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Keeping Birds Out

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  • Keeping Birds Out

    How do you keep birds out of your barn? But, without a barn cat? I've heard some people use nerf guns or something like that, which, if you shoot them at the birds enough, they stay out for good.

    I'm having a barn built which is why I ask. Is there something in barn design that helps keep them out? I'm going to have exposed ceiling beams and structure, which I'm aware is a perfect bird perch.

    It's hard because you want good ventilation obviously, but that also invites other animals to come in.

  • #2


    • #3
      Looking for good ideas as well. I have two cats, they are fat and worthless


      • #4
        This might not be practical for a larger space, but I'm planning to cover the ceiling of my horse's stall with a fine but indestructible mesh, the kind that's used for windows in tents. I bought two big sheets of it, and I'm just going to take a nail gun and nail up the mesh in such a way that the darling little fluffy tweeting things can't get into the rafter spaces and perches, which they do love. But, too bad. I'm closing down the hotel. They can go poop on the walls and into the water buckets somewhere else.


        • #5
          Originally posted by SharonA View Post
          This might not be practical for a larger space, but I'm planning to cover the ceiling of my horse's stall with a fine but indestructible mesh, the kind that's used for windows in tents. I bought two big sheets of it, and I'm just going to take a nail gun and nail up the mesh in such a way that the darling little fluffy tweeting things can't get into the rafter spaces and perches, which they do love. But, too bad. I'm closing down the hotel. They can go poop on the walls and into the water buckets somewhere else.
          Let us know if it works.

          I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


          • #6
            So I get to build a new barn at some point soon! Yeah for me. I was thinking of going with a steel frame because it seems like there are too many cozy places in the wood trussed buildings for the lil buggers to make home. Anyone do a steel buidling and successfully keep the buggers out? Can't wait to get a plan going!


            • #7
              Our barn rarely gets birds, and usually they just fly through...or get stuck and become kitty snacks. Perhaps it is because we have no exposed rafters?

              Aren't the owls some barns place in the rafters meant to discourange some types of small birds?
              Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


              • #8
                no exposed rafters may be the answer

                After reading, searching, thinking, reviewing all information I can possibly digest, my conclusion is the same as the above post - no exposed = no bird homes. I think if you like that open look (which I do, no hay storage upstairs for me), I think you have to go long buck and "finish" the ceiling. Thank you to everyone who posted a response.


                • #9
                  I only allow certain birds in my barn. And barn swallows are not allowed.

                  All others I chase, and pop the lunge whip at them until they leave. I will remove the offending birds nests too.

                  I have seen a local barn around here that has hot wires on every surface which a bird might land inside the barn. I have never seen a bird even fly into that barn. Guess this barn had an issue with some birds. No more bird issues for them.


                  • #10
                    SharonA: you may be very surprised (& dismayed) at how inventive birds are at getting into tight places.

                    I have birds nesting inside the steel bird mesh builders put in my ridge vent.
                    And starlings managed to peck out the insulation in the corners of my metal pole barn's roof for their nests. Solved that by stapling metal mesh over those holes.

                    Your idea could end up with a roof full of bird crap directly over your horse's stall - and dust from dessicated bird poop is nearly as bad as the fresh stuff.
                    It will sift down into your horse's buckets.

                    rmh_rider's solution with the hot wires sounds like the only certain (and expensive) way to bird-proof.
                    BTW rmh: you must be kept pretty busy with that longe whip - are you on patrol 24/7?
                    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                    • #11
                      Local barn built a new arena and it has a wood base but top 3/4 is open. They put mesh "curtains" around the entire sides. Besides keeping out the birds it keeps out the insects so double bonus. What is that disease caused by May flies? It provides a sort of shade in direct sunlight.


                      • #12
                        Remove the nests. Remove the nests. Remove the nests.


                        The sparrows are already beginning to look for new nest spots, the little ba$tard$. It's a full time freakin' job.


                        • #13
                          A couple of weeks ago my SO came home from the farm and said that the birds were gone. I thought he was joking, we must have had 100 swallows. Sure. Enough, they were gone. A few days later they started reappearin. I was perplexed until I came out a few nights later and there was a falcon in the barn. It seems I now have a cycle - falcon visits, birds disappear, birds come back, falcon returns.

                          So, any way to make my barn more falcon friendly? I would love for him to keep visiting.


