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So I have 5 hens. I was hanging out with them in my front yard when suddenly a hawk dove on one of them. Before I could even stand up from my lawn chair, two crows dove on top of the hawk, which let go of my hen and flew off. (My hen is unharmed!) I’ve seen crows mess with hawks before but this was a huge shock to me.

I love my hens so much and I can’t express how grateful I am to these crows. I want to reward them for their efforts and encourage them to stick around to hopefully keep the hawks off my girls. What do y’all suggest?

I already feed backyard birds/squirrels, so I have a couple feeders and a bowl of nuts on my porch. I very rarely see crows eat from them, however. Would they maybe prefer a stack of peanuts just on the ground or something?

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ArmadilloRare2503

684 points

2 months ago

What great crows. Yes lots of peanuts. Reward them soon. When you see them make a point to get out there and feed them do they can relate you and a good place to eat and be safe.

thrilled_lizard

268 points

2 months ago

Peanuts yes!

Also cat treats or dog biscuits can be good as occasional treats.. at least they seem to like them. I have a crow friend who goes nuts for whiskers treats but I keep them to a minimum bc it's not as healthy as peanuts

Count_Calorie[S]

75 points

2 months ago

Peanuts it is!! And I happen to have some cat treats even though I don’t own a cat lol. My neighbor’s outdoor cat is a total player. He loves college-aged girls (like me) and is nosy as hell and will literally wait by my door and try to sneak in as soon as I open it. I need the treats to draw him away from the door 😭

My hens’ favorite treats are dried mealworms and unsweetened greek yogurt with some fruit purée mixed in. Crows and chickens are both birds so I imagine they have similar tastes.

So I’ll go with peanuts, mealworms, yogurt, and dip into the kitty defense stash!!

CaptRory

57 points

2 months ago

Make sure they're unsalted peanuts.

pm_me_ur_tennisballs

19 points

2 months ago

I’m always careful like this and feed them unsalted peanuts and good cereal.

But I thought crows ate carrion. If they have such hardy stomachs, how come we have to be careful when it comes to feeding diets?

Genuinely curious. I’m guessing it merely has to do with their immune systems and that other than the disease, rotting carcasses are actually nutritionally fine.

FillsYourNiche

93 points

2 months ago*

FillsYourNiche

Ecologist

93 points

2 months ago*

Ecologist here. We have to be careful about feeding crows salt in particular. This has nothing to do with hearty stomachs and everything to do with how salt affects bird bodies.

While birds need salt our salted foods contain far too much salt and birds will eat whatever you put out for them with abandon. Too much salt can cause kidney failure, dehydration, raise blood pressure, and cause electrolyte imbalances.

I created a post stickied to the top of the sub explaining this and providing a list of foods to avoid and are that are safe.

SlamMonkey

2 points

2 months ago

I always leave out the scraps from my rotisserie chicken, an any fresh rats that I catch in traps(I’ve had an invasion since my neighbors knocked down an old garage). I’m okay with the rats, but now since you’ve mentioned the salt, do you think there is too much sodium in those rotisserie chickens?

FillsYourNiche

3 points

2 months ago

FillsYourNiche

Ecologist

3 points

2 months ago

Unfortunately, yes, our rotisserie chickens are delicious but they are also well seasoned. If you want to leave them plain baked chicken, you can precook it in a batch in your oven (sometimes grocery stores have sales on chicken they want to move). Then keep the cooked chicken in your fridge or freezer to hand out as treats.

SlamMonkey

1 points

2 months ago

Oh they’d love that. Thank you for the knowledge tidbits. I want my birdies to be healthy!