Date of this Version
Since 1960, the Denver Wildlife Research Center has been investigating methods of controlling starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) at livestock feedlots. One chemical developed at the Denver Center is a slow-acting avicide, DRC-1339 (3-chloro-p-toluidine); it is well accepted and highly toxic to starlings, generally less toxic to other birds, and relatively nontoxic to mammals. It possesses no secondary hazard to avian and mammalian predators. A Cooper's hawk (Accipiter cooperii), a marsh hawk (Circus cyaneus), and a sparrow hawk (Falco sparverius) subsisted on field-killed DRC-1339 starlings for 3- and 4-month periods with no ill effects. In our tests, poultry pellets (Purina Layena Checkers') have been the most effective and selective starling bait. Field tests in many states have shown the utility of this compound when applied to pellets. Pellets were treated to contain approximately 1 percent DRC-1339, diluted with untreated pellets and grains, and broadcast in pens and alleys at cattle feedlots and on the perimeters of pens at turkey feedlots. Baiting rates varied from 2 to 10 lbs. of treated pellets per acre, depending on the size of the lots; dilution rates were generally 1:10. DRC-1339 has proved to be an extremely effective and safe toxicant for starlings at animal feedlots. It is now marketed commercially under the trade name of Starlicide.