A USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) study published in the November 2012 Journal of Dairy Science looks at the magnitude of feed losses due to birds residing on dairy farms. The study is a survey of dairy farms in New York, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
According to the results, dairies reporting 1 to 1,000 birds lost 2.8 percent of feed to bird consumption annually. Dairies harboring 1,001 to 10,000 birds lost 5.5 percent of their feed supply to birds annually. Dairies reporting more than 10,000 birds lost 4.9 percent of their feed to birds annually.
This adds up to some hefty annual costs. According to the survey:
- Dairies reporting 1 to 1,000 birds lost $9,399.14 of feed to bird damage annually.
- Dairies reporting 1,001 to 10,000 birds lost $22,794.26 worth of feed annually.
- Dairies reporting more than 10,000 birds lost $64,401.51 worth of feed annually.
Source: November 2012 Journal of Dairy Science