The F***ing Starlings

Starlings are the worst.

And they are absolutely EVERYWHERE these days.

I mean, HOW?!?!

How do you poop on a wall?? I mean, HOW?!?!

They are eating more of the chicken feed than the chickens, whatever pig feed might be left in the troughs, and we are finding starling poop on surfaces that defy the laws of gravity and logic.

A chicken coop isn’t the cleanest place in the world on the best of days.  Since The Great Starling Invasion of 2015, however, the coop is but one of many spots on the farm that have been befouled by starling stool.

DSC_0031

Fire the pastry chef.

The chicken waterer, for example, was decorated like some horrible metal cake at feeding time tonight.

When I went in the coop tonight to check for eggs and to see how the chickens were doing on food and water, at least 20 starlings were nestled in the corners.

Side by side with the hens.

They’re not even TRYING to be sneaky.

Anything you read about starlings in New York, or the United States in general, will tell you that they tend to compete for habitat with native birds and are considered to be an invasive species.

I am here to report that truer words have never been printed.

Abstract Expressionism?

Abstract Expressionism?

These pointy-beaked, omnivorous, Super-Shitters are wiping us out of bird feed daily and all they offer in return is to make it look like Jackson Pollack visited the farm and tried out bird crap as his medium.

So, what can we do about it?

The answer, as far as we can tell, is nothing.

Dave tried to fashion a Starling Blockade of sorts by hanging chicken wire from the top of the coop entrance and attaching sticky-outty wires to the sides.

Mostly, the starlings just flew around or under it and then got trapped INSIDE when we’d show up and scare them.

So, one might be led to wonder what on earth is the point?! of an invasive bird species which does no good, only creates havoc, and provides nothing of value.

I know I did.

And then, driving home one day, I saw a murmuration.  I didn’t realize that these were specific to starlings, nor did I understand how or why they happened.

If you’ve never seen a murmuration, I urge you to click on the above link.

If you’ve seen many murmurations, I won’t need to urge you to click, you’ll already have done so.

I am an asshole.

I am an asshole.

So, because of this extraordinarily beautiful and magical thing these rotton jerks can do, I reckon we’ll continue to put up with them and their shitty ways.

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About applewoodfarm

Restaurateur, farmer, bartender, beekeeper, friend, wife, mother, dog lover, cat tolerater, chicken hypnotizer, blogger, and sometime yogi
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4 Responses to The F***ing Starlings

  1. ccm989 says:

    Discovered on Christmas morning, I had a similar problem. I had noticed the hens were becoming awfully big pigs and the feed was disappearing at a staggering rate. Then while I was standing there for a while I noticed a little whiskery face peeking out at me from underneath the hen house. Then another little whiskery face — o no — rats! Have kept chickens for 5 years and had never had a problem before. The rats had built a underground nest under the house that was 8 ft long x 4 ft wide by 6 inches tall. I had to destroy the nest which wound up filling two heaping wheelbarrows of dirt. I also caught some of the rats in snap traps (baited with cheese!). Then I got a treadle feeder. The type that the hens have to learn to step on to open up to the food. So far, the hens have NOT figured it out (stupid cluckers). So I open the feed in the morning by putting a rock on the tread and when I let the hens out in the afternoon for some free ranging, I take the rock off the tread. No more rats, no more giant feed bills.

  2. That’s a GREAT solution to the rat issue. My friends use the treadle feeder and I’ve always avoided them because CHICKENS ARE SO STUPID! Your method is wonderful, though. Rats have definitely been a problem for us in the past as well. Sadly, it won’t fix the starling problem, as they are day feeders and the rats feed overnight. I will definitely keep that in mind should the rats come back! Thanks!

  3. Bill says:

    While I am sorry that the starlings are giving you trouble, it seems that they deserve credit for inspiring a truly entertaining post. So there is that.

    Maybe you should try making a pie out of them.

  4. The way things are going, it would turn out like the song…
    Sing a song of sixpence,
    A pocket full of rye.
    Four and twenty STARLINGS,
    Baked in a pie.
    When the pie was opened,
    The birds began to sing;
    Wasn’t that a dainty dish,
    To set before the king?
    The king was in his counting house,
    Counting out his money;
    The queen was in the parlour,
    Eating bread and honey.
    The maid was in the garden,
    Hanging out the clothes,
    When down came a blackbird
    And pecked off her nose.

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