Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Nasty Birds...

I remember a few years ago...a local shopping mall was having issues with crows hanging out on the roof...making a mess of things.  The "powers that be" were trying to decide what to do about the dirty birds.  Someone suggested that they try to relocate the birds to some farms in the area, where they wouldn't be a nuisance.  Hmmmmm...

#1.  Did you ever hear of a bird being told where to go, or where to stay?

#2.  Do you know of any farmer who really wants a huge flock of crows hanging out on his farm?  Or even a small flock, for that matter?

They are a nuisance...not only are they dirty birds, but they can cause a lot of damage.

Most of our balage ag bags are close to the buildings, and appear to be fine, but we have a couple of groups of bales along the edge of a field that seem to have attracted some unwelcome visitors!

Take a look at these...they look fine from a distance, but if you look closely, you can see a black hole on the bottom right side of the bale closest to the camera...

We've been finding holes like this all over these round bales.  Some of them are at beak level (if the crow was sitting on the ground) and a lot are on the top edges of the bales, as if the birds were sitting on top and leaning down over the side.

This hay was baled wet, and needs to be completely air tight in order to be properly cured and preserved.  When air gets inside the plastic, the hay starts to get moldy, and can eventually be ruined.  Not only does it not taste good, it can be dangerous for the cows to eat.

Most of the holes are rather small, but here's a larger one on the top of the bale.  That plastic is really thick, so the crows had to be really determined to get at whatever they thought was inside.  They most likely were hoping to find some grain.  Too bad for them...

So...armed with my "tools", I headed out to try to repair the damage...

There were sixteen bales in this group, and I used almost all of the ag bag tape to cover the holes tightly, hopefully sealing them in time to prevent further damage.

The first bale that we found with holes in, has been opened up and doesn't appear to be moldy, so we are hoping that we caught them in time!

There's always something to keep us on our toes!


  1. Glad you caught it. There really is always something going on.

  2. We have problems with raccoons climbing up on them and they make holes when they climb with their sharp claws and poop on top and between the bales. My husband relocated 15 raccoons and hopefully they will not return but there are still some around and the fight goes on.

    We had birds that have made some holes too in our silage bales.

    I'm curious on how many layers of wrap do you put on your bales to preserve your silage at top quality.

    You're right Alica, farmers don't want more birds or cats dropped off at their farms.
    Merry Christmas.

    1. Julia...I'm not sure how many layers of plastic are on those bales...but I know it's a lot! Jim uses a wrapping machine that spins the bales, and it stops on it's own when they're done. It's much thicker than the ag bag that we put corn silage in. The crows have pecked through them already too, and we haven't put silage in a bag for the past 2 years, partly for that reason!

  3. what a pain! Those darn crows were hanging around our backyard for a little while. I couldn't hang out laundry, that was for sure! How I wished I had a slingshot and perfect aim. . .

  4. Wow, first of all, I would have never thought to relocate crows, and second I had no idea they would peck through thick plastic to look for food. Hopefully your hay will be okay.

  5. that stinks! we have to keep electric fence around our bales to keep all the critters out. and the girls are loving it this year. im hoping it doesn't mean the babes are going to be big this year with all the food they are consuming. good luck with your nasty birds...

  6. That's got to make you down-right mad!
    I so hope that none of your hay is ruined.
    Glad that you noticed the damage, and that you were able to patch the holes.
    Can you set off sound charges to scare the birds away?

  7. Well I didn't know that and they must have been really determined to tear through that hard plastic. Well around here they just use fire hoses, to make them move. Because we live in a farming community, I have never heard anyone complain. Everyone knows how destructive they can be. I hope none of your hay is ruined. Right now hay is like gold anyway. It is 20 dollars a bale out here and not the great round ones like you have. They told me at the feed store the other day they expect it to go up to 22.50 a bale. I think I need to be growing alfalfa. :)

  8. We own a dairy farm near Manheim. Each fall we fill a large bag with corn silage (which we use to refill the Harvestore in the winter) and we've encountered the work of those pesky birds! They certainly can make lots of damage and it's costly if the feed is spoiled.

  9. Wow, they are pretty determined to peck through that thick plastic! I hope your repairs work and the bales are okay.
    We have our resident pair of Ravens but they don't bother anything at our place. My friend has a small pecan orchard and they do eat the pecans so they are always shooting the pellet gun at them.

  10. Funny how city folk think they can solve their problems by shipping them out into the country--stray dogs, feral cats, garbage, sewage, toxic chemicals, nuclear waste and--crows. Yes, and how about starlings, yeah! Those farmers have all that fresh air and clean water--they know how to deal with all these unwanted animals and trash--send it THERE!

  11. Oh that is a problem around here too I seen one farmer out there with duct tape. I do hope they fly north or south for the winter for you:)
    Merry Christmas Alica enjoy the holidays with your family. Hugs B

  12. Oh my goodness... they are as bad as STARLINGS!!!! UGHHHHH

  13. Wow- that's some determined birds! Glad you caught it quickly and could repair the bag to save your crop.

  14. I hope the crows leave you alone... or at least that it isn't too aggravating of a problem all winter!

    Also on your last post, those cookies look AMAZING!

  15. Who knew? THanks for the lesson... When we shop at the supermarket we lose sight at how much knowledge and work goes into keeping us well fed....thanks.

    cranky old man

  16. We don't have the crow issue here in Vermont, but we do have BEARS who tear the bales up in the fall beofre they hybernate. I but duct tape by the case! Electric fence only pissed them off. $40 for a rolled bale here. I hear some folks eat crow.....
    Come visit the herd when you have a chance;
    Happy New Year.


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