Need info on Black Vultures

Asked September 17, 2018, 9:55 AM EDT

My friend runs a sheep farm in Middletown, Delaware, just outside of Delaware City. She is completely inundated with black vultures, which are killing her stock. In the past, she has gotten the permit to kill and hang one, but gave up the year the vultures ate the one that was hanging. Yesterday I stopped at the farm to pick up fleeces; the shepherdess was away for the day but warned us that the place "looks like the Serengeti." Well, she wasn't kidding! There were easily 200 black vultures, about half of them eating a sheep and the other half, eating her pet alpaca. I researched it and discovered these things will kill livestock. We found the pattern on the U. Of Kentucky site to make an effigy to hang and will speak to her about getting a LGD to watch the flock, but holy hell! You had to see the field completely filled with vultures! They were even roosting in with her flock under some shade trees. Is there anything at all that Cooperative Extension can help with? People are going to need education about these things, too, as no one believes a vulture will kill anything outright. Any help or advice is appreciated!

New Castle County Delaware wildlife damage management wildlife habitat sheep livestock vultures vulture

1 Response

Hi. Thank you for your question. This is not my area, but recommend you contact Delaware Fish & Wildlife - http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Pages/OfficeLocations.aspx or Delaware Department of Agriculture - 1-800-282-8685 since they are affecting farm animals.

I did find an article of the black vulture in Cecil County, MD. https://www.myeasternshoremd.com/qa/spotlight/vultures-renew-residence-in-centreville/article_27e96b42-d35d-593d-9a2e-24db48826573.html

Here is other information shared in an Ask An Expert question on black vultures in PA. See their guidance on vultures here: http://1.usa.gov/1IBmNvP

and related extension publications from other sources:
http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/hot_topics/environment/vultures.shtml

http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/wildthings/091211.html

DO NOT APPROACH a vulture as their defense is to vomit on you. This vomit is a bio-hazard to you and needs to be handled correctly. Be sure your garbage is secured in cans with tight fitting lids. Laser pointers and pyrotechnic noise makers ($$$) may help harass these birds on to their next location as they migrate for winter.
Dr. Gregory Martin, Extension Educator - Poultry Penn State Extension

Good luck!
Tracy