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Birds in the barn: any tips to get rid of them?

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  • Birds in the barn: any tips to get rid of them?

    Specifically the blinking English Sparrows that have found my barn over the past few seasons. They nest on the lights, drag all sorts of flammable crud up there. They crap in the feed tubs and water buckets.
    They have driven the barn swallows away too. Rotten little %^*#$.
    So what has worked for you?

  • #2
    Pellet gun.
    Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
    Not in the 42% or the 96%


    • #3
      Hang old but shiny CDs from the rafters above the doorway. Lots of them in a row...
      "When life gives you scurvy, make lemonade."


      • #4
        How big is your barn? Do you have any barn cats?

        We used to have a horrible problem with birds (especially pigeons) in our barn. Let me tell you, pigeon poop is GROSS and it was everywhere. We now have four barn cats and hubby built "kitty ramps" so that the cats could get up in the rafters where they LOVE to go!!! Hubby also made sure there was a catwalk from one side of the barn to the other. I have not one bird in the barn. Birds don't even fly through the barn. But our barn is only 36' x 36'. It might not work if your barn is bigger.

        The only birds I've seen in our barn over the last 5 years have been dead or half eaten.
        Honey badger don't give a sh!t.


        • #5
          Try one of these:


          Only problem is you have to want to kill them after you trap them. I have one outside (bought it after the house sparrows killed a male bluebird in his house) and they work pretty good. I have caught a few "good" birds in the trap, but if you check it morning and night you can free the good birds.



          • #6
            I loved the visual, of the poster that said on a similar thread that they use a blower to "blow the birds out".


            • #7
              We also have outstanding bird cats! They shimmy up the stalls and onto the cross beams before I realize what they are doing - much less the bird!


              • #8
                Change to a pelleted feed.
                Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary...


                • #9
                  I have to second the pelleted feed. I had a bad bird problem-tried the fake owl(they sat on it), shiny reflective tape(scared the horses but not the birds),plastic spikes that go on top of crossbeams(guess they helped but pretty expensive), the sticky glue that discourages roosting(too messy to deal with). I also have the vinyl strips on the dutch doors that lead to outside paddocks- I think they help with the bird problem but by far the biggest difference was when I switched to pelleted feed-no more scattered manure piles from the birds searching for undigested kernels! I also have a barn kitty who helps terrorize the birds in case they think of moving back in full force. And the worse thing to do-bird netting-then the birds get stuck and die in it so your barn looks like some macabre bird graveyard--not a pretty scene.


                  • #10
                    Cats! Can't say enough about ours... We have two cats in a 36 x 64 (I think?) barn and not one bird. We do feed pelleted feed as well, but our bird problem was cleared up long before we switched from sweet feed. Ours shimmy the stalls and tack room and jump from there into the rafters.


                    • #11
                      Nobody at our place gets anything but hay and a tiny bit of pelleted feed... we have cats, but not ramps - have to try that. Have had the owl in the rafters, and even that screech machine that emits various bird calls (all that did was make it unpleasant for PEOPLE to be in the barn, etc.

                      The only thing that truely worked is sealing off the rafters. No birds where a 'ceiling' has been installed over the tackroom/wash stall and over where the carriages are stored.

                      Wish you better luck than we've had getting rid of them.


                      • #12
                        1. Put up an owl box to invite their natural predator to hunt them down.

                        2. Black snakes... LOVE them. Every time we find one in the yard, or remove one from our neighbors barn (he is not a huge fan of snakes) we toss it into the barn... helps to keep the mouse population down too!

                        3. If you are not comfortable inviting natural predators into your space... I have know people to swear by these "Glass Eyes", some garden centers carry them.
                        Last edited by Sakura; Dec. 23, 2008, 06:32 PM.
                        \"For all those men who say, \"Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free,\" here\'s an update for you: Nowadays 80% of women are against marriage. Why? Because women realize it\'s not worth buying an entire pig just to get a little sausage.\"-


                        • #13
                          omg yikes, throwing snakes in the barn!!!
                          The sparrow thing has been an ongoing battle at our barn...we oniy feed pelleted feed, that may help with the manure pile bird scavenging, but our flock of sparrows loves the pellet crumbs that are dropped after feeding...
                          one thing that did help in our indoor (where they LOVE to build nests in the "Y" support beams) was moth balls! We put them in the "Y" and no more nesting! ditto to the ineffectiveness of the screech machine (drives the humans crazy) and also the fake owl with the turning head and the occasional "whooooooo"


                          • #14
                            Check out what this company sells.
                            Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sakura View Post
                              1. Put up an owl box to invite their natural predator to hunt them down.

                              2. Black snakes... LOVE them. Every time we find oine in the yard, or remove one from our neighbors barn (he is not a huge fan of snakes) we toss it into the barn... helps to keep the mouse population down too!

                              3. If you are not comfortable inviting natural predators into your space... I have know people to swear by these "Glass Eyes", some garden centers carry them.
                              You may want to change that link.
                              My computer's firewall had a serious warning about it.
                              People may want to avoid clicking on it.


                              • #16
                                My son is a fireman and they have a problem with birds flying into the station while the doors are open( and not leaving!). They have tried pretty much all the suggestions above and nothing worked, although , maybe a cat would do the trick. As far as the black snake, gardeners use pieces of black hose cut into snake- length pieces and placed around the garden Maybe worth a try. Might be a pain now, but think of all the bugs the birds will eat come summer.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Thanks for all the suggestions. I already use a pellted feed, so that isn't it. It started with two sparrows a few years ago. Two became four, then 12.
                                  I've tried the stationary owl, no luck. Pellet gun is out; too much glass in the lights and windows to risk that. We have a rather ferocious cat, but there's simply no way to get her access to where these bird are. I'm probably going to have to use wire or hardware netting to close off access to the lights. I was hoping to find a way to instead drive them out. Once they get something stuck in their little peabrains, they don't let it go!
                                  If these guys ate bugs, I'd have no problems with them. Instead, they just make a mess.
                                  Maybe I'll try the sparrow trap. I wonder how far they travel to get back to a place? I commute 20 miles to work, wonder if I can release them there instead of gassing them?


                                  • #18
                                    We have used fake plastic owls with realistic eyes for years because we had a problem with pigeons. We put them in the rafters. I think their eyeballs need to be dusted off because there are a couple pigeons that are hanging around the outside of the barn peering in
                                    Now I have a problem with squirrels coming into the barn so I am off to get a couple barn cats!!!
                                    Summerwood Farm Welsh Ponies~


                                    • #19
                                      I just tear the nests down as fast as they make them. For a couple of weeks it's a daily thing but finally they give up and go somewhere else.
                                      You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.


                                      • #20
                                        Uh - what nests are you destroying? What species? Depending on the species you might be committing a federal offense.
                                        Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                        Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                        -Rudyard Kipling