How to reduce losses from birds on the farm? Oleksandr Nazarko, CEO of Global Agro Finance, shares insights:


Implementing bird deterrent methods in the summer, before birds nest in your barn during cold weather, and using predatory birds for deterrence are among the solutions that can help address bird-related issues on the farm. I share these and other insights with you below:

1. Gather data on the number of birds living on your farm.

You need to know the extent of your problem with pest birds before developing a problem management plan. The number of birds is likely highest on your farm during cold weather, as they seek warmth in buildings and a reliable food source — your cattle feed. Estimating the number of birds in a large group is not very challenging.

The method we use is counting groups of 10 birds located close to each other. Then, we mentally snapshot and estimate how many groups of 10 birds we see. This is not a perfect count, but it serves its purpose.

Additionally, it's important to know the bird species. In our practice, we have encountered farms where over 10,000 birds were registered in one day. The most common bird species were sparrows, pigeons, crows, and starlings. If you already have an approximate estimate of the bird population on your farm, you can take specific measures.

2. Conduct a cost-benefit analysis for bird-scaring.

Now is the time to assess the extent to which birds cause damage to your farm. Feed loss is the easiest way to start. If you don't have an accurate assessment, you can use our average feed loss indicator from bird consumption and spoilage, which is 4.4%. Next, try to assess any losses from bird damage to your buildings. Bird droppings can cause corrosion of building structures. These two types of damage/loss are the only ones we can truly estimate. The potential connection between pathogens present in bird droppings and the health of cows is not well enough understood for us to determine any treatment costs related to birds.

Now you have an estimate of the extent of bird damage on the farm.

3. Beware of pathogens associated with birds.

I don't have confirmed data regarding the link between cow health and birds, but we know that Campylobacter jejuni is found in the feces of wild birds. In fact, some studies have reported that up to 50% of bird fecal samples contained Campylobacter jejuni. This pathogen poses a threat to your health and the health of your cattle. You may have heard about the types of campylobacteria in connection with diseases transmitted with food.

Other potential pathogens found in bird feces, such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli (e-coli), also cause concern.

4. Implement restraint methods in the summer.

While the number of birds on your dairy farm likely peaks in cold winter weather, implementing restraint methods in the summer is key to success. Birds are as unpredictable as the weather. As soon as the first cold weather period arrives, birds start looking for a warm place to establish their winter home. This means they set up a place for their nighttime stay. Once a bird establishes its place for a sleepover, your chances of driving it out of the barn significantly decrease. 

5. Consider local predators for bird deterrence. 

Using nature to fighting birds on your farm has become one of the most effective deterrent methods I have seen on dairy farms. Check if there are predatory birds around your farm that can help you.

Hawks, eagles, falcons, and owls are predatory birds that can enhance your pest bird management. Predators will either attack or drive away most bird species.

Attracting predators to your farm can be as simple as installing perches in the field or placing appropriate nesting boxes in quiet places around the farm. This can be a significant gain, as predators will deter other birds in exchange for suitable living spaces. If this method works well on your farm, it is also considered an environmentally friendly and socially acceptable way to combat pest birds.



6. Secure all areas where birds could nest in the barn with barbed wire. Birds will be less comfortable nesting in such areas, and the likelihood of birds in the buildings will be significantly reduced.

7. Prevent birds from consuming grains and compound feed in feed mixer loading areas. Excluding each stage from the feed chain is crucial.

8. If birds consume feed from the trough/mound after feeding, cover the feed storage structures. Create a deficit in the bird feed base.

9. Provide guards with a pneumatic rifle and buy shot birds from them. While not the most humane method, it is an extremely effective one: it prevents birds from resting, ensures regular territory patrols, and over time significantly reduces the population, or birds choose a safer place for living and breeding.

All decisions are made through calculations:

⇒ The more animals you have, the faster you need to get rid of birds.

⇒ The fewer animals you have, the less right you have to lose money.

You have to fight birds, and those who fight on a regular basis, not "from time to time," will definitely succeed.

In practice, we solve a whole array of issues on our partners' farms. If you have unresolved issues or need help solving problems that keep you awake at night, call us, and we will definitely help neutralize them and adjust production for stable positive performance.


If you want to build a successful dairy business from scratch, revitalize an existing business, or need assistance in addressing challenges in your dairy farm, contact the experts at Global Agro Finance at +38 066 611 7948 or

Oleksandr Nazarko, Director of the Dairy Farm Management Department at the Advisory Center of AMP, CEO of GLOBAL AGRO FINANCE, along with his team of specialists in various aspects of dairy production, offers consulting services in Ukraine and beyond. Specifically, he specializes in areas such as audit, economic analysis, Dairy Farm Management, crisis management, development of concepts and strategies for dairy farms, and expert support during their construction. With 10 years of experience in the dairy industry.

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