I have heard of corn farmers that claim that crows are pests that have been giving them sleepless nights. While most people perceive crows as carnivorous they are actually omnivores. In this post, we take a deeper look into whether they can devour cornfields and how to protect the fields.
Do crows eat corn?
Crows do eat corn and are actually considered pests in cornfields. Crows can eat corn on the cob or ripped from the cob. In fact, corn is one of the crow’s favorite food items either dried or not. You can protect your cornfields from crows by safeguarding seedlings, using crow deterrents, using sound machines, using netting, using liquid crow repellants.
Do not feed corn that is meant for planting to crow since it has chemicals meant to protect it against pests in the soil. Another form of corn that you should not feed crows is corn that has aflatoxin.
The omnivorous nature of crows allows them to eat both plant and animal food items. Apart from corn, crows other favorite foods include eggs, small birds and small mammals, nuts and seeds, insects, fruits and vegetables, small dog and cat pellets, and carrion or dead animals.
Is corn good for crows?
Corn is good for the crows, it is a good source of beneficial fats such as omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and vitamins fact it is one of the crows’ favorite food along with nuts such as peanuts and seeds.
Corn especially young corn and mature corn that has not been dried is excellent for crows since it is filled with proteins and fiber and most importantly it has a high oil content.
Corn is also rich in vitamins such as vitamin E and B, minerals such as zinc, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, and antioxidants.
Antioxidants are especially very important to birds like crows that are scavengers and predators alike. A lifestyle that will expose their bodies to oxidative stress from the environment.
Antioxidants help with reversing or preventing the effect of oxidative stress such as cellular damage.
Fruits and vegetables are also a good source of antioxidants and make a good percentage of the crows’ diet.
Do crows eat corn on the cob?
Crows enjoy eating corn on the cob like most other birds such as parrots. It is more natural for them to eat corn on the cob than when it is ripped.
However, crows will take it either on the cob or ripped either form of corn is readily acceptable to crows.
Another form of corn that crows like is cracked corn. While crows will also eat dried corn or cracked corn, dried corn has lost most of the nutrients such as its fat content.
However, dried corn is not all that bad since it has some protein content and fiber. Fiber is very beneficial to scavengers and birds of prey that enjoy eating meat since fiber will help with digestion.
Do crows eat dried corn?
Crows can eat dried corn and cracked corn alike. You will find crows in the cornfields eating dried corns that are left behind after harvesting.
Most people who feed wild birds normally use cracked corn or dried corn either on the cob or ripped.
Most bird feeders are also filled with dried corn and crows are good invaders of these bird feeders when they are after the corn.
If you are looking forward to attracting crows to your garden or yard, corn is one of the best ways to befriend them.
Crows have been proven through research to be able to remember faces and even acts of kindness.
When you do something bad to crows such as scaring them away or harming them they will remember you and even pass along the fact that you are not a person to other generations.
So if you want to attract crows, providing them with one of their favorite food such as corn will ensure they recognize you as a good person and will pass that fact to the coming generations.
Just make sure you are ready to have crows around since if they happen to roost around your garden or farm they can be a nuisance especially at night with their calls.
Can corn harm crows?
If not harvested or stored properly, corn can develop a very toxic toxin known as aflatoxin. Aflatoxin is produced by a fungus known as Aspergillus flavus.
The fungi are identified by yellow-green or gray-green molds growing on the corn.
This type of corn can be very to corn-loving birds such as crows, you should never feed this type of corn at all.
Another form of corn you should not feed to crows is one that is meant for planting since it has been prepared with chemicals to protect against pests in the soil.
How to Protect corn from Crows
While feeding corn to crows can be entertaining and refreshing for bird lovers to some farmers crows can be a nuisance and can even cause large losses if not prevented.
Below are ways you can protect your corn from crows
Keep the seedlings safe
Crows can be very destructive to corn seedlings. They will even uproot and eat your corn’s seedlings.
To protect corn seedlings from crows and other pest birds that are notorious for eating plant seedlings make sure you plant corn in holes that are as deep as one and a half inches to prevent crows from digging them up.
Use visual deterrent
Birds fear their predators or anything that threatens their life. Visual deterrent takes advantage of this fact to ensure crows avoid your farm or garden.
However, it is also important to note that crows are also very intelligent and with time they will be able to learn that scarecrows, decoy predators are just harmless.
So this control measure will buy you some time but will not keep your corn safe for long.
You can check this bird repellent from Amazon.
Use sound machines to scare-crows away
Crows have been able to recognize the sound of other birds that predate on them, on the occasion that they hear these sounds they will always fly away to safety.
In this case, you can use recorded predatory bird calls to keep them away.
Another effective method of keeping crows away is by using a recorded crow distress call. Crows have different sounds that help them communicate among themselves.
Some of these sounds are called distress calls and are meant to create awareness of a predator or danger to other crows.
Whenever crows hear these calls they will always fly away into safety, you can play these recorded calls and keep crows off your cornfield.
Alternatively, you can play very loud noises to deter crows from landing in your cornfield, However, you must make sure that your farm or garden is not near a neighborhood since these noises can be annoying. Check this BirdXPeller Pro Electronic Bird Repeller from Amazon.
Playing distress and predatory calls is a sure and safe way to keep crows away.
Use net to cover corn
While also effective at controlling and preventing crows from assessing your cornfields. This method can be very cost-effective especially if you are protecting a vast piece of land.
Covering the whole land can be very expensive and at the same time, it may interfere with the growth of your corn.
Avian liquid repellent
These liquids can be sprayed or applied on locations such as trees where crows like to perch. You can also use them in areas where crows like to roost.
They are harmless and will keep crows away, at the same time they can also be expensive if you have a large piece of land. If you looking at using bird liquid-repellent you can check this one from Amazon.
What should you not feed crows?
While corn is among the feeds that crows like, there are also a few food choices that should never be fed to crows.
The following foods are toxic and should not be fed to crows chocolate, onion and garlic, fats, caffeine and tea, alcohol, salted nuts, dairy products, avocado, and sugar.
Corn is one of the crow’s favorite food items, in large numbers crows can cause losses in cornfields. While you can use corn to befriend crows always make sure that the corn is not infected with the poisonous fungi.
94% of pet owners say their animal pal makes them smile more than once a day. In 2007, I realized that I was made for saving Animals. My father is a Vet, and I think every pet deserves one. I started this blog, “InPetCare”, in 2019 with my father to enlighten a wider audience.