crows stealing eggs!

Clodagh

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We have been using Larsen traps on the farm and have had 6 crows and 25 magpies. Think how many songbirds we have saved! I would go down that route. Failing that, those string bead things butches shops have over the door might help? Or rollaway nestboxes?
 

MotherOfChickens

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roll aways would mean a new hen house I think and I can't stretch to that atm (its a 20 bird, large old fashioned wooden one-cost a fortune to replace). We don't have magpies thankfully. I also don't have the means to dispatch.
 

Lynsey&Smartie

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We had this problem last year and the only thing that solved it was netting over the top of the chicken enclosure so that they couldn't get in. The crows are so cheeky, if I come out with the eggs in a basket and put it down for a few minutes whilst I do something else the crows come straight up and steal the eggs from the basket, bold as brass!
 

Lynsey&Smartie

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netting would be pretty impossible due to our location although might be able to rig some up immediately in front of pop door.

would decoy owls work?

I'm not sure, I would be surprised if it did as my cockerels tried to and attack the crows but they still came in and just hopped into the house and flew away with an egg in their beak before the cockerels could get them! Crows don't seem to scare easily!
 

Honey08

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I wonder if you could scare them off with a mirror opposite the pop hole, so they see another bird walking towards them when they come in?


Could you rig up some sort of roll away system yourself - put a fake floor in the nesting box that slopes to the back, so the eggs roll away under the fake floor?

I hope that you find a solution, thats really annoying.
 

MotherOfChickens

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I hope that you find a solution, thats really annoying.

thanks, it is really annoying-I have been diligently trap nesting and setting eggs from my three best hens, 10 under a broody yesterday-all gone by yesterday evening by the time I got home from work. I expect she abandoned them and they then moved in. The cock couldnt get into that part of the run anyway to protect them even if he wanted to. Had just put them under her the night before and would have stuck them in the incy if she'd not been committed enough. I usually have broodies in their ark and a very secure wire run but thats currently in use for some growers that are going this weekend.

TBH I didnt even know crows would/could steal eggs and possibly would have believed it if I hadnt seen them sneaking about the henhouse yesterday evening.
 

Clodagh

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To dispatch a crow you only need a length of copper pipe. I appreciate you may not wish to trap them, but after I lost 6 well grown growers last year to nesting crows I have a zero tolerance approach.
 

MotherOfChickens

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Clodagh, its amazing how your point of view to this sort of thing changes when you've spent time trying to breed something :) I'll not rule out trapping yet. I want to chat to neighbour farmer first-we have lots and lots of crows, I expect someone somewhere can help me-we are in sheep country.
 

AengusOg

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I trapped twenty eight crows last year, using Larsen traps, and hardly heard a crow all through lambing time. We didn't have any nests on the farm at all last year. After lambing I switched to using eggs as bait, and trapped a whole family of magpies.

This year, despite having the traps set since February, I haven't trapped one crow. There are plenty about, but they weren't so desperate as they were last year because the weather was not so hard over winter and spring. There are three nests within half a mile of each other, which are about to be dealt with.

I recently saw a pair of ravens being mobbed by the crows. We have not had ravens here before.

I hate crows. Their crawing does my head in. They are murderous brutes. This year they even had an eye out of a live ewe who'd rolled onto her back. They sit on the fence posts watching lambing ewes, and any lambs which are a bit dopey run the risk of losing eyes or innards before they even get to their feet.

I used to have bother with crows among the hens, so I fixed the boley hole so that I could pull a string and the drop door would close, trapping the crows inside.
 

Clodagh

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AengusOg - my theory is the thick ones that go in the trap don't have chicks, so they get cleverer every year! Like a Darwinian idea.
 

MotherOfChickens

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I am odd I love crows and jackdaws.

you aren't odd, I admire how clever they are. But-as I said, when you put time into breeding something, its very irritating when something else ruins it! we have many crows, at any one time I can look out of the window and see 10s of them in the surrounding fields-there's a big rookery 1/2 mile away and another in my paddock )about 1/5 miles away)

I am at home the next three days-I will observe whats happening. I am hoping to get hold of a dead one to hang up over the run.
 

Dry Rot

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Crows do not like to go into dark areas. My free range chickens are provided with nest boxes and I have a piece of black polythene hanging down at the entrance cut into strips so that the hen can easily push in but a corvid cannot actually see the eggs from outside. I have not lost a single egg since using this design!
 
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