Buzzards killing mature cows

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KyNewbie
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Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby KyNewbie » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:32 pm

I came home from work to find my second dead cow of the week. Both had healthy October calves by their sides and I had laid eyes on both sets of cow calf pairs walking in the pasture and nursing. No signs of the cows being sick in any type of way. I’ve received phone calls while at work last week with people telling me that they have observed the buzzards pestering the herd. I’ve had my grandfather go out and run them off multiple times and I myself have gone out and shot at them to scare them off. They are the black buzzards, and seem to be way more aggressive than the turkey vultures. I find it odd that they have targeted two mature cows as opposed to going after calves. I’ve never personally seen buzzards be this aggressive and I personally have not lost any cattle to buzzards that were not either newborn or seemed to be terribly old or injured. Any thoughts? Am I wrong to think it’s buzzards and maybe should be looking for another cause of death? Thanks in advance
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby TexasBred » Sat Feb 10, 2018 1:46 pm

Never had a buzzard of any kind attack a cow, let alone manage to kill one. Something else going on here.
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby Bigfoot » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:58 pm

I may be wrong, but I doubt buzzards are killing cows. I had one paralyzed from giving birth. Set 5 panels around her, so I could feed and water her. Came in that afternoon, and she had slid the whole contraption 200 yards across the field. Buzzards had tried eating her alive. But, she couldn't fight back either.
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby SchenkAngusFarm » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:47 am

I've seen the blackheads kill calves but I've never seen them kill mature cows. They are ultra-aggressive.

You can get permits to shoot them. I have never had an issue with them (knock on wood) but I know people that have. I think you can apply for a special permit through Kentucky Farm Bureau or a less limited one through the federal government.

I found this link somewhat informative and saved it at one point.

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/agcomm/pubs/FOR/ ... FOR129.pdf
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Caustic Burno
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby Caustic Burno » Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:20 pm

They aren’t getting the cows unless there downers.
Now calf is another story I had to fight them off a newborn yesterday.
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby ClinchValley » Thu Feb 15, 2018 7:40 am

Do you have a picture you could share with us?

I know anything is possible. But that does seem highly unlikely.

Would a buzzard know to go for the eyes first? Are they that highly aggressive? I'd say that could be effective against a grown cow… I've never dealt with them. But have heard stories.
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby True Grit Farms » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:44 am

ClinchValley wrote:Do you have a picture you could share with us?

I know anything is possible. But that does seem highly unlikely.

Would a buzzard know to go for the eyes first? Are they that highly aggressive? I'd say that could be effective against a grown cow… I've never dealt with them. But have heard stories.

Yes first thing missing will be the eyes.
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby Workinonit Farm » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:07 pm

TexasBred wrote:Never had a buzzard of any kind attack a cow, let alone manage to kill one. Something else going on here.


I tend to agree with this. While I've never had nor seen them go after adults, I have had them and seen them go after calves.
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MtnCows93
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby MtnCows93 » Sat Feb 17, 2018 4:54 pm

I would be amazed if buzzards killed that cow but if thats actually what did it then its shotgun time
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Feb 17, 2018 5:43 pm

Isn't it more likely the cow was down or dead and the buzzards worked on her?? I have NO experience with Black Buzzards. Only heard of them on this board.
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby SchenkAngusFarm » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:03 am

I was driving down the Western Kentucky Parkway yesterday and saw a large group attacking a calf. There had to be 40 of them. I figured out who's farm it was and gave them a call but it was crazy. I never thought I'd see anything like it.
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby bird dog » Tue Feb 20, 2018 5:37 pm

I saw one like that last year Schenk. The cow was swinging her head keeping them off the calf that was between her legs. She hadn't even got it licked off yet. Probably 30 birds with a mixture of buzzards and mexican vultures. Not sure whom lived there and no one was home at the house so I did the not to smart thing and walked out in the field to help the cow out. She promptly got the calf up, fed it some and headed towards the herd with the wobbly calf close behind. At least it made me feel better.

For some reason it hasn't been quite as bad this year around here. Maybe because I have the majority calving in the fall/early winter and they seem to be worse in the spring.
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby Workinonit Farm » Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:33 pm

SchenkAngusFarm wrote:I was driving down the Western Kentucky Parkway yesterday and saw a large group attacking a calf. There had to be 40 of them. I figured out who's farm it was and gave them a call but it was crazy. I never thought I'd see anything like it.


Where I used to work, while driving my rounds, I came upon a circle of about 50 or so of those black vultures, circled around a calf that had squeezed through a fence and was away from its mother. It was awful! I turned my dog loose, and he chased them off long enough for me to get the calf up. Unfortunately, the calf died, from infection from the injuries.
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby farmerjan » Tue Feb 20, 2018 10:54 pm

Last year had some first calf heifers calving. The friend in the house saw the buzzards down around the cows so took the 4 wheeler down and there were 15 or 20 trying to get to the calf. She called me in a panic, I was on my way home from work & got there as quick as I could. The heifer had gotten the calf cleaned off and it got up when I was there and it got some colostrum. Then she took it off into the woods and they quit. The friend was totally shocked that they would bother it. God Bless that heifer, she was doing her very best to protect that calf. And being a heifer, I was very proud of her instincts....D#$% those black buzzards. Oh and the eagle was there too, she took a pic of it up in the tree and then it flew down on the ground and was about 10 ft from the heifer .....
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Re: Buzzards killing mature cows

Postby SchenkAngusFarm » Wed Feb 21, 2018 9:32 am

They used to not be in my area and I have seen a lot more of them. I talked to someone that runs an energy company and they kill a few each year with a special permit and leave them hanging on wires. It apparently keeps the others away.

I am deeply concerned that fish and wildlife is letting the numbers of these birds get out of control. I see larger and larger groups of them and more and more cattlemen losing calves. It worries me.
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