Starlings...how can I discourage them?

DDRanch

Songster
12 Years
Feb 15, 2008
1,189
23
202
California
This summer I have been plagued with starlings.....in and out of my coop and run eating food and soiling the waters.

I have 4 inch wire for my run and they can easily get thru that. My coop has 2 chicken doors for the girls to go in and out at will so the starlings come into the coop thru those doors. I have to have some access for the hens from the pen into the coop, so I can't really close those doors.

I keep the feed in the coop. Water is inside coop and outside in the run.

What can I do to discourage them from entering my coop and run WITHOUT using lethal methods? Any advise would be appreciated.
 

Gallo del Cielo

La Gallina Resort & Spa
9 Years
May 6, 2010
5,230
429
306
Tucson
My Coop
Wild birds certainly can be a problem if you free-range and have to leave doors open for the chickens to return to lay eggs. We also had a big problem with wild birds getting into the food and water. A few simple changes to my arrangement eliminated wild birds from my coop. I started by making a visual barrier to the interior of the coop with strips of shade cloth. Any variety of materials would work, but the key is in how you install it to train your chickens to use the door and not be frightened of it. This helped keep out all birds except sparrows. They were still able to weave their way through the strips. Perhaps heavier material would have stopped that.




The 1" X 2" welded wire that I used on my coop also allowed sparrows to move freely in and out so I covered that wire with 1/2" hardware cloth. After these two modifications and removing the food from the coop, I have not seen a wild inside the coop in two years or more.


The best thing I did to keep wild birds from the food was to make a treadle feeder. Once the chickens were trained to use it, it completely eliminated access to the food by wild birds. You can find plans on how to make the one below in my sig. line. There are also a number of commercial versions available.






Finally, I'd recommend switching to nipple waterers. It's a cheap and easy fix for soiled waterers and eliminates wild birds from drinking from the same source as your chickens. You can read in more detail about how I tackled my wild bird problem about half-way down on "My Coop" page. Good luck!
 

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