Crows: Sneaky Egg Thieves

crow egg smashed

Crows are a fixture of many rural (and suburban) properties in Australia, and they can be a real pest!

Recently I’ve been discovering broken eggs in the areas surrounding the duck pen. Often the eggs can be found in the mud and in a relatively private place. On Friday, I arrived to find all the eggs had been taken. I can tell you – it’s really disappointing finding broken eggs in the surrounding paddocks. 

The eggs have been pecked so that the bird can get inside and eat the contents (which is very nutritious).

crow egg
As you can see, the egg has been broken into by a sharp beak. I’ve disturbed the crow before they can finish this egg off. The crow takes the egg from the coop or the pen and to a place (usually 20 metres away) where it won’t be disturbed.

At home, we have had real crow problems – with some massive crows coming to take chicken eggs to eat. I’ve been able to stop that by religiously collecting the eggs as soon as possible. Unfortunately that’s not as easy at Vidamour Farm because I’m working during the day.

I didn’t think that crows would be able to actually penetrate the shell of a duck egg. Duck eggs have a thicker and stronger shell than chicken eggs. Clearly I was wrong!

I’m not sure what to do about this problem. The ducks lay their eggs inside the coop (with some exceptions). One option would be to change the time that the coop door is closed, and therefore prevent the crow from entering and stealing the egg.

A problem with this tactic, is that the ducks tend to lay at different times of the day (nothing is ever easy!) and I can’t lock out any ducks that lay in the afternoon or else their eggs are surely going to disappear.

Crows are very cunning birds, so I will need to devise a plan that doesn’t impede the ducks, but does prevent the crows from taking the eggs!

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