Date of this Version
Populations of wintering Starlings(sturnus vulgaris) causing problems at cattle feedlots have been effectively reduced by broadcasting pellet baits treated with 1 % DRC-1339 (3- chloro-p-toluidine hydrochloride) in their feeding areas (Besser, et al., 1967; West, et al., 1967; West, 1968). Each 1% DRC-1339 pellet (averaging 70 mg in weight) contains an amount of toxicant sufficient to be lethal to a starling (DeCino, et al., 1966). Besser, et al. (1968) estimated that starlings at cattle feedlots take about half their diet from the troughs. However, during severe winter weather, many Starlings take most of their food from troughs, and some appear to obtain food from this source exclusively. Hence the present methods of broadcasting baits in feedlot aisles and pens and in preroosting areas fail to eliminate these trough-feeding birds. Incorporating an avian toxicant into the cattle ration in the troughs would be a more effective way to bait these starlings. This method of baiting also would be the most selective, because few birds other than Starlings and blackbirds feed in troughs. Further, bait preparation would be simplified, because the feed-mixing facilties at the feedlots could be used. Because trough-feeding starlings are known to select the high-protein pellets in cattle rations (Besser, et al., 1968), it was logical to treat this component with the toxicant. The following tests were conducted to evaluate the feasibility of trough baiting with poultry pellets treated with a toxicant and added at low rates to standard feedlot cattle rations.