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Folk wisdom reality check: rubber snakes

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  • Folk wisdom reality check: rubber snakes

    You know those old-timers who, when you were a kid, said "if you put a rubber snake in the rafters of your barn, birds won't nest there"? That always sounded like crap to me, but is it possible there's any truth to it? Or were those old dudes just full of it, like when they said "horses don't feel pain," and "when you shoot a wolf and nail its carcass to the fence, it will keep all the other wolves away"?

    That last one, of course, was from before those old gasbags had had shot all the wolves.

    I ask about bird nest prevention because my new barn is about 25' tall at the top of the center aisle. If there's no way to prevent an avian incursion prophylactically, I suppose I'll have to either rent a cherry-picker or hire the Human Fly.

    I'm a big fan of birds, by the way. I just don't want'em crapping all over my new barn.
    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

  • #2
    Your barn is ridiculously beautiful. Not crone-ish at all. Methinks you are miss-named.
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by TrotTrotPumpkn View Post
      Your barn is ridiculously beautiful. Not crone-ish at all. Methinks you are miss-named.
      Ha! My (still unfinished) barn thanks you for the compliment. If it ever gets completed, I'll considering changing my handle to Fussy Four-Stalls.
      Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

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      • #4
        I don’t know if there is any truth to the rubber snake thing, but I would think it is worth a try.

        Around here people use fake owls to scare off pigeons – perhaps your rafters need a snake AND an owl?

        hum... edited to reply after a quick google

        Most birds are terrified of snakes and these rubber reptiles are very realistic. They are simple to place in natural poses, just place on the ground or wind around posts or branches.

        As with all bird scare devices, moving them to new locations regularly will help with their success.
        Might not be easy to move them around often with that high ceiling!
        APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman

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        • #5
          That is not a barn...its nicer than my house...when can I move in?!
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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          • #6
            I imagine it works about as well as the fake owls, which work for the fifteen minutes it takes for one brave bird to land on it, poop on it, and realize it's plastic. (They really aren't as dumb as you think.) You might have better luck with something that makes noise and/or moves.
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            • #7
              Dang, are you sure you're building a barn...or a CATHEDRAL?? Grand, either way.

              Don't know if a fake snake will keep the birds out of the rafters, but the big ol' electrocuted rat snake draped over an exiting hot wire in the upper corner of my barn kept ME out...until someone less squeamish than I disposed of it.
              Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?
              <><

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              • #8
                That is a beautiful barn, I agree.

                I don't know about the rubber snakes, but if you had lived 100+ years ago, you would not think getting rid of wolves was such a bad idea.
                Around here, wolves did attack humans and all else humans had, plus decimated the wildlife.
                Wolves were indiscriminate killers, didn't just get one sheep down and ate it, but may kill most of a flock while they were at it, to eat off a few.
                That went in cycles with the wolves, unlike mountain lions, that are much more discrete and much less aggressive and in much smaller numbers.

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                • #9
                  How about bird spikes?

                  http://www.nixalite.com/BirdSpikes.aspx

                  That's what I see on commercial buildings all the time.

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by KSAQHA View Post
                    Dang, are you sure you're building a barn...or a CATHEDRAL?? Grand, either way.

                    Don't know if a fake snake will keep the birds out of the rafters, but the big ol' electrocuted rat snake draped over an exiting hot wire in the upper corner of my barn kept ME out...until someone less squeamish than I disposed of it.
                    Yoiks! I've seen some nasty shit out here in the country, but that might've done me in.

                    Hey, why is there a hot wire in your ceiling?

                    As for the cathedral thing, yeah, it's kinda over the top. I designed this barn myself with only minimal input from an actual architect, and it got a bit taller than necessary, I guess. But it's nice and airy.
                    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life

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                    • #11
                      Those are cinder blocks right? From the pics it kinds looks like you sheetrocked the inside of a barn!!

                      P.S. I was looking through your photos. How's that cat?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Crone of Cottonmouth County View Post
                        Hey, why is there a hot wire in your ceiling?
                        To keep the birds out.

                        Nah, it threads from the inside charger, out the open eave, down the outside of the barn, and along the vinyl rail fencing, which...on it's own...won't keep anything in OR out.
                        Is it me or do 99.9% of cowboys just look better with their hats on?
                        <><

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                        • #13
                          Well, I put a dreadful, realistic looking snake at the edge of one of my buckwheat plantings to keep Fat Stella & the Chicken Mafia out. All it did was scare the crap out of my husband one evening around dusk. The Chicken Mafia encircled it and tried to kill it while Fat Stella looked on laughing at my incompetence at dissuading them. Epic Fail & a waste of $10. Plus the husband was pissed at having been tricked....

                          And we have a plastic owl at the dog kennels - he is covered in mockingbird poop...

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                          • #14
                            The aircraft maintenance hanger on the airfield I worked at put the fake owls in to keep the birds out, it worked well enough but kind of looked tacky and your barn is way to pretty! On the fake snake note, why have fake when you can have the real thing, just let me know where I can send them. I have a family of very friendly (mostly) barn snakes that I would be happy to share, really, very happy to share! Although they mostly stay on the floor or in the stalls occassionally. They are great with mice control and occassionally people control also.
                            "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."

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                            • #15
                              some barns around here are using bird-repeller noise making systems, they seem to work fairly well.

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                              • #16
                                I work at a large hospital and my office is near several of the parking complexes. Every day I would hear this very long, strange, disconnected bird call and thought to myself "My goodness, what a gifted mockingbird to copy all those hawks!" I have since realized that every few minutes, a speaker sends out a the cry of every bird-eating-bird known to pigeonkind. It's disconcerting because they're all strung together.

                                There certainly aren't very MANY pigeons...

                                Just a thought!
                                Disclaimer: My mom told me that people might look at my name and think I had an addiction other than horses. I don't; his name was Bravado.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by BravAddict View Post
                                  I work at a large hospital and my office is near several of the parking complexes. Every day I would hear this very long, strange, disconnected bird call and thought to myself "My goodness, what a gifted mockingbird to copy all those hawks!" I have since realized that every few minutes, a speaker sends out a the cry of every bird-eating-bird known to pigeonkind. It's disconcerting because they're all strung together.

                                  There certainly aren't very MANY pigeons...

                                  Just a thought!
                                  I had forgotten about this! They do this at the coast around the ferries. I can't say it works really well, though, as I think the gulls & terns pretty quickly figure out it's fake since they continue to loiter about. But what a good idea!

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                                  • #18
                                    Crone.. just got back from Florida..

                                    And what the h*** does that have to do with anything?

                                    Seagull prevention barriers, made out of what I presume is high strength fishing line. It's clear enough not to be obnoxious. The ones I saw that seemed to work the best were sort of a big spiderweb pattern. If you did it below the attract roosting beams you so thoughtfully provided for the nasty little buggers, it might work.

                                    Anyone know if the little electronic mouse repellers work on birds?

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                                    • #19
                                      We installed bird netting in an indoor arena, and the pigeons very quickly and easily found ways through or behind it. Turned out to be very hard to install it in a bird-proof way, and once they got above it, then it got covered with guano. Also it sagged and just looked crappy in general. Other than that, we loved it I'd say go with the bird spikes.

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                                      • #20
                                        We have fake owls and fake snakes hanging in the barn I board at...and it doesn't help at all.
                                        The BO is always riding around the indoor looking up in the rafters, on bird-watch. It's quite funny. She despises the birds. lol.
                                        Originally posted by katarine
                                        I don't want your prayers, tiny cow.
                                        Originally posted by Pat9
                                        When it's time for a horse to go to a new person, that person will appear. It's pony magic.

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