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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Hops Growing > Birds eating hops
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Old 05-09-2012, 01:41 AM   #1
forbitron
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Default Birds eating hops

I am starting my first hop garden in St. Louis. I built a raised bed arbor/trellis with 3 foot walls, 10 feet long and 12 feet high. My Chinook was taking off very well, then, right as I strung up the lines and was patiently waiting a few more weeks to train them, they started to disappear. Last Saturday they were about 6 inches high and looking very healthy. After cutting the grass I returned to find them little stumps of their former selves. I scouted the yard from the upstairs bedroom and found birds poking around the area, but at that time there was nothing left for them to eat. There is no evidence mites, slugs, snails, etc. Anyone have experience with this? I have been told they eat young, tender plants and the damage should die down once they are big, if they get the chance to grow. I just want to grow these things and make a delicious beer in the fall. Is that too much to ask?

Here is a photo. Maybe it isn't from birds, but they sure look torn up to me.

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Old 05-09-2012, 02:09 AM   #2
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Honestly it looks like deer browsing, ha. As for birds, I'm not sure what bird would simply eat a bine *shrug*

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Old 05-09-2012, 02:54 AM   #3
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Deer might make sense, but there aren't many of them in the city that can jump a 6ft fence. Hmm... It is weird that I can't seem to find much on the web about this with hop plants.

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Old 05-09-2012, 03:51 AM   #4
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Well, it could still be mammal browsing. Maybe not deer but there are plenty of other mammals that browse shoots. Just my .02, but I'm a molecular biologist not a wildlife expert

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Old 05-09-2012, 03:58 AM   #5
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there are some cheap plants that you can get and plant around your hops to keep the deers away

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Old 05-09-2012, 04:13 AM   #6
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It might be other mammals. Just strange because I didn't see any. I got some organic spray that the nursery claimed was okay for edible plants that should keep deer, rabbits, squirrels and other animals away. I've heard that marigolds work, as well. As for the birds, I guess I'll make some shiny, dangling 'scare crow' contraption to keep them at bay. Last step, and hopefully not necessary, would be to wrap my arbor in clear mesh until the plants are good and strong. Thanks for the replies, all.

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Old 05-09-2012, 04:36 AM   #7
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Well, if I recall correctly, rabbits are diurnal, so you probably wouldn't have seen them. Good luck forb, and I pray that when my babies get as old as yours, birds won't be picking at them too

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Old 05-09-2012, 05:02 AM   #8
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deer have no problems jumping 6 feet fences. I work at an airport with 12 foot deer proof fences but they still manage to get past them too!

Tim

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Old 05-09-2012, 05:14 AM   #9
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For what's it worth, this is my worst of three and four year plants and i saw a raccoon in my garden late one night. I gave no idea what they eat.

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Old 05-09-2012, 07:36 AM   #10
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Yeah I don't think it's birds. Mice, rats, rabbits and deer all would make more sense.

Put some chicken fencing around the area really tight and let the shoots grow up through it. By the time they reach through the fencing they'll be big enough that they'll probably be left alone.

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