook house. I find it helps, but doesn’t completely solve the issue. I found out that DH had been tying back the hessian during the day! When I left the hessian down, the crows didn’t seem to be eating the eggs quite as much.
Failing all that, you already guessed the other options – completely covering the pen – but I’m with you on that one – my girls free-range and it’s not really possible.
Good luck!December 1, 2012 at 1:52 pm #528911AnonymousGuest
our chook cage will be like before completely coverd so nothing gets in or out especially chooks heads to give wiley fox a taste.
our practise is to leave them in the run ’till after lunch so they have finished laying them let them out to free range, creating area now of grass and clover and wyncassia. should keep the yokes nice and yellow at least.
crows and foxes will ahve to hungry.
lenDecember 1, 2012 at 3:48 pm #528912
Thank ye both. I’ve just hung the hessian over the doorway and decided to try some bird netting over the pen, with a flap covering the entrance – came inside for a drink halfway through and went back outside to find the crow investigating already! I’m sure the little so-and-so will work it out, the question will be whether it’s happy to be inside such an obvious trap. Might get myself a caged pet crow :woohoo:
The nest is already hung about a metre from the ground, but turning it to face the wall sounds like it’s worth trying (but later, when it’s not so hot). I considered rollaway nests but I’d prefer to be able to continue using straw bedding in the nest rather than have to use astroturf or some other pollution-in-waiting. Straw + chook poo = happy compost!December 2, 2012 at 11:50 am #528913julientuaregMember
Crows kept pinching our strawberries off the verandah so we put up a hawk statue and an owl statue and they havent returned as yet.December 2, 2012 at 12:20 pm #528914BelMember
You could try hanging some tinsel at the entrance too…?December 2, 2012 at 12:58 pm #528915
That sounds like something to enlist the kids in – they’d lap up the idea of the chooks having Christmas too!
Both of the eggs laid so far today have made it safely upstairs. With the bird netting over the pen it feels very cage-like, and the crows would have to walk about 5m in the enclosed space to get to the nest. Fingers crossed that will be enough to deter them. Predatory bird statues are definitely on my list of things to try if the current measures don’t work.December 3, 2012 at 1:10 pm #528916
Looks like I don’t need fake predatory birds because I have a real predatory chicken :laugh:
I surprised the crow walking towards the aviary, ran in roaring with arms raised, and chased it right into the jaws (beak) of our Isa Brown, who jumped on top of it and started pecking and kicking :clap: . Go Layla! Let’s see if it dares to come back now!
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