                          • #14
                            Just saying - the nerf idea sounds like fun. I may have to invest in one. At least it would amuse the cats and the husband.


                            • #15
                              On a related tangent:

                              We have battled sparrows in the indoor arena for years. There has been a reasonable decrease in them but....

                              My mother has 4 barn chickens. They hang around the barn and have a roost in the hay drop area. They are her "retirees" so one of them was feeling a bit poorly last week in our extreme cold. No problem. Mom scoops her up, inside her coat, and ushers her off to the house where "Peanut" spends several days luxurating in a crate in the spare room where the dogs are.

                              A couple of days later my mother says to me that she thinks she has shingles. Well, it doesn't sound like shingles to me so off she goes to her Doctor. Two doctors visits and some house sluething later...

                              My mother has bird mites. All over. Because she scooped Peanut chicken up inside her coat and took her to the house. She has been frantically bathing, cleaning and dusting every chicken and all over the barn with diatomaceous earth. Every time I talk to her I start itching too.

                              Yet another reason to keep sparrows out of the barn!


                              • #16
                                Man, you guys would freak if you saw my barn--birds everywhere. It really teaches the horses that a flock of pigeons taking off is no big deal. We have a range of avian visitors on our farm from pigeons, owls, falcons, geese, eagles and starlings. It is forbidden to knock down Barn Swallow nests (in some cultures considered bad luck). I guess I am just a go with the flow type of person.
                                I LOVE my Chickens!


                                • #17
                                  I consider my barn swallows a blessing. And it is an old world belief that when the swallows nest on your eave it is the best of omens. Being a superstitious lot I am gonna go with it.
                                  Also the population of barn owls is dwindling at an alarming rate due to lack of habitat. Old gable style barns are disapearing, and barn owls are very nesting specific. This is so sad . If I ever win the big lotto, I plan to donate $ to people to put new roofs on their old gable barns, to preserve them and the barn owl habitats. Guess I just gotta win first.

                                  I guess I was raised as an old world farmer, by an old world farmer, and from most of the posts here I apparently see the world very differently from most others.
                                  Just like our eyes, our hearts have a way of adjusting to the dark.--Adam Stanley


                                  • #18
                                    I do not like birds in my barn or hay area. Outside its fine. What I have done is I have a small wind chime hanging in the center of both large doors ( love the sound when the wind blows as they are small so it is quiet) I also have 2 fake owls hanging from the rafters. This has worked really well I might get one bird in the barn in the summer and one of the owls makes noise so I turn it on and within 5 minutes the bird has found its way out and I shut the own off.


                                    • #19
                                      My former BO hated birds.

                                      She started out small... Knocking down nests. Worked for a few days.

                                      Then she took all the horses off sweet feed thinking that they were eating to corn out of the poop. Actually did cut down on the number of birds.

                                      Then she went to plastic owls. Worked for a few weeks. Now they're just one more place for birds to land.

                                      Then she went to plastic snakes. Worked for afew weeks. Now they're just one more place for birds to land.

                                      Then she went to an air gun (that shot metal BBs). That never worked. It only put holes in her insulation that the birds started pulling a part to nest in.

                                      Then she called a professional who painted this sticky stuff that the birds didn't like to land on. It was expensive (like $3000 IIRC) and it made an absolute MESS of her barn. It dripped all down the walls and light fixtures and got covered with dust/ shaving patricles/hay. It worked for maybe 3 months until all the rafters were completely covered with dust/ shaving patricles/hay and it was no longer sticky.

                                      Needless to say... She stopped complaining.


                                      • #20
                                        We have used a heavy mesh screen for years and it works amazingly well. When we moved to the barn that we have now, there were tons of swallow nests inside. We used a piece of strapping and attached it to the top of the screen (get the heavier guaged screening - I think you can get some from home depot for cat scratch proof screening for doors). We then screw the strapping to the top of the door frame an voila! Instant bird deterent!! No birds were able to get in the barn and no bugs as well! Its a bird and bug free piece of heaven for the ponies! The ponies even learned quickly how to push through the screening to get in and out of the barn. You need the heavier mesh so the wind doesnt blow it up and the birds swoop under it...
                                        We have done it for years and it works really well and looks good as well. The birds come back every spring, cant get in the barn and nest in the sheds outside (which I'm totally fine with). I don't like the bird poop all over inside of our barn.