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Homemade Replicas Deter Black Vultures
Livestock producers are often concerned about 4-legged predators. But in somes states such as Kentucky, danger also comes from black vultures. Though they eat mostly carrion, the 3 1/2 to 5 lb. birds are capable of killing newborn calves, lambs, and other animals by attacking the soft tissue around the eyes, tongue and hindquarters.
Since black vultures are protected by the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918, they can only be killed by obtaining a damage permit when there is a serious problems. So to deter the vultures from congregating near livestock, many producers hang effigies of a dead vulture.
For those who don’t have a real dead vulture, the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture created a pattern for farmers to create a replica using common materials often available on the farm, including a rubber stall mat.
“It’s about $50 to buy everything new,” says Nick Roy, Adair County Extension Agent. “But you can make it for much less using items you might have on hand.”
Materials include a 3 by 4-ft., 3/4-in. thick rubber mat, industrial strength zip ties, a 2-in. U-bolt, paint, rope and tools to cut and assemble the pieces. (The pattern and directions are at http://forestry.ca.uky.edu/files/forfs18-03.pdf.)
“They are hung with the head pointing down, often on a tree. You want to place it where it can be seen in multiple directions and near the calving area where problems are occurring, or near a roosting area,” Roy says.
While calves are the common prey in his county, black vultures also attack lambs, goats, piglets and sometimes adult animals. Large groups of vultures that roost on or near buildings also do a lot of damage to rubbery materials such as pool covers, shingles and even vehicle windshield wipers.
Dealing with the vultures is a year-round problem, especially in the fall and winter when vultures from the north migrate south.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Nick Roy, Adair County Extension, P.O. Box 309, Columbia, Ky. 42728 (ph 270 384-2317; nick.roy@uky.edu).

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2021 - Volume #45, Issue #4