How to Protect Corn from Birds – Floren, a livestock farmer, shares his experience

In this article, we interviewed Floren, who tells us how he manages to protect corn from birds. Floren, along with his wife Pili and two nephews, runs a dairy cattle farm in Udabe, a small village in northern Navarra (Spain), in a pre-Pyrenean high mountain valley. They cultivate corn to feed the cows.


They have over 27 hectares of corn cultivation, divided into 6 plots. Three of these plots, the smaller ones, are located near the road that leads to Udabe. And the other 3, much larger, are situated near the mountain.

They started growing corn over 10 years ago. Already in the first season, they found that crows and wild boars fiercely attack the three corn fields closest to the mountain. In the other three fields, the traffic of cars and trucks on the road is enough to make crows and wild boars feel less comfortable and keep their distance.

So, from the first year, they understood that if they wanted to harvest corn for the cows, they had to take measures to protect the corn from crows and wild boars.

Floren shares his experience:

In the Udabe area, it’s good to have the corn planted for San Isidro (May 15th). Since we use this corn as feed for our cows, and it’s non-genetically modified corn, we harvest it green at 120 days. In other words, in mid-September. We don’t let it dry. We harvest it green, chop it up, and store it in the silo for the cows.

Crows attack the corn more when it’s newly planted, when it’s small, or when it has formed the cob. Wild boars attack the corn when it’s more grown, once it reaches about 25 cm, because they like to make a bed and eat it. Between crows and wild boars, if you don’t take measures to stop them, they can wipe out your corn.

In the Udabe area, there are a lot of crows. I think, among other reasons, it’s because there’s a pig farm in a village on the other side of the mountain. Crows are not attracted to cow feed. They don’t come near our cow farm. But they do go to the pig farm. Crows are attracted to pig feed. So, having a place nearby where crows can easily find food, they reproduce more, their populations grow, and eventually, it becomes almost like a plague.

That’s why since we started growing corn, about ten years ago, we use two methods to protect the corn from birds and wild boars. We use the “Bird Gard Pro Plus #49” crow repeller to protect the corn from birds; and for the wild boars, we use a propane cannon that we’ve had for a while. We alternate between the two deterrents: during the day, we use the Bird Gard crow repeller, and at night, we use the propane cannon for the wild boars.

At some point, we tried to protect the corn from birds with traditional scarecrows. But that doesn’t work with crows, which are very intelligent birds. The crows ended up perching on the scarecrows.

We activate the bird repellers every season, from the day we sow the seeds (around mid-May) until the harvest, 120 days later. During that time, the deterrents are operational, emitting sounds, 24 hours a day.

Of the three corn fields located near the mountain, there is a one or one and a half hectare area that is the most critical. It’s the perimeter zone of the fields, surrounded by forest, where crows cause the most damage. In that critical area, we place the speakers of the Bird Gard Pro Plus #49 crow deterrent. The speakers are mounted on stakes at a height of about one and a half meters, so the sound can travel freely without obstacles.

The crow deterrent emits crow calls, which are like signals they give to each other to warn of danger in the area and that they should flee. And you can also hear eagle screeches, falcon cries, and other predatory bird sounds. The sounds are recorded in high fidelity, so they seem real to the crows. Crows are very intelligent birds and learn quickly. But when they hear these sounds that appeal to their natural instincts, in such a realistic way and with a constantly changing sequence, we manage to deceive them and make them believe that other crows are truly warning them of danger; thus, we succeed in keeping them out of the corn.

In our corn fields, the Bird Gard crow deterrent works. We went from having flocks of more than 20 crows pecking here and there in the fields and devouring the entire crop, to having no crows thanks to the deterrents. I found the crow deterrent online, I didn’t know about BirdGard Iberia. But based on my experience, I recommend this deterrent to other farmers who have the same crow problem and want to protect the corn from birds.

Floren, livestock farmer in Udabe, Navarra (Spain)
Crow deterrent “Bird Gard Pro Plus #49”

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