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How to Keep Birds Out of a Barn: 10 Humane Ways

Red barn

Birds in the barn can become a major problem, especially if they are eating feed and leaving droppings in water and on your farming machinery. There are ways you can deter or discourage birds from gathering in your barn, without having to resort to killing them. Below are 10 humane methods of keeping birds out of the barn that you can try.

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The 10 Humane Ways to Keep Birds Out of a Barn

1. Keep It Clean

Spilled seed will attract birds and may attract other unwanted visitors to your barn. Whenever you spill anything that might be used by barn visitors, try to clear it up as soon as possible, and certainly at the end of each day. While birds are unlikely to venture too far into the barn while it is filled with people and bustling with activity, they will take the opportunity when you’re not around.

Image Credit: andrea-piacquadio, Pexels

2. Bird Proofing Containers

Open containers are an open invitation. And once a bird discovers that your barn is a food source, it will return and keep returning. Over time, other birds will discover the food and it won’t take too long until you have a huge flock of birds visiting for their dinner, eventually turning areas of the barn into their nesting site. Put seed and feed in bird-proof containers like metal bins and always ensure that the lids are on when they’re not in use.

3. Covered Feeders

It isn’t just the storage bins that provide an open banquet for your feathered visitors. Any feeders in the barn can provide easy pickings, too. Open feeders that are placed near barns will encourage birds to the area and it won’t take them long to follow a trail or to look for a nearby nesting spot that is conveniently located by their newly discovered food source. Covered feeders do a good job of preventing birds from seeing into the feeders so they aren’t tempted to swoop and dine.

bird feeders
Image By: nickfish03, Pixabay

4. Plastic Doorways

Open external doors provide an obvious entrance for birds that will take any quiet opportunity to nip inside. Plastic strips are cheaper than having doors fitted, and it is easier to push through the draping plastic than it is to have to open and close a door every time you go in or out. But the plastic does just as good a job of preventing unwanted birds.

5. Seal Gaps

Look for gaps in walls, ceilings, and doors, and cover anything larger than about half an inch in size. You will have to be thorough in your search because birds are eagle-eyed and can spot even the tiniest openings, and small birds can get through surprisingly small gaps. Use wood or wire mesh to cover the holes. These are cheaper than replacing wooden sections and do a good enough job of stopping birds.

Person putting seal in a window
Image By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

6. Make Perches Less Appealing

If birds don’t have anywhere to land or sit, they will quickly go off the idea of residing in your barn. Find perches and use some form of perch repellent. Porcupine wires are spikey wires that don’t hurt the birds but do prevent them from perching or nesting in that particular spot. Chemical repellents can make the perch sticky or slippery, and if a bird can’t comfortably land or take off, it won’t return to that perching spot in a hurry.

7. Deter Birds From the Area

Bird deterrents can work as a temporary solution. Decoys include scarecrows and scarecrow owls. Place these outside the barn and it should prevent birds from getting too close, at least for a short time. Be aware that birds will eventually determine that the deterrent is fake and might return after a while. However, erecting a deterrent is a good way to buy yourself some time to patch holes and install perch repellents. Another effective type of humane repellent is the compact disc. These reflect light, which acts as a natural deterrent, and by hanging a few strings of CDs, you could keep birds away.

scarecrows in the garden
Image By: Piqsels

8. Erect Alternative Nests

If you don’t necessarily want to completely get rid of birds in the barn or around your garden but you do want to prevent them from nesting in the barn, you can provide alternative nesting sites. Put up high-quality nesting boxes away from the barn and provide plenty of nesting material that the birds can use to make the inside of their new homes snug and comfortable. You can still enjoy the company of the birds but on your terms.

9. Catch and Release

Relocation is a good option, but it does take a little work, especially in the placement of humane traps. Such traps are usually referred to as live traps because they are meant for capturing live animals. The bob trap is the most common form of a live trap. The bob trap contains food to attract the birds. They will push through rods to get inside the trap, and they won’t be able to get back out because the rods cannot be pushed from the inside. Once caught, you can take the birds to a suitable area and release them.

Squirrel-Proof Bird Feeder
Image By: Wildlife Terry, Flickr

10. Call in the Professionals

If all else fails, consider calling in professional wildlife control. They will be able to advise on the most effective method for getting rid of the birds you have and may also give you some pointers on how to prevent the same problem from recurring in the future. Professional pest controllers usually offer humane control, and if they don’t, you can always say no.

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Having birds in a barn can be a real nuisance, and it can even lead to illness for you or your animals. Fortunately, there are various humane methods you can use to help keep birds out of the barn, initially, and to remove any that may have nested or started using your barn as a regular dining room. Above are 10 such methods, ranging from hanging CDs to deter flying visitors to providing alternative nesting sites so that you can still enjoy the presence of the birds but without them getting into your barn.

Featured Image Credit: pixabay, Pexels


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