Protecting Chickens from Crows: Top 10 Effective Ways
Crows are a common sight in many parts of the world. And while these intelligent birds leave us in awe with their problem-solving skills, they can often pose a challenge to those of us raising chickens.
This article has compiled tried-and-tested methods to protect your chickens from these feathered foes.
We will explore typical strategies and discover innovative tactics that may surprise you.
How To Keep Crows Away From Chickens?
1. Cover Your Chicken Run
Your chicken run, the outdoor area where your chickens like to roam around during the day, can look like an all-you-can-eat buffet to a crow.
So, how do you keep these dinner crashers away?
Here's a simple solution - bird netting!
Covering your chicken run with bird netting is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep crows at bay.
It acts like a shield, preventing crows from swooping in and attacking your chickens or their precious eggs. It's like installing a safety roof between the sky and your flock.
Bird netting is particularly crucial when your chickens are young or small, as they are more vulnerable to crow attacks.
Image from Patti O- Amazon Customer Review | Heavy Duty Harvesto Bird Netting
2. Collecting Eggs Regularly
Here's a surprising fact - crows love eggs just as much as we do!
Unfortunately, your hens' fresh, nutrition-packed treasures are not secure from cunning crows. That's why we need to scoop those eggs up promptly.
Setting a routine to collect eggs often throughout the day is a simple but efficient way to discourage crows.
If no eggs are left unattended - there's nothing for the crows to steal!
Maintain a regular schedule, once in the morning and again before you retire.
This practice ensures that your eggs are safe - but remember, the fresher the eggs are, the better they taste, too!
So, the sooner you collect the eggs from the coop, the less likely a crow will swoop in for a quick meal. Keep those eggs for your breakfast, not a crow's!
3. Reflective Items for Deterrence
Crows dislike anything that glimmers or flickers, as it distracts and disorients them. Using these reflective items around your chicken coop can keep crows at bay.
Consider using shiny items like old CDs, aluminum pie plates, or even reflective tape to create an unwelcoming area for crows.
Hang these items on nearby trees, fence posts, or chicken runs. The unpredictable, shining reflections will deter the crows when sunlight hits these objects.
Be creative with how you place the reflective objects around the coop. Aside from being practical, it also gives your garden or yard a unique look.
Remember to change the position of these objects from time to time. Crows are intelligent creatures and will eventually realize they are harmless if left in the same place for too long.
4. Indoor Egg Laying
Think about where your chickens lay their eggs. Having your chickens lay their eggs inside is an excellent way to keep them safe from crows.
Chickens like peaceful, dark places to lay their eggs. So, it's best to set up a comfy box in a corner of the coop where it's quiet and dark. Fill this box with straws or small wood chips.
To help your hens understand this is an excellent place to lay eggs, place a fake egg or a golf ball in the box. The chickens will see this and get the hint to lay their eggs in the box.
Also, have enough boxes for all your hens. If there are not enough boxes, the hens might fight over them and decide to lay eggs outside. A good rule is to have one box for every 4 to 5 chickens.
Having your chickens lay eggs inside reduces the chance of crows stealing them.
5. Use of Protected Brooders
A great way to ensure the safety of your little chicks is by using a secure brooder.
Brooders protect your baby birds, especially when they're more vulnerable to threats like crows.
A good brooder is a warm and safe enclosure that imitates the natural environment your chicks need during their early days. This space should be secure, keeping crows, rodents, and other predators at bay.
You can create a brooder using a large plastic or metal tub or a wooden box. Ensure you have proper bedding like pine shavings, heat sources like heat lamps, and access to fresh food and water.
The brooder should be placed inside your chicken coop or a sturdy shed for protection. Check the area for gaps or weak points that can allow unwelcome guests to enter the brooder.
It's essential to keep the brooder clean and change the bedding frequently to maintain the health of your chicks.
Using a protected brooder provides a secure environment for your chicks to grow and thrive while keeping them safe from the threat of crows and other predators.
6. Keeping the Chicken Coop Quiet
Crows are intelligent and curious birds, often attracted to noise and activity. So, to keep them away from your chickens, it can be helpful to maintain a quiet chicken coop.
Avoid any unnecessary sounds near the coop, especially loud or sudden ones, as these can draw the attention of crows.
Simple actions, like gently closing the coop doors and keeping the chicken food containers sealed, can make your coop less attractive to the crows.
Also, chickens can be noisy, mainly when distressed or disturbed.
Encourage calmness in your flock by providing ample space for them to move around and meet their needs.
Their feed and water should be easily accessible and have a clean, comfortable place to roost and lay eggs.
7. Don't Attract Crows with Food
Crows are often drawn to your chicken coop because of food.
It's important not to feed crows, as it makes them want to return more. This can be risky for your chickens and their eggs.
Feeding crows may seem friendly, but it makes them think your chicken coop is an excellent place to find food.
This can be a big problem, especially for young or small chickens.
To keep crows away, be smart with how you handle food. Store chicken feed in sealed containers and clean up any spills right away.
Using feeders that only your chickens can access is another good idea. This way, crows will only see or smell the food slowly.
8. Use of Crow Decoys
Using crow decoys might seem counterintuitive, but they can keep real crows away from your chicken coop.
Placing crow decoys near your chicken coop can make other crows believe that the territory is claimed by another crow, discouraging them from approaching.
To maximize the effectiveness of crow decoys, place them in visible locations, such as on a fence or rooftop near the coop.
Varying the placement occasionally helps maintain the illusion that these decoys are real crows, which can strengthen the deterrent effect.
In addition to crow decoys, you can also consider using other baits, such as fake owls or hawks, as crows generally avoid places with predators nearby. These decoys are widely available at gardening or farming supply stores or online.
Combined with other deterrent methods, a crow decoy can be a low-cost and effective way to deter unwanted avian intruders from entering your coop.
9. Playing Crow Calls
Playing crow distress calls is an innovative method to keep crow away from your chicken coop.
These sounds can make the crows believe there is a potential danger in the area, causing them to avoid it.
Crow distress calls are recordings of crows in distress or alarm situations, which signal to other crows that a threat may be nearby.
Playing these calls on a loudspeaker or portable device near your chicken coop creates an uneasy environment for the invading crows.
This technique uses the crows' intelligence and strong communication skills, using their behavior against them.
10. Providing Safe Housing
Keeping your chickens safe from crows requires a sturdy chicken coop. Think of it as a safe house where your chickens can rest when you're not around or at night.
Build the coop with solid materials like hardwood or metal so crows can't enter.
Doors should be locked properly with secure bolts that crows can't open.
Windows need a tough wire cover to let in light while keeping crows out.
Ensure there are raised sleeping areas and the eggs are kept out of sight to prevent crows from stealing them.
Yes, crows can be a nuisance to chickens, but a firm, secure coop paired with intelligent methods to shoo them away can do wonders.
Creating a safe home does more than keep away crows. It supports your chickens' happiness and well-being.
When protecting your precious chickens from predatory birds, bird netting remains an effective and proven solution worth considering – ask countless satisfied users who have successfully safeguarded their coops!
This Ultimate Tangle-free Chicken Coop Netting is user-friendly and straightforward to install, but its tangle-free design also ensures a continuous and reliable protective barrier.
Give your coop the safety upgrade it deserves by considering this fantastic netting option.