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Getting rid of birds in the barn

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  • Getting rid of birds in the barn

    Now I like birds, but this is too much. I have loads of birds (not barn swallows, little grey-brown chirpers) who make a god-awful mess on the stalls, walls, floor, etc. Any ideas about how to get rid of them? How do those plastic owls work? These guys are very bold!

  • #2
    I have the same annoying problem with sparrows in my barn and wish I knew a solution.

    I tried stapling screen mesh over the open eave side of the barn, but the darn Kansas wind was too much and it just ripped off the staples. I didn't realize how much of the foam insulation stripping they had torn out of the peak vent (where'd it go!!) until I ended up with snow drifts IN the barn this winter. I've switched to all pelleted feed and that seems to eliminate the stall mess, but they're still crapping all over the tractor and truck. Can't do barn cats (if they would even help) - the coyotes get them.

    Now, I have to contend with a pair of territorial cardinals, which attack and crap on any vehicle window/mirror left out in the drive for longer than 5 minutes. ugh
    Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?


    • #3
      I like birds, but not in the barn. They carry diseases...so they need to stay outside. I only have trouble with barn swallows, and I have to knock the nests down every couple of days.

      I do encourage Martins (as do my neighbors).


      • #4
        Supposedly, plastic owls placed at strategic locations will help. That said,, my son, the fireman has birds flying through the firebarn when the doors are left open. They tried the owls, the plug-in repellants , whatever else is out there and nothing has worked. Sections of black garden hose hung around is also supposed to repel birds( think"snakes"). Good luck.


        • #5
          I was told the most effective way to keep birds out is to build honest to goodness cat walks up to the eaves then employee honest to goodness barn cats.


          • #6
            Do you have a falconer in your area? Someone who rehabs raptors?
            I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


            • #7
              If someone could tell me too, I'd really appreciate it. We have English Sparrows that make me crazy every spring. They are loud, obnoxious and crap all over everything.

              Things do get better when the barn swallows come back later in the spring. They displace the sparrows for the most part and are much cleaner, quieter and keep to the nests in the stalls.

              All the sparrows did was crap all over the big plastic owl. I'll take the barn swallows over the sparrows any day - I just wish they would show up sooner.

              Almost every year we end up with a hawk stuck in the barn from hunting the sparrows (seems that the swallows don't taste as good). If we find them in time we can get them out, but we have lost a couple of young ones who beat themselves to death trying to get out. I hate that, it's such a waste.

              The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.



              • #8
                When I was a kid, we used to shoot a crow with a pellet gun. It only took one hit and the whole lot would be gone for some time - up to a year. We wouldn't aim for the head or anything. As far as we knew we never seriously hurt them???


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                  I like birds, but not in the barn. They carry diseases...so they need to stay outside. I only have trouble with barn swallows, and I have to knock the nests down every couple of days.

                  I do encourage Martins (as do my neighbors).
                  I would love to have your barn swallows. They are worth their weight in gold around here.


                  • #10
                    I don't know where you are located, but I would bet that there is a licensed falconer near you who would love to take care of your nuisance bird problem.
                    Bird Abatement is a big deal for some types of farming and for airports and landfills. There are a good number of falconers who do this as a business. A bird of prey in the area is a sure (and eco-friendly) way to encourage nuisance birds to relocate.
                    For a horse farm, with small birds, you would probably make a kestrel or accippiter falconer very happy and solve your problem with no money changing hands.
                    PM me if you are interested.
                    "Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of passions." David Hume


                    • #11
                      We have pretty good luck keeping birds out of the barn by hanging CDs (with clear fishing line) up high in doorways so they spin & flash in the sunlight. I got the idea from an indoor we saw when looking at horses - she had all the doors open & no birds. We figured we'd give it a try, so far it's worked great.
                      ~ A true friend knows all there is to know about you and still likes you. -E. Hubbard


                      • #12
                        I would have a problem with a barn full of sparrows. BUT, I LOVE my barn swallows and would NEVER knock down their nests.

                        My barn is fly free until the end of Sept when the swallows fly south for the winter.

                        They are truly worth their weight in gold.

                        For sparrows, I would put cat walks in or try the fake owls.


                        • #13
                          Cat walks and barn cats keep the birds out of our barns. We have lots of swallows, blue birds, starlings etc... but none nest in the barns!


                          • #14
                            I passionately hate house sparrows.

                            Lots of information here about controlling their populations:
                            Equine Web Design http://www.tbconnect.net | Kingsgate Stud home of Legal Jousting (IRE)


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by K~2 View Post
                              I passionately hate house sparrows.

                              Lots of information here about controlling their populations:
                              Interesting website.
                              I don't see where it mentions falconry anywhere. Yet falconry with a kestrel, a cast of kestrels (two birds working together) or a sharp-shinned hawk, is an EXTREMELY effective method of getting rid of european (house) sparrows. Because the sparrows are non-native there is no closed season on them. However cruelty laws (and one's own ethics) do apply to them.
                              Falconry is not only humane, it is a method that is extremely natural.
                              A falconer will also be more than happy to set up legal and effective sparrow traps.
                              "Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of passions." David Hume


                              • #16
                                Here is a link to NAFEX (North American Falconers Exchange) forum: http://www.nafex.net/index.php?
                                "Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of passions." David Hume


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by sketcher View Post
                                  I would love to have your barn swallows. They are worth their weight in gold around here.
                                  Me too!! I have Purple Martins but no Barn Swallows.


                                  • #18
                                    Another thing I'll mention is that falconry birds are trained to go after specific quarry and sparrows are a real favorite. No closed season and very nutritious!
                                    "Reason is, and ought to be, the slave of passions." David Hume


                                    • #19
                                      In my war with the sparrows, here is what didn't work:

                                      Plastic owls (yes, they crapped all over it)
                                      Bird netting (the birds got caught in it)
                                      Shiny tape (didn't try the CDs, maybe they'd work better)

                                      What seems to really help:

                                      Switching from sweet feed to pelleted feed (no kernels for birds to pick out of manure)
                                      Vinyl strips on stall doors that open to outside. I don't have them for the center aisle doors, however
                                      Bird spikes-mine are plastic. They help somewhat but I'm not sure they helped enough to outweigh the cost.
                                      Keeping the barn closed with help but then I like having the barn open so that's a tradeoff.
                                      Keeping any food out of reach-sweeping up any leftover grain, putting dry cat food in tackroom where birds can't get to it.

                                      I haven't found a foolproof method yet but I'm still searching!


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Thanks for all the great ideas. If one hires a falcon to come for a bird sweeping, does it stay for a while? Do the sparrows come back after it leaves? I like the CD idea also.