henny penny hen houses
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Published on January 18, 2013 by Henny Penny in Penny's Posts

We have about 3 inches of snow here in North Yorkshire and its -7 degrees Celsius. So pretty cold for us humans, but not too bad for the girls, thanks to their lovely warm down feathers. They really do keep them warm. 

However, having a blanket of snow means there's not much food about for other birds to find. When I heard that bad weather was forecast I put out some wild bird seed, fat balls and nuts in bird feeders. Of course I didn't put anything out for larger birds like crows, as I don't want to encourage them. Maybe I need to re-think that one as some cheeky crow has been helping himself to fresh eggs for breakfast by walking up the ramp, bold as brass, into my hen house. Tell-tale signs include: 

1: an apparent reduction in eggs laid (though in isolation you might just put that down to the inclement weather).  

2: straw and bedding removed from each nesting box and dumped in the middle of the hen house floor.  

3: pot and rubber eggs found mysteriously outside the hen house (chickens would never do that).  

4: possibly some broken egg shells outside.  

I haven't managed to get a picture of them in the act yet, so I've just attached a library shot of a crow keeping watch. However, I am thinking of putting a webcam inside the chicken coop to catch them at it, and if I do I'll post the video so you can see these thieves in action. 

How can you stop them? Well I heard someone saying that you could put a rubber egg inside a rat-trap and wait for the crow to visit again. Well I'm certainly not going to be trying that one out, it's probably not even legal. Besides, what if an inquisitive chicken decided to stick its head into the trap? It doesn't bear thinking about. 

I've also heard of using a plastic model of a hawk to scare the crows away. Has anyone tried this method or any other less dramatic ideas? If so, please post a comment and share the knowledge! And in the meantime, if you notice your girls are laying fewer eggs than expected, take a careful look inside the coop for clues...it might just be some crows!


Tags: crows, eggs, webcam, chickens, hen house, coop

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