I've written about them before...how they are such a nuisance to farmers. They scavenge just about anything, sometimes harmlessly, but sometimes they cause damage to growing crops or in this case to already preserved feed. Here's a post written almost exactly two years ago about how they can damage a silage ag bag.
We don't put out silage ag bags any more, but we regularly have round bales of hay wrapped in plastic which are stored along the edge of the fields. Jim then brings them into the barn as we need them.
Over the past couple of years, we've had problems with numerous animals damaging the bags. We've had cats using them as scratching posts, and this year the damage has been from crows!
We've seen large flocks of them in the fields around us over the past few weeks, and last week we discovered that they'd been having a feast on some bales that we had stored along the edge of a field on some rental property.
This bale is laying on it's side now, but you can see all the tape that is covering up crow damage. If you can imagine the bale rotated 90% counter clockwise, this would have been the top of the bale. The birds sat on top and pecked away through the plastic until they reached the hay underneath. Once air gets inside the bag, spoiling begins quickly. You can see near the middle of the picture, a hole that was either made after I initially taped the bale up, or one that I missed. I think probably the birds came back because there was another hole pecked right through a piece of tape. Grrr...
They also sat on the ground around the bags and pecked away at "crow level"...anywhere from 8" - 12" from the ground.
This is one of the bales right after Jim opened it up...
You can see a bit of mold in the center right side of the picture. Thankfully, Jim caught the damage pretty early, and the mold seems to be only on the first few outside layers. A few days later and the bale could have been pretty seriously damaged, and into the gutters it would go, wasted.
I'm thinking back a few years to when flocks of crows were hanging around the local shopping mall, creating dirty messes on shoppers' cars and on the roof of the building. In a letter to the editor in the newspaper, someone suggested that "the crows be sent out into the country into the farm fields where they could live in peace".
Hmmmmm....I'm glad that wasn't even a realistic option!