Gordon Eastham, the university’s grounds maintenance manager, told this newspaper that they had applied for a licence from DEFRA and had been allowed to treat up to 200 eggs each breeding season in this way.
He also confirmed that they had not culled any birds and “would not” do so.
The university is known for having a large population of geese on campus. YouTube channels such as Duck of the Day documents what goes on with some of the campus birds.
Putting eggs into paraffin, or egg oiling, is reportedly an effective way of controlling a population of birds. It is used to coat the shell of an egg which stops its embryo from developing. In order for it to be effective, all of the egg must be covered.
According to Eastham, the technique has not been effective. He said: “Our experience is that it has made little if any difference to the size of the adult breeding population or numbers of geese on campus.”