How to Keep Birds Out of Barns? (Quick and Effective)


Written by

Clinton Atkins



George Dukes

how to keep birds out of barns

During winter birds tend to find shelter to keep warm. Non-migratory species prefer open buildings, houses and pole barns as their nesting place and could be a nuisance to owners of the property with. The usual culprits are pigeons, starlings, swallows, doves and barn owls.

These birds could get really irritating and make a mess in your barn with their droppings and even eat the grains intended for your farm animals. If you want to get rid of starlings in a barn or whatever birds are there on your property, read this whole article and learn how to keep birds out of barns.

Ways to Get Rid of Birds in a Barn


Before tackling the problem of birds in your barn, it is important to determine what kinds of birds usually like to roost in barns during the colder season to know how to handle them properly.

Nests of native species of birds are protected by law against any human efforts to displace or remove them, so it’s not easy to get rid of finches in your barn once they have nested because of a law called the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

This law also serves to protect other migratory birds, such as owls, woodpeckers, and even hawks.

Non-native species, however are not covered by this law which includes the following birds:

  • House Sparrows
  • European Starlings
  • Rock Pigeons

Detailed Steps to Keep Birds Out of Barns


1. Store food in sealed containers or in bins with lids

The main reason why birds prefer barns is because they know that they can find food there. If you have a cow or horse barn, seal grains and animal feed tightly and store them in containers that are not easy for birds to access. This will deter them from being attracted to your barn.

2. Go for covered-feeders


Instead of using open feeding vessels for your barn animals, choose covered ones. This will keep the food out of the visual field of birds and will be harder for them to reach.

3. Seal all barn openings

Put a plastic cover over the doorway to keep birds from flying in if you have an open barn and do not want to install a big door for your barn. Inspect your barn and seal all holes that are larger than 1/2 inch with solid wood or a wire mesh.

4. Keep your barn clean


Birds can feed on leftover food and grains scattered in the floor of your barn. Make sure your trash bins are also sealed and take them out regularly to keep birds away from food sources.

5. Keep your water sources closed or covered

Do not leave your water fountain open and cover drinking areas when not in use. It also helps to keep the water level shallow so birds will have a difficult time reaching the water from the rim of the basin.

6. Provide alternative sources for feeding birds away from the barn

You can set up a bird feeder a certain distance from your barn to divert birds from going there. A bird bath is also a welcome addition and birds will be happy to stay there instead of inside a building. This is a way to get rid of birds naturally from structures such as open barns and warehouses.

7. Use bird repellents.


There are different types of bird repellents and we shall discuss some of them below:

  • Liquid Repellents

This type of repellent is usually made of chemicals and is available commercially. You can also choose a diy bird repellent that is cheaper and less toxic. Make sure your choice of repellent is legal and non-toxic before you spray them on the potential areas in your barn.

  • Chemical perch repellents

These agents can be sprayed on the rafters of your barn and are effective as well to keep birds out of carport rafters. The sticky consistency on the surfaces makes birds uncomfortable and will drive them away.

Homemade DIY repellent sprays such as chili pepper sprays and peppermint oil spray can be an effective bird deterrent. Simply spray to keep birds away from areas that they may perch on and the smell of these liquids will drive the birds away.

  • Noise Repellent

Birds dislike loud noises and manual noise repellents such as shakers can be effective but only as a temporary solution.

Install a noisemaker with high-frequency ultrasonic sound. Birds are sensitive to these sounds and will scare them away.If you have an effective sound system made especially for birds this will keep birds out of your shed.

  • Roosting Repellent

An example of this are roosting spikes or porcupine wires that can discourage birds from perching and roosting. This is also an effective way to keep birds out of rafters.

8. Consider building a metal barn versus a pole barn.

This is one of the best ways to keep birds out of your barn. A metal building will not require trusses and since the structure is simple there will be no space for any kind of wildlife, from squirrels to birds, that will allow them to nest on the metal barn rafters.

9. Use Decoys, Reflectors and Visual Scarers


  • Put a human-sized scarecrow or hawk decoy outside your barn. This is a short-term solution only and may not be as effective as other diy bird repellents. Birds will eventually know that these are just decoys unless you move these bird scarers from time to time.
  • Put reflectors around your barn or on the surrounding fence to keep birds from landing on them since birds are afraid of reflective and shiny surfaces. You can put reflective tape or hang old compact discs or aluminum pie plates as a DIY bird deterrent.

10. Remove the birds from your property.


  • Remove the nest

Before you do this make sure there are no eggs in the nest and the birds are just in the process of building one. If there are eggs, depending on the species it may be best to leave them and wait for them to hatch and abandon their nests eventually.

As mentioned above, native species are protected by law and removing a nest can constitute a violation of the law.

  • Call the local bird experts

If there are too many birds in your barn and you can’t seem to handle them, do not hesitate to ask for help from the professionals such as your local wildlife experts.

This is the best way because they will know what to do with these pesky birds and other species. They will know how to get rid of pigeons in a barn if you have this specific problem and have exhausted all efforts to keep them away.


It’s easy to like birds when watching them as they fly or visit feeders in our gardens. When do birds become problematic? Once they infiltrate our buildings such as barns and warehouses then they can make a mess with their droppings.

They are considered pests when they cause damage to properties. If you read this far into the article then you know that this problem can be solved and there are many ways on how to keep birds out of barns.

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