Every State in the Nation produces milk, one of the country’s most valuable agricultural products. The number of dairy farms, overwhelmingly family-owned and managed, has declined significantly since 1970. Dairy farming and the local economies in dairy production areas rely on efficient and responsive management practices to remain viable. Wildlife-related damage problems can cause serious challenges to farmers in areas where wildlife populations impact crops and feed, as well as animal health.
Dairy producers turn to WS for assistance in safeguarding their herds’ health and safety as well as to minimize the production costs.
Bird Damage at Dairies
Birds of many species congregate at dairies and feedlots, especially during winter months. Those most frequently associated with damage problems at dairies are European starlings, pigeons, sparrows, grackles, cowbirds, and vultures.
Birds consume and contaminate livestock feed with dual impact, reducing milk production and increasing feed and medical costs. For example, 1,000 starlings can eat about 36–40 pounds of food per day. Because birds concentrate on the high protein portion of dairy cow feed, they deprive cows of proper nutrition, resulting in decreased milk production. Additionally, bird droppings in feed and water can transmit harmful diseases and reduce feed consumption. Bird feces on buildings and equipment can shorten their useful life and increase cleanup costs.
The above is an excerpt from the original article here
For more information about managing wildlife damage at dairy farms, or other WS operations, please call 1-866-4USDA-WS (1-866-487-3297) or visit the Web site at: www.aphis.usda.gov/wildlife_damage/.