I had a barn full of ducks who made me happy with a huge number of beautiful ducklings that added more fun and beauty to my barn. I was feeding them and preparing them to grow into big adult ducks.
However, I was surprised that their numbers were gradually decreasing until there was hardly any left of them! I had noticed an abundance of crows hovering around my barn, and indeed, when I watched them, I found them approaching my barn and trying to catch my ducklings.
I confronted them myself. But what should I do? do I have to keep watching them constantly, which I certainly cannot do?
Is there any kind of protection that can be used to control the crows so that I do not lose more ducklings?
Crows certainly represent a danger to duck farms, especially with regard to eating duck eggs and ducklings, as they do not accept eating adult ducks unless there is no other easy meal.
We have done our comprehensive research to gather for you the most important tips on protecting ducks from crows, so let’s delve into them in the following lines.
But we have to remind you of an important point that must be taken into consideration, which is that crows are forbidden to kill or harm them according to the laws and regulations related to the rights of birds of prey.
Our advice will only aim at scaring away crows and not killing them, as this exposes you to the legal issue that ends with a prison sentence or a fine.
How To Protect Ducks From Crows?
There are 6 main pieces of advice that we recommend to help keep your ducks safe from crows:
- Cover The Duck Track.
- Collect The Eggs First.
- Protecting Ducklings.
- Do Not Leave Out Any Of The Duck Food.
- Lock Your Ducks At Night.
- Use CDs.
Let’s get into the details of each one of them:
Cover The Duck Track
Crows need open ports from the top so they can descend into the barn and reach the ducks. When you leave your yard wide open from above it makes a great suit for crows to perch and enjoy your ducklings and eggs. So it will be necessary to keep them safe in a covered walkway or barn.
If your yard is medium or small, you can add a wire over the upper part and make it connected to the surrounding walls at the top to secure the upper roof cover. If the surface is completely covered tightly, then the possibility of a crow’s attack is reduced or completely prevented.
If your yard is wide and you cannot cover it with wire, you can add trees, shrubs, and small covered buildings for your duck yard to serve as hiding places for the ducks to take refuge in, and it is difficult for the crows to pounce on the ducks in them.
Crows are very weak on the ground and due to their extreme intelligence, they do not like to engage themselves in battles that may harm them they accept an easy entry and exit places so they can get in and out right away.
Collect The Eggs First
Crows target duck eggs and ducklings as they are easy to pick up and take off. As for large adult ducks, it is not easy for the crow to kill, carry and take off. So the big ducks will generally be safe.
Crows don’t try to attack unless they don’t have easier meal options. Crows pose the biggest threat to your duck egg production, especially if you keep ducks in the free range.
Duck eggs left unprotected are a quick and easy meal for crows. Because crows are so intelligent, they’re good at knowing when ducks are going to lay their eggs and picking out just the right time to swoop in and carry the eggs.
So you have to be smarter than them and collect eggs yourself instead of them. Try to know your duck’s egg-laying routine to collect it once or twice a day.
You should also think about safer places for ducks to lay their eggs. Create a sheltered area, stock it with nesting boxes, provide it with comfortable bedding, and encourage your ducks to enter to lay their eggs.
It does not require much effort from you, as the ducks will quickly get used to entering this place to lay eggs. You can initially put one or two eggs in boxes so that it serves as a signal to the ducks that this is the right place to lay eggs.
You must give the ducklings intensive protection, as they are very targeted by crows, especially the young chicks that move away from the protection of the flock, they will be in greater danger.
You can keep them with you in a protected place until they are a little older. You can also keep them in the enclosed barn with their mother, and if you want to take them out into the yard, you have to sit with them and supervise them until they finish walking around and playing with them, and then bring them back to the barn.
Do Not Leave Out Any Of The Duck Food
Crows are also known to be opportunists meaning they will rush to eat whatever food is available even if it is not ideal for them. If you leave your duck food in plain sight of the crows, it will be a wonderful open buffet for them to eat your duck food. It may not be very dangerous for adult ducks but it is
It helps crows explore your barn in search of any interesting meal such as duck eggs or ducklings. It can also cause the ducks to run out of food quickly, which costs you more feed expenses.
Lock Your Ducks At Night
Get in the habit of not leaving your ducks free in the yard at night, as this puts them at risk from crows and other predators in general. Crows are very intelligent and look for any weaknesses in your barn to seize the opportunity and pounce on them.
So the low lighting during sunset and during the day will be a good opportunity for them to start hunting their prey of ducklings and eggs. So you have to keep your ducks inside the enclosed barn during the night.
If there is a group of crows loitering around your duck pen. You can search for any old CDs you don’t need. Then you hang it around the area where the crows are circling. It is a simple, easy, and inexpensive trick, but it scares the crows and keeps them away from the area.
The sun’s reflection from the CDs helps in the appearance of a bright flash that scares the crows. And since the crows are very smart, you have to move them to prevent the crows from getting used to them and knowing that they do not pose a danger to them.
Did you know that crows can be both a blessing and a curse for duck keepers? We have explained how to be a curse in the previous lines.
As for being a blessing, it is due to the fact that just as crows are a threat to ducks, hawks and other birds of prey are a threat to crows! So having crows in your area can help keep your flock of ducks safe from other predators.
Some duck breeders who are surrounded by the danger of other birds of prey do not mind the presence of crows, especially since crows only target eggs and ducklings and not adult ducks, unlike birds of prey that devour adult ducks and anything they find in the barn.
If crows are hanging around your ducks, they will be on the alert for hawks and other birds of prey.
If crows spot a hawk lurking nearby, they will trot, sound the alarm, and gather together as a flock to confront and chase the hawks, which will be of great help in protecting your ducks.
First, the alarm alerts the ducks to the presence of danger, which makes them rush to their shelters.
Secondly, crows chasing hawks distracts them from your chickens. So many owners of ducks threatened by other birds of prey may sacrifice some eggs to take advantage of the guardianship of crows against these birds of prey.
Some even provide feeding stations and roosts to attract crows so they can keep roosting in their area.