Crows are birds, classified as omnivores, feeding on plants and animals. Do crows eat chickens given a chance?
What are the tips to protect your flock from these songbirds? Here is all you need to know.
Keeping chickens is much fine. You can collect eggs and know where your meal will come from. However, chickens aren’t food for only humans.
Birds of prey will attempt to attack and kill them when they lack easy food.
Do Crows Eat Chickens?
Crows kill and eat smaller chickens, baby chicken, chicken eggs, and poultry feeds, even though such cases in point are infrequent.
Crows will only strike if circumstances are pleasing. Like other birds, Crows need to eat; therefore, your chickens and their feeds are the ideal food.
Crows might cause vexation to make chicken owners. However, as you’ll notice later in this article, their presence can be essential.
Can A Crow Kill A Chicken?
A crow can kill a chicken, although it’s unlikely they would ever attempt to do so. On some occasions.
When the chicken is vulnerable, relatively more minor, and secluded from the other flocks, and the crow’s instinct tells it can overcome the chicken, it’s when it will attack and kill the chicken.
Crows are not birds of prey, so they’ll not attack chickens as an eagle or hawk would. Since they are opportunistic omnivores, they will eat a combination of meat and plant-based foods.
Eggs, small rodents, insects, invertebrates, and worms are always on the crow’s top list of prey for meat.
For plants– nuts, seeds, grains, and fruits are what crows eat most. This means that crows like eating small and vulnerable prey. Chicken is too large for them to attack, kill, and eat.
Are Crows Dangerous To Chickens?
Even though crows do not actively hunt chickens, it does not mean they’re not a danger to chickens.
In fact, they are dangerous to small birds and young chicks. The main reasons are, transmitting diseases and stealing chicken feeds.
First, crows will eat chicken feed unnoticed. You’ll only realize when your chicken cries all day, signaling their starvation.
If you’re not keen enough, your flock will end up malnourished. We, therefore, recommend frequent monitoring of the feeds and routinely topping up.
From your chicken feeding pattern, you can clearly state if they’re the ones eating or if an uninvited visitor is munching the food.
Second, crows can infect your flock with the disease. It will be essential to keep them away from your chickens. Let’s now learn possible ways to protect your flock.
How Do I Protect My Chickens From Crows?
Setting up physical boundaries is the best way to go. Even if crows realize the presence of humans around chickens, they’ll still be determined to come closer if left unchecked.
Remember, killing or shooting crows is not a good idea, as some countries have laws to protect these birds. How can we set boundaries? Here are the tips; read on!
Hanging A Dead Bird
Hanging a dead bird is a fair approach known to work, and the idea is that a hanging dead bird acts as a visual deterrent to other birds and crows.
Some chicken keepers have seen it as a success since when the birds and other crows see the dead bird, they’ll think they are next in line to be killed and hanged, just like the dead.
The idea sends fear, and as a result, the other birds and crows choose to go far away to a much safer area.
Hanging Up A Balloon
We recommend using bright-colored balloons such as pink. Hang the balloons in your coop or chicken run– as long your flock can see and get frightened.
Ballons resemble a human face, and cows are known to be mindful of humans.
Some owners even add CDs. The reflection of the sunlight when it hits the CDs is distributed widely, distracting the birds and even causing more fright!
Installing A Scarecrow
As the name suggests, it scares crows. This is another trick that works for many chicken keepers.
You must routinely reposition or move them around in your backyard for effective results. It is because sooner or later, the crows will notice scarecrows that do not move– and will realize they are neither real nor scary.
In the end, the crows will persistently get closer to your flock.
Get Some Owls
Using owl decoys can help your scare away the crows. Owl decoys look and act like real birds.
Crows will therefore perceive the decoys as dangerous, opting to stay away.
The decoys work well and are cost-effective. You can get them at Amazon.
Using polypropylene tape is another helpful approach. The tape makes a unique sound whenever there is wind.
The sounds discourage the crows from roosting around your chicken coop and running.
The distraction will make the crows and other birds move elsewhere.
Before you use traps, check with the local authorities if the method is legal.
Again, acquire the license for using a trap such as the Larsen trap. In some states, there are well-laid rules and procedures to follow for effectiveness.
We recommend using live traps– they cause no harm to the crows.
A Larsen trap is essential because trapping a single crow is enough to prevent the other crows from coming closer. When they see one of them trapped, they’ll fly away since they’re territorial birds.
Using traps is not an ideal option for every chicken keeper, but it’s a method worth exploring.
Keeping Your Chickens Indoor
Most owners who do not use most of the options discussed above use this method.
They regard it as an effective and long-term strategy for securing their flock– overhead protection.
Covering a chicken run or keeping your chickens indoors is very plausible, especially when your birds are still young and small.
Remove Vantage Points
Like hawks and other birds, Crows will look for a high vantage point– on tall trees to watch and observe keenly on the ground.
As they roost, they’ll eventually launch an attack on your flock. Cut down tall trees and other vantage access points to protect your chickens and discourage the crows from perching near your property.
Not all vantage points can be removed, but doing away with some manageable ones will help keep away crows.
In short, removing vantage points lessens the chances for crows to roost undetected and plan an attack for food.
Being omnivores by nature, crows will scavenge your area for various food. Removing uneaten food and the leftovers near your chicken coop is generally a good idea.
For instance, leaving nuts and seeds out will attract crows and other birds. Left-out edible plants can also attract crows.
Ensure no food is left around your compound to minimize the risk of crows attacking and killing your young and small chickens.
Do Crows Protect Chickens?
Crows will not boldly protect chickens. However, their presence only is enough to offer protection– the presence of the crows indicates that other birds of prey are not around.
Therefore, crows can be beneficial on your property and around your birds.
For example, if a bird of prey were to drop by, the crows would soon disperse, and you’ll sense danger for your flock.
Hence, chickens can be signaled to potential attacks and more callous predators.
Equally, with crows within your flock, birds of prey will go for the crow, not chickens. Crows hate hawks and other birds of prey.
They tend to fight and drive them away, especially in a group. The fight even gets so intense when they want to protect themselves, their eggs, and even their young ones.
However, it would help if you kept the crows at a distance–when they’re so close, they might transmit disease to your flock or steal your bird’s feeds.
So, having crows around your chicken will somewhat guarantee the chicken’s security.
Crows are not considered birds of prey by many chicken keepers, even though they’re a threat to the flock.
Crows neither attack nor eat chickens, but if they do so, the chances are very minimal.
There are casual reports of crows attacking chicks, young chickens, and smaller birds. It’s good to note that.
We recommend the above methods to achieve the best results while caring for your flock.
The most ordinary and simple ways to deter crows from coming close to your flock include:
- Hanging dead birds and balloons.
- Installing scarecrows.
- Using owl decoys and tapes.
- Setting live traps.
Furthermore, you can keep your chickens indoors or cover the chicken run, remove food near your coop, and get rid of vantage points.
By using one or two of these approaches, your flock and their eggs will be safe.
Again, ensure your chickens are safe, not only from crows but also from other potential birds of prey and predators.
On the other hand, crows’ presence around your property and chickens is all important.
They protect your flock. When around, birds of prey will not attack and kill your chickens.
Suppose the birds fly away, indicating that a more ruthless hunter is around.
So, always be vigilant and have them at a distance if you prefer keeping crows around.
Overall, crows do not attack and eat chickens. Keeping them is a good idea, but again, be on the lookout and learn about their behavior to control them.