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Suggestions for Preventing Starlings from robbing scratch & food

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

At my "peak" chicken ownership I had 50 layers here - Polish, Cochins, Leghorns, bantams - my coop was on the side of my barn and difficult to close off from other flying birds.  Starlings settled in here and literally drove me out of keeping hens with their invasion.  I was going through more than 50 pounds of scratch in just days.  I was going broke!  I sold off my flock and I miss my chickens…wanting to re-start all over, but need tips on how to keep pesky Starlings away.  Fake owls and hawks did nothing nor did the large balloon inflatable "eye" things.  If a person nets off most of the coop, how do you deal with Starling invasions when the find the "hole" or space your hens go in and out of in order to get to their food and roosts?  Thank you!

post #2 of 5

Small mesh....1/2" hardware cloth.

Heavy plastic strips over pop door.

Treadle feeder.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #3 of 5

I had issues with the local sparrows around here before I figured out how to curtain off the door to the coop with a grain bag.  Just cut some slits into a bag and it over the door.  You might have to join two bags together to pull that off if you're using a full human door.  I converted the door on my coop to a Dutch door last summer and stapled the bag to the bottom of the top door.  

 

 

You can even slice the strips a little narrower than that, and cut maybe a strip or two off about halfway up so that your chickens would see an opening.  Should be enough to discourage the other birds around from getting into your coop and feed.  

 

Pictures of your coop space are also helpful for the rest of use to help spitball ideas for you.  


Edited by bigmrg74 - 3/7/16 at 12:34pm
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am loving these suggestions and thank everyone!  There may be hope yet!  :celebrate

post #5 of 5

If you like building things on your own this is a great plan to follow - http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/building-a-treadle-chicken-feeder

 

I knew the wild birds were taking a lot of food.  After I built this I would estimate that 90% of the feed had been going to wild birds.

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