Crows eating my (supposed to be) free-range chickens.
I've been lurking here for months reading any and everything on Chickens (published material too). I've also been posting on other forums (mostly building a home) for several years.
So, having done our research, we built a coop, ordered 25 chicks and started the process of raising free-range organic eggs. Well, none of the books that I read talked about crows eating your chickens! Our coop and enclosed run is very secure, but when the chickens are in the yard (hence, "free-range"), the crows swoop down and brazenly take one with people and barking dogs only feet away. We lost 3 today. How do people raise free-range chickens? Is it possible in VT or do we just have too many crows?
Chickens are secure in their coop for the night, and we're headed to Home Depot in the morning to buy supplies to create multiple enclosed runs so that we can rotate pastures. Do we have to go to this extreme or is there a way to let them free-range during the day and protect them from the crows?
We're on 150 acre farm, so space is not an issue. I'd prefer to not use a chicken tractor. I find the idea of moving them daily, daunting.