How Do You Control Birds On The Farm?

Are you looking for tips about how to control birds on the farm? We look at controlling birds around farm buildings and the bird control devices available.

Controlling Birds Around Farm Buildings

If you have large numbers of birds in and around your livestock and poultry facilities, farm buildings, and barns, then they can cause varying forms of damage, as well as unsanitary working conditions. The birds will consume food left around as well as contaminate any food and water supplies. 

These contaminants can then be transmitted in the form of disease onto poultry and livestock. Droppings can accumulate around the facility, not only looking incredibly messy but also, over time corroding farm equipment. Nests can plug up gutters and drains, and the insulation of buildings can be ruined by birds.

If you are currently experiencing a bird infestation, then you can lessen the problem through the use of some helpful tools and techniques. 

This equipment can also be used to ensure that a bird infestation is highly unlikely on your property. Before you begin any kind of bird control on your property, then you should read up and become fully familiar with all the laws surrounding birds and bird protection. 

You need to be able to identify which birds specifically are causing the issue, as well as a general knowledge of their habits and behaviours. 

This is needed because the natures of each specific bird species will determine which methods can be used for control. The species that you may find causing trouble around farm buildings and barns are house sparrows, house finches, European starlings, and pigeons.

What you can do without a licence

You should always attempt to rectify your wild bird pest problem using fully non-lethal means before you contemplate taking lethal action against them with a license.

Firstly you should try to:

  • Scare any birds away using visual or audible devices. This includes scarecrows and shooting in order to frighten the birds
  • Restrict the bird’s access to food
  • Stop birds from resting or roosting on top or within your buildings or land by using netting over vulnerable areas where issues may arise
  • Manage the nearby habitat in order to make it less attractive to birds
  • Keep up a human presence around the premises in order to deter birds
  • Use physical barriers to keep birds away

Over time, birds will become used to particular non-lethal methods of control; this is known as habituation. But this is not a reason to stop using non-lethal methods for this reason.

With bird control, you will achieve the best outcomes if you change your methods regularly and draw from a large range of methods. If this does not work, then you may need to combine non-lethal methods with lethal control methods.

If your crops are becoming damaged by wild birds, then below are some methods you can use to deter the pests. These should be done in addition to the standard bird management methods which were mentioned earlier.

  • Where crops are growing, we would recommend using high visibility barrier tape.
  • Hedges or fences should be planted or installed around fields in order to break lines of sight. This will also stop birds who commonly walk from water to feeding sights.

Bird Control Devices

Bird Scarers

As the name may imply, a bird scarer is a device specifically designed in order to scare birds. 

They are commonly used by farmers who are attempting to scare away birds who would otherwise feast on recently planted crops. 

They are also used on airfields in order to prevent birds from causing a potential hazard to aircraft.


Scarecrows are commonly constructed out of straw and wood, and they are one of the oldest designs for bird control devices.

 In medieval Britain, scarecrows were young children who were tasked with standing in a field to scare birds away. 

Their responsibility was to patrol the field and keep any crows away that landed on the field. They would do this by screaming and throwing stones at the birds.

Hawk Kite

There are some natural bird species who are afraid of predators, known as bords of prey. 

This is exactly why hawk kites were designed. 

They fly above fields from poles and protect the field from above. The ideal hawk kite has the exact silhouette of a bird of prey.


There is a significant amount of research to prove that birds are laser-resistant. However, lasers are still an effective means of keeping pest birds away, especially for crops. 

Some lasers can be effective during the daytime, but generally, lasers are most effective during dawn and dusk. This is because as light levels increase, the laser’s effectiveness will slowly decrease.

This method works due to the contrast between the ambient light and the bright laser beam. This disparity causes the bird to become startled. Depending on your location, lasers over a specific power level will be illegal, so we would recommend checking this beforehand.

Dead Birds

The dead bodies of birds can be used to serve as a warning to other birds. They can be used to deter birds from a specific area where birds may be spotted. 

This is a visual scarer, and it relies on either a real carcass or a realistic model being used to signal danger to other birds. 

Pest birds will often leave once they approach the body of a dead bird and then recognise the unnatural position. You may see these used at airports to deter birds.


Balloons are a cheap method that relies on the movement of the balloons. Though birds can quickly adapt to this method, some people choose to draw eyes onto the balloons. 

Studies have shown that this increases the effectiveness of the balloons. It also counters the bird’s ability to adapt. 

Around the United Kingdom, the use of balloons is subject to approval from the Civil Aviation Authority. This is enforced especially on airfields.


Fireworks and other pyrotechnics have consistently proved to be highly effective at scaring away birds on airfields, landfill sites, agricultural crops, and aquaculture facilities. The most common form of pyrotechnics for bird control is found in the UK. Shellcrackers are fired from a modified pistol to scare birds at airports.

Radio-Controlled Aircraft

One of the most frequently used methods of bird control on airfields is radio-controlled aircraft. 

They are used to successfully keep away raptors and other large birds. These scarers have been used for over 40 years.

Bird Netting

Whenever birds damage fruit or vegetable crops, as well as seedlings, then they are considered to be pests. When birds finish pecking at one vegetable or fruit, they will move on to the next. 

This will continue endlessly, which is exactly why farmers hate birds. This is why, in order to prevent damage from being done, bird nets are installed. 

If even a tiny piece of the fruit has been bitter off, then it cannot be harvested or sold. This is because the fruit will ferment or rot and then affect the rest of the harvested crops.

Below is a list of the places where you can install and setup bird netting protection:

  • Directly onto singular stand-alone trees
  • Espaliers – grapes, apples, peaches, pears
  • Berries – cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries
  • Over the side of ventilation windows on growing tunnels

Bird Control Spikes

Installing bird control spikes on the roof of a property is a common bird control method. Also known as a roost modification or an anti-roosting spike. It is an effective solution against large bird infestations. Bird control spikes consist of long spindly rods. There are two materials available, both stainless steel and plastic.

Bird control spikes can stop feral birds from roosting in public spaces, and this is why you will commonly see them attached to building ledges, street lighting, and commercial signage. There are some pest birds that can produce huge quantities of unhygienic and unattractive faeces. 

The birds can also be very inconvenient for neighbours as the birds make very loud noises. This is why bird control spikes are so popular. They can ward birds away without causing any serious harm or killing the birds. The bird may experience a slight stabbing sensation, but at this point, they will just fly away.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds recommends using bird spikes for scaring away birds from your garden.

Mist Nets

Mist nets are very thin nets that are used for catching wild birds. From a distance, the net is virtually invisible. The net is draped across the trees in a way so that it hinders the flight path of the bird that needs to be captured. 

The nets are often used for bird ringing and should never be left without some kind of supervision. A single bird captured in the mist net is then removed as soon as possible. This is done so that the bird does not injure itself and to prevent the bird from being killed.

Do you have a problem with bird pests in Milton Keynes? If you need assistance to prevent bird pests in your home or business, please reach out to our professional team today.