OK, I’ll admit it. I went and spent $35 on bird netting to cover the chicken yard without even measuring the chicken yard. The package said the bird netting was 28 ft by 28 ft. That’s huge! How could our chicken yard possibly be bigger than that?
Yeah, well, it turns out our chickens are SPOILED!! Their chicken yard is huge. No way will that netting keep out any crows or protect any eggs.
Today was the day I gave a little more thought to crow intelligence. Thinking I should probably understand the critter I’m dealing with, I was dismayed to learn that some scientists consider them smarter than great apes:
So I bought the netting, thinking they couldn’t think their way through that. Oops. They won’t have to.
So round 3 goes to the crows. And I have demonstrated that they are, in fact, smarter than me, because I didn’t measure the chicken yard before buying the netting.
And as chance would have it, the neighbor came by to warn me he’ll be shooting at crows and not to let the noise bother me. I asked if he could shoot some on my property too. He laughed and said it’s really to scare them off, not kill them, and I read today that they will be back, so shooting at them is only a temporary fix…and killing them only opens the door to more crows.
That took guns off my “next thing to try” list.
But I have a secret weapon, something the crows don’t have, something their superior intellect can’t compare to or overcome. That secret weapon? Opposable thumbs! Ha!
I do have a way to protect the eggs. I’ve only been too lazy and cheap to employ it. I can work that latch, and I can keep the chickens locked in until they are done laying for the day. We built the coop for 30 chickens, and we have 19 nesting boxes. But here’s the thing: Keeping them in means more poop to clean up and more food to buy. Our chickens are usually truly free range. Even our surprise baby chick now roams the property toddling along behind mama hen. Letting them free range means their poop gets spread all over (aka fertilizer) and they feed themselves (can you say bugs?). Keeping them locked in for even 4 hours a day will definitely change my workload. Plus I am a little concerned about how the younger hens are treated by one of the old fart Rhode Island Reds when they are locked in the coop.
Still, I need eggs. I need to show a product for all the effort put in. And I need to outsmart those darn crows!
So I will pull out my secret weapon…and see if I can get my money back for the bird netting. 🙂