Person In Chicken Forum: Halp halp crows are killing my chickens. What’s the best way to deter them? I can’t put a roof on the chicken run because there are trees and it’s not my yard but a crow got in and killed and ate out my favourite chicken.
Me (and everyone else): That seems really unlikely tbh.
PICF: Was def a crow.
Me (and everyone else): Like, did you see it?
PICF: No but was def a crow.
Me: That sounds like a hawk or an eagle but a fox could totally get in there too.
PICF: The fence is well over 6 feet tall, nothing but something that flies can get in.
Me: That isn’t actually how foxes work, you know. And also like…cats, quolls…
PICF: I can’t put a roof on the chicken run how do I keep predators out?
Me: By putting a roof on the chicken run.
PICF: I can’t do that.
Me: You could try electric fencing or building a new fence with an angled edge but that’s iffy at best and won’t stop much.
PICF: I can’t do that.
Me: Not sure what you’re hoping for here. Plans for a force field? You’re asking how to make poor housing better without actually doing anything to make it better. If you can’t actually put a roof on the chicken run, I don’t know what to tell you – except don’t have chickens? That’s about the only way you’re going to keep them safe.
I appreciate the frustration, I really do. I’ve been in that position where my set-up was completely inadequate and something went wrong. I lacked the resources to make things better.
So for a while I didn’t have chickens.
Some areas are going to be better than others. Some people are going to get very lucky and never have to deal with foxes in their suburb. A lot of people are going to go in blind and ignorant, thinking that any old fence will keep their flock safe. They’re going to be wrong. And angry – that chickens are more complicated than they were led to believe. Frustrated that they can’t fix things, that there’s no easy or neat solution to their problem.
It’s an unfortunate reality of farming and an unfortunate consequence of human superiority. We build enclosures certain that predators are incapable or stupid. The fox won’t see that it can slide under the fence. It won’t realize it could just climb over.
In my experience, most of the problems with poor housing stem from the backyard farmers severely miscalculating the abilities of predators.
Bitches, they evolved specifically to hunt down, weed out, ferret out, dig up, pinpoint with scary accuracy – prey. Your hex-wire aviary-mesh fence isn’t stopping anything, except your hens’ ability to run away from a predator.
If we aren’t willing to take the measures necessary to keep our animals safe, we probably shouldn’t be keeping them. At the very least, we’ve lost the right to bitch about them dying because of our poor attempt at security.
Interested in how hens and crows match up in a fight? Check this out.