whats the best way to combat pigeons

PIGEONS they are driving me MAD eating all my sprouts,cabbages etc.
I love the birds on my allotment but these buggers are eating more ve than i can grow. I have put up a net but these buggers carry basebal bats and eat viagra. everyone on the allotment is having the sam problem so would welcome any help !!!!!!!!!! I could try pigeo pie
-- arky
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arky wrote:

I used to have constant pigeon problems until I introduced chickens. I have chickens roaming all over my gardens and they eat every insect that is a problem, deliver fresh eggs, add to the soil nutrient levels AND drive off all other ground feeding birds. I have a mix of bantams (aggressive little critters) and various full sized breeds.
BlackShadow
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I like the sound of this solution. Is there any conflict with chooks and with natives? We have bulk ducks, magpies, butcher birds, peewees, ibises etc that already compete for various components of ground feed.
How do you stop the chooks scratching off mulch from veges gardens or from trees?
You can also net the plants, I know several people who are sick of bird/bat losses have had to net whole vege gardens and all but the toughest fruit trees as well.
David
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I have a dog, she lets nothing in her yard.

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David Hare-Scott wrote:

No. The native fauna are chicken friendly. It is the introduced species like the Indian Mynah that they physically fight with. Magpies eat the dog's dry food in preference to just about anything else, (I feed them plenty each morning - the dog is still a bit resentful but has grown to accept it) the Kookaburras only hunt fish and small animals, the Frogmouth Owls also. The lizards also help keep insects down (geckos, green & pink tree lizards and the Blue Tongues). I also encourage wasps, (Paper, Mud, and Hornet) they leave me alone if I don't go near their nests and they are the ULTIMATE in insect control. Encouraging them was a bit painful until I developed techniques.

Their scratching basically just aerates, it doesn't do more than stir it around.

Bats/Flying Foxes are a problem. I used to use an automatic scare gun for them but now with neighbours that is a no no. They are very seasonal, only when the mangoes are ripe or near ripe are they a real problem. I also used to shoot them with a spotlight and a silenced .22 but with the new heavily enforced regulations regarding firearms, I have resorted to electronics. Outdoor passive infrared floodlights and my dog, who will joyfully leap among the trees once the lights go off and the bats land. Fruit bats make an enormous amount of noise, they actually crash into the trees rather than land. The bats with their two metre plus wingspans are big enough to trigger the security lights. We get a few nights of broken sleep when the season starts, but then the bats find greener (and darker) pastures. The neighbours don't mind as they all have mangoes as well. The parrots are more of a problem as I like parrots and won't harm them. They aren't big enough to trigger security lights so we just have to suffer some losses. Leaving alternate food out for them helps salvage some of the fruit, but really, as the crop is always far more abundant than we can possibly eat, the parrots share is not a real loss. There are times in the late afternoon when the parrot population outside the house are so noisy that we cannot answer the phone, people can't hear us. Rozella's, and Lorikeets mostly, occasional Cockatoos. We have a lot of palms and the parrots mostly go after the various palm fruit/dates. I tried growing coffee a few years back, but gave up as the parrots went crazy over the beans. Coffee is about the only area where I am not self sufficient. I drink a lot of Espresso.:)
BlackShadow
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wrote:

How do you keep the chickens from eating your veggies?
I used to keep chickens in back of the yard. What eggs! The neighbors used to line up to buy the extras.
The chickens had plenty of room in their habitat, but being a big softie, I would sometimes let them out to play in the yard -- under supervision, so they wouldn't get into the veggies.
Don't tell me chickens are dumb! The minute the phone rang, and I went inside to answer it, they headed STRAIGHT for the veg. beds! I wonder how many innocent callers were startled to hear me yell "Get the hell out of there!"
You're 1000% right about the "soil nutrient level". After I quit keeping chickens, that soil back there was so fertile, when I sowed seeds, the plants just LEAPED out of the ground.
So anyway, how did you manage to keep them from eating your produce?
Persephone
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Persephone wrote:

I feed them well, possibly if I didn't they might have been foraging for more than insects. They'll peck through the mulch etc., looking for insects, but certainly won't eat it. The only downside was that they'd eat worms and I have a lot of worms in all beds, covered with mulch and straw/hay. They didn't manage to damage the worm population too much unless it rained heavily, bringing the worms to the surface. I couldn't use seed directly, had to be well established seedlings from a propagation area kept chicken and duck proof. Their foraging has never been a problem of any note. I am more into permaculture & aquaculture than organised garden beds. It is a bit of a jungle out there. I live on a river bank in a semi-tropical zone (Queensland) and most things grow so quickly they can catch up with you and tap you on the shoulder if you don't keep moving rather briskly. :)
BlackShadow
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