However, poop happened.
Now, I don't know if you know how much poop a pigeon produces. But when there are two at a time doing it in several consistent places where you walk... you can't help but notice and go, "Eeewwww." Now, let me be clear, I'm talking A LOT of poop. So, what started out as "Oh, look at the pigeons!" turned into, "Eeewww, watch out for the poop, don't step in it." This was followed by my clean other half hosing the dried poop off from the barn concrete floor. Our whole floor would get wet to accomplish this. Let me just say... dried piles of pigeon poop have potential in the glue industry for its adhesive properties.
So came trouble shooting. I first had the dogs regularly run in and chase the pigeons out- hoping they (the pigeons) would get sick of having to fly off while roosting. Didn't work. Poop ensued.
The following thing we thought that we would try was loud music. Our barn is hooked up with stereo and speakers are fixed above the front and back doors of the barn. Well, evidently the birds liked our music choice because poop continued.
Next, at my other half's suggestion, we closed up the whole barn; front sliding doors, back sliding doors, and all windows and the dutch doors on our stalls. Note, this was going on about July-ish... I wasn't for this plan as it meant no breeze while feeding, I repeat, no breeze... we're in Texas, nuff said.
Anyway, we did this and it seemed to work ...for a few days... until I pushed the front big barn doors open to a dark barn and a pigeon flew out over my head~ yeah, we almost had a wet barn floor again, but not from the water hose. Then, another pigeon was still in the barn and he took some time to figure out how to fly out with everything closed but the front doors... I wasn't about to go open ALL the windows and stall doors-as I'm short and cannot just open them easily. I have to use a fancy bar tool my husband designed to reach around and hook the handle~ not a quick task, so that bird just flew back and forth and drove me and the dogs nuts until he figured it out.
Sooo, after talking about our pigeon dilemma with others that had similar experiences and learning that the fake owls don't work, nor do hanging tin pans (after awhile the birds figure out there's no threat)~ we resorted to the 'final' plan... the one that we didn't want to have to have it come to. Yes, the final plan. Well, as a major animal-lover, I told my 'hadn't-hunted-an-animal-in-20-years' other half that...
... okay... do it... just please make sure you get a good shot.
I kind of put the thought out of my head for the time being, but later I inquired about his jaunt to the barn. He told me that he had the pigeon all lined up... but... the pigeon turned and looked at him, right square at him- you know, how birds tilt their head... well, he didn't shoot it. I thought that was the sweetest thing... to show that kind of reverence for animals. I told him that it was one of the sweetest things I've ever heard him say/do. And it truly was.
But, then S^*# happened... again... more.... that was all I needed (and my husband too- he was on his way). I was sick of it and, I told myself that it could be a health issue with a toddler running around (hey, it made me feel better about the whole thing). So I said, "Shoot the thing... do it fast... try not to have it suffer, but shoot it!"
So, my predator other half did the deed... twice. He almost did it three times. He thought a bird on top of the barn was a dove at first (the doves here don't roost in the barn), but it turned out to be a grey & white pigeon. We had not ever seen this bird in the barn. Regardless, the bird got lucky as my husband missed and we haven't had him anywhere near the barn since.
But, he has started coming to our bird feeder and quite frequently too... where he is supposed to visit like a good little birdie. In fact, he lets us get VERY close~ even with 2 year old daughter in tow, we have been able to get within four feet of him. Upon closer inspection, he (or she) has a band on their left leg. His name is ... 'Pigeon' and our little someone talked all about him after these pics were taken. Let's just hope he keeps his potty habits out of our notice.