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  #1  
Old 07-10-2009, 05:04 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Do crows attack lambs, blinding them?

David Sedaris alluded to this in his short story "Ariel," about living in Normandy. I'd never heard of this before. Anyone else? Any truth to it?
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2009, 06:47 PM
The Great Sun Jester The Great Sun Jester is offline
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Sounds pretty woolly to me.

Crows eat dead lambs, probably don't kill 'em though.

Last edited by The Great Sun Jester; 07-10-2009 at 06:51 PM..
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Old 07-10-2009, 08:53 PM
Shodan Shodan is offline
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I believe they would eat the eyes after it is dead, but live ones - I doubt the lambs would hold still for it.

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Old 07-10-2009, 10:39 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Well, from the links provided by IM, it looks like it happens to live lambs rarely, but not never.
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:57 PM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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Nope. Crows lack the ability to even rip open skin, relying on stronger beasts to expose meat for them to scavenge.
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Old 07-11-2009, 01:39 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is offline
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Highly doubtful. Now- a raven could, but likely wouldn't.


In both cases they might attack a lamb that was as near dead (and no mother around) as to make no difference anyway.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:03 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Our next door neighbor's small dog was attacked by mobs of crows repeatedly until he caught and killed (and ate) two of them. They havn't bothered him since.
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Old 07-11-2009, 09:34 AM
emjaya emjaya is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar View Post
Nope. Crows lack the ability to even rip open skin, relying on stronger beasts to expose meat for them to scavenge.
Crows in Australia can tear open a cane toad's skin and a cane toad skin is tough, even on it's belly. Link and link.
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2009, 01:38 PM
Markxxx Markxxx is offline
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They don't call a group of crows a "muder" for nothing

Homer Simpson) It's a murder honey, a group of crows is called a "murder of crows."

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Old 07-12-2009, 10:15 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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I don't know where all these people claiming that it's impossible are getting there information. Not only is it possible, it's well recorded. Crows are quite able and willing to attack and kill lambs.

They tend to be most damaging when the lambs are partially delivered. Because they are delivered head first the eyes are exposed while the mother is still incapacitated. In some years most of the early born lambs will be blinded by crows. The attacks tend to decline as the season progresses because the crows disperse chasing discarded placentae and lamb faeces, but early in the season every lambing ewe might be surrounded by a couple of dozen crows, fighting over the sack and any other edible material they can find.

However they will also happily attack much older lambs if the opportunity presents, and they are a significant cause of death in lambs weakened by other factors such as disease and hunger.

"The ewes successfully defended their lambs, twins as well as singles, against raven attack when they were first born. Only when ewe and lamb became separated did intense attacks develop ; such separation was not observed until several hours after birth, when the ewe sometimes moved away to feed and water and the satiated lamb was asleep. This temporary separation was far more common with twins since the ewe appeared satisfied maternally provided she was accompanied by one lamb.

Intense raven attacks were characterized by the birds' extreme agility, and on three occasions one kept pace with a running lamb by holding the lamb's tail in its beak. Little Crows, on the other hand, although prepared to dispute possession of foetal membranes with the much larger ravens, did not chase lambs.

Once a lamb, 11 .5 hours old, that had fed was temporarily separated from its mother. Two ravens attacked the lamb severely over a period of two minutes. At first the attack was directed mainly at the anus but one peck was delivered near the eye. One of the birds then rode the lamb for 45 seconds, gripping the rump with its claws and pecking at the lamb's back. The lamb ran for some 50 yards with the raven maintaining its perch. One hour later the lamb was carefully examined by two of us, but no wounds could be found.Ewes frequently butted at ravens about to attack a lamb.

Seven instances of vicious attacks by ravens were observed, but on examination only two lambs (43 and 2A, table 3), which were comatose when attacked, showed signs of damage.

Few lambs were born during the presence of corvids so that there was little opportunity for observations on attack during or shortly after birth as reported by Smith (1967). Damage in older healthy lambs subjected to ferocious attack by the
raven appeared minimal although moribund lambs were severely injured after prolonged attack."

G. Alexander, T. Mann, C. J. MuIhearn, I. C. R. Rowly, D. Williams, and D. Winn, 1967
"Activities of foxes and crows in a flock of lambing ewes", Australian Journal of Experimental Agriculture and Animal Husbandry 7
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Old 07-12-2009, 10:35 PM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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That is a most impressive post and cite; I stand corrected.

My cite would have been from The Mind of the Raven
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  #12  
Old 07-12-2009, 10:48 PM
The Flying Dutchman The Flying Dutchman is offline
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Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar View Post
Nope. Crows lack the ability to even rip open skin, relying on stronger beasts to expose meat for them to scavenge.
I'd say you have been misinformed.

Ever here of the delicacy favoured by crows in Germany ? Fresh picked frog livers.

Quote:
Crows attacked the toads to pick through the skin between the amphibian's chest and abdominal cavity, picking out the liver, which appears to be a delicacy for crows in the area
Ever see what they can do to Glad bags ?
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