Thursday, June 14, 2012

Blasted Crows

I'm pretty sure this crow is laughing at me


 The sound of gunfire reverberated through the air, shattering the Sunday morning calm and sending Jed scuttling for safety.

Good Lord! WHAT was that?

The Boss chuckled.  “Sounds like Neighbor is huntin’ groundhogs again!”

With what?  A cannon?

He chuckled again.  “I dunno.  Hope he got it!”

We didn’t hear any more shots and forgot about the incident for a while.  Later, we saw Neighbor on the lane and in the course of the conversation, the Boss said “hey, didya get the groundhog this mornin’?”

“…wasn’t a groundhog!  It was a CROW!”

“that won’t be gettin’ in the garden!”  his girlfriend added with a grin.

The conversation turned from the crows to sheep to other things and then we all went our way. 

Crows are part of the landscape and for the most part cause few difficulties.  Ellie hates them with a passion (and now has Jed helping her chase them) because they eat the eggs she loves so much.  But, in the fifteen years we have been here, they haven’t ever done any noticeable damage.

…until now…

I have had a bad feeling about the crows since the Boss first seeded the corn at the beginning of the month.  I saw them hanging out down in the corn patch, sitting on the fence, or up in the trees along the fenceline. This was unusual and might mean that they were scoping out the situation.

Drat!  I was right!  They were “scoping out the situation”.  Once the corn sprouted and began to grow, the blasted crows came along, nipped off the corn seed and left the tiny seedling, rootless, to die in the dirt.  In some cases, they dug quite deep to get to the corn kernel.  Why?  After all this time, WHY did the crows suddenly start eating the corn? 
There are long bare stretches where the crows ate the seeds

Since the answer to that question is completely elusive, we decided that re-planting the corn and re-pelling the crows would be the best plan.
Corn seedling damaged by crows
Healthy corn seedling
the crows dug down to find the seed

This morning, I spent a fair amount of time re-seeding the places where the crows had uprooted the corn.  There were long stretches where they had methodically pulled EVERY seedling.  Then, there were stretches where the plants were still intact. Corn needs to be planted evenly throughout the field for good pollination…in order to have a good crop.

Once I finished the re-seeding, I devised a system that would THEORETICALLY keep the crows from the cornpatch.  I took two aluminum pans (left over from our baking days at the market…see, saving all the odd and random DOES come in handy!) and attached them to re-bar stakes with fence insulators.  This would allow the wind to cause the pans to move and make noise.  Waylon and the dogs were put off by the noise, so I hoped for the best.

I didn’t see any crows hanging around until late afternoon. 

Then, I saw EIGHT!  There they were, checking out the corn…and sitting on the fencepost…laughing at me.    …and yes, they were in the corn…again!  ARGH

At this point, I stapled a shirt to a hanger and put it in the middle of the patch, hoping that the flapping would put them off the corn invasion. That didn’t seem to deter them for long either.

The Boss will put up some string barrier in the morning, in hopes of deterring the crows. Maybe we should get one of those fake owls…or a water cannon…

However, if that doesn’t work…there will be a new meaning to “blasted crows”! 


  1. We use a push in fence post with a black garbage bag tied to it and move it daily. They love to eat our eggs and young meat birds. Good luck!

  2. Thanks for the idea! Sounds like your crow "issues" are far worse than ours.