In Experiment 2 they evaluated the impact starlings had on cattle performance. Birds and cattle ate from the same feed bunks. In Experiment 2, the amount of feed delivered increased 36% for cattle that were fed traditional corn grain-based ration compared to cattle that were fed pellets during a period of severe starling infestation. Following seasonal dispersal of starlings in early March, feed deliveries of traditional meal-type ration decreased to pre-starling levels. Starlings consumed over 1,100 pounds of feed from troughs with a total value of $563 throughout a period of 47 days, increasing daily cost of production by approximately $0.92 per feedlot animal. Therefore if cattle are not performing as projected, bird issues are another factor to consider.
Source: B. E. Depenbusch, J.S. Drouillard and C.D. Lee. 2011. Feed depredation by European starlings in a Kansas feedlot. Human-Wildlife Interactions 5(1):58-65. (Condensed by S. L. Boyles, OSU Beef Extension Specialist)