1. Place a shallow box on the end of a pole, and put it four or five feet from the ground to keep the poison out of the way of domestic fowls. In the box sprinkle corn-meal and a very little strychnine, which mixture the birds eat. It will not hurt dogs or cats to eat the dead bird, for the reason that there is not enough poison absorbed by the bird. (California.)
2. Put the strychnine in pieces of apples, and stick them on the ends of limbs of the trees. (California.)
3. Poison for English sparrows.
Dissolve arsenate of soda in warm water at the rate of one ounce to one pint; pour this upon as much wheat as it will cover (in a vessel which can be closed so as to prevent evaporation), and allow it to soak for at least twenty-four hours. Dry the wheat so prepared, and it is ready for use. It should be distributed in winter in places where the sparrows congregate. Wheat may be similarly prepared with strychnine.
4. Put 1/8 ounce of strychnia sulfate into 3/4 of a gill of hot water, and boil until dissolved. Moisten 11/2 teaspoonfuls of starch with a few drops of cold water, add it to the poison solution, and heat till the starch thickens. Pour the hot poisoned starch over a quart of wheat, and stir until every kernel is coated.
One of the best devices is mosquito-bar spread over the bushes or trees. For bush-fruits and small trees the expense is not great. There is a commercial netting made for the purpose.
Have a taxidermist mount several hawks, and place them in natural positions in the trees or vines.
In large plantations of cherries or other fruits subject to the depredations of birds, the injury is generally proportionately less than in small areas. Some cherry-growers plant early sweet varieties to feed the birds, which, getting their fill, give less attention to the main crop. Birds prefer the Russian mulberry to cherries, and an occasional tree in the cherry orchard may protect the crop.
Plantings of mulberry, buckthorn, elder, and chokeberry may serve to protect raspberries and blackberries. For strawberries, sweet early varieties which are left to ripen on the vines have been recommended.
Coat the seeds with red lead by moistening the seeds slightly and stirring in red lead until all the seeds are thoroughly coated. Let the seeds dry for two or three hours before sowing.
Several ways to protect corn from crows.
Dip the kernels in coal-tar, and then dust them with plaster; tar the seed; plant it deeply; scatter soaked corn over the field to attract attention from the young plants; hang streamers of cloth from twine strung about the field on poles; or use scare-crows.
Young chickens may be protected from hawks by covering their runways with fine wire netting. Chickens are comparatively safe when king-birds or purple martins breed about the farm-yard, as these birds drive hawks away. They should be encouraged. Some hawks are frightened away by guinea-hens. A pair of ospreys or fish-hawks nesting near a farmhouse will keep other hawks away.