Classic Equine Connection

Keep unwanted wildlife out of your barn

Posted by Classic Equine Equipment Blog on Nov 10, 2021 2:00:00 PM

Now is the time of year when wildlife starts to find its way into your barn. While squirrels, mice, and birds might be enjoyable while they’re outside, when they come into your barn they become a nuisance and possible health hazard. If you need to keep wildlife out of your barn this fall and winter the following tips can help you do that!Classic Equine Equipment StallsKeep the Barn Clean

Possibly one of the best things you can do to keep wildlife out of your barn is to keep your barn clean. Strive to maintain a clean, swept, clutter free barn aisle. Make sure things such as tack boxes and equipment are stored away. Keep tack and feed room doors securely closed, limiting the hiding spaces that are available to animals.

Keep Feed Properly Stored

Wildlife will be attracted to your feed room due to the smell of your horse feed. Make sure you keep all feed properly stored in secure, rodent-proof feed bins and containers. Additionally, make sure to sweep feed room floors on a daily basis so spilled feed is not left behind. The feed room is also a good spot to lay traps for mice.

Consider Getting a Barn CatClassic Equine Equipment Blog

A barn cat can be an excellent defense against rodents. When you get a new barn cat, you will need to keep the cat in a secure room for about a month so he learns that the barn is his home and doesn’t immediately stray off. For extra rodent defense, consider getting a couple barn cats.

Some humane societies or cat adoption centers have pictures and histories of cats available for adoption. Look for cats who are marked as “barn cat only.” These cats already know the ropes of rodent housekeeping.

Sometimes cats seem to know that your barn is one that could use a cat and will just move in on their own – these are known as feral or stray cats. It’s great to help these “homeless” cats as well as obtaining a free cat but take the time to get them neutered. They can be hard to catch, but there are cat associations who can help and often provide low cost neutering. You don’t want your barn to be free of rodents, but overflowing with kittens.

Install An Owl House

If you live in “owl country,” consider installing an owl house near your barn. Owls like to build nests in trees with great views of open land (where mice often hang out). If you don’t have a tree handy, install an owl house on your property. Owls are great mouse removers and, whatever get away from the cats, will usually be scooped up by an owl.

Classic Equine Horse StallsKeep Stalls Clean

Make an effort to clean your horse’s stall first thing in the morning. Sweep up any loose shavings, and pick up any discarded hay or grain. Keeping stalls clean leaves less feed around to attract wildlife.

Use Horse Feeders

Try to minimize the amount of feed left in your horse’s stall. Horse feeders can reduce the amount of feed your horse spills by providing him with a larger area to eat. Also Try to avoid feeding your horse from the floor while in his stall.

Secure Barn End Doors

Being able to completely close your barn can help keep wildlife out. Check your barn end doors to make sure they are appropriately sized and that they close completely and securely – this will also be important as winter sets in and you need to keep snowstorms out.

Keeping wildlife out of your barn during this time of year can take some effort, but will result in a healthier atmosphere for both humans and horses!

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