How do you keep them out of your barn and if you do end up with them, how do you get rid of them. I have heard of putting ribbons or whirlyjigs in the rafters but I would like to know what actually works before I get my new barn.
Giving them somplace else to nest might help. Put up some gourd houses. They really are good for helping with insects. They love when I bush hog and sweep back and forth in front of the tractor picking up insects that fly up. Its fun to watch.
Barn swallows are good to have around. They eat tons of mosquitos and other bugs. I know the poop piles they leave under the nests are a pain, but they are well worth it! We use to put old cardbord boxes ( beer flats) under the nest so it was easy to clean up
If I remember correctly from what my grandparents use to tell me, barn swallows are considered a sign of luck and/or prosperity to the Swedish
I have a huge colony of swallows in my barn every year. I don't love having them there, as per the poo factor, and I knock down any nests near my hay, but frankly I love what they do to the bug population, so I have ultimately (if somewhat reluctantly) decided while the pigeons get chased away, the bats and the swallows can stay. It is great fun to be followed by a flock of swooping swallows when I mow the pasture. Makes me feel a little Dr Doolittle or something. Lol
But as far as keeping them away, the only real tips I have ever gotten are as follows:
One way is to just keep knocking down the mud nests they build, and they will eventually get frustrated and move on. Note this has to be done before eggs are laid - while I doubt many people follow it, once eggs are laid, you can not harm the birds or disturb the nest, as swallows are protected by federal law.
I've also been told that placing fake rubber snakes in your barn rafters keeps them away.
A friend of mine had the best luck with painting her barn rafters with a garage-floor epoxy type paint. This might be a reasonable solution for you, since you are building a new barn from the ground up and can include this in the building plans - swallows need a rough surface for their nests to stick to. If all the rafters and such are painted with a slick coating, there is no way for the swallows to attach their nests.
I don't even have a barn for my horse. Well I do but it's run down and stuff, hasn't been widely used in 20 years when my mom used to have tons of horses. So I wouldn't really know about the barn swallow issues. But it'd be pointless to build a new one cause my mom is giving me our horse when I get on my own and I'm a senior in high school so in the next few years I will be own my own.