Guard animals on the farm vs shooting problem animals yourself?

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posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 08:16 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 



Cost for 330 feet of fence: $190 for the wire


My fence is just as much to keep the dogs in (and other dogs and critters out) also, so have to go more with a grid. The panels are just a bit cheaper (per foot) than an equivalent roll of grid fencing. Also, since they are rigid, they don't require the stretcher. I also have a lot of existing chain link fencing too, and the stretcher is good for repairs on it (I have a couple of actual stretchers). All of the trees around me are way too large (mostly oak) to make good posts from easily, but that's a great idea if you have the right trees. I usually don't need to use concrete on the posts, as they are about 3 1/2 to 4 feet in the ground, but yeah, I do use concrete for corners and for posts that have a gate hanging on them.

I even turned a corral panel I had into a gate (just added hinges and a latch). I had some left over grid wire (roll) from another project, which I then used (just cut it and attached with wire) to make the gate dog-proof (to keep them out of the horse areas).




posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 09:49 AM
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reply to post by nake13

my point was that we have the capacity, as individuals, to rationalise our relationship with the natural world

It depends on what you consider rationalization.

In an earlier post, you suggested we are able to "tweak" nature; that simply is not possible. That is arrogance. It is the attempted "tweaking" of nature, or perhaps it could be considered "rationalizing" nature, that has led to the decay of the inner cities.

Nature decrees two basic principles: nothing is ever wasted and everything attempts to survive. Those two principles can never be broken, no matter how deeply one contemplates their relationship with nature. If I place food out for an animal, that food will not be wasted; it will be eaten by something. That something will be whatever is best suited to be able to eat it, and in the world of predator/prey, that means the animal that is the strongest, the fastest, or the smartest.


I choose to ensure that my chickens are kept secure, both by building a suitable enclosure for them and by putting out dog food and water for the foxes

What you have done may work now, but the side effect is that the foxes are now attracted to your place. That is their feeding ground, and they will continue to come there to feed. They are not appreciative of the food you put out; they are simply taking advantage of free food. The more a predator eats, the better that predator can reproduce, so soon you will have a population explosion of foxes. All of those foxes are going to be hungry too, and since your place is their feeding ground, they will be looking for food there.

This does not include other predators that will find the food as well. Weasels, possums, dogs from the neighborhood, coyotes... all of them want to eat too, and since food is available at your place, they will begin to eat there as soon as they find it. That food is an open invitation for as many predators as can possibly find it. You might even pick up a bobcat or cougar before all is said and done.

Now, what do you think will happen as the predator population increases and the food supply is kept steady? The predators will be hungry again. But that's not a problem for them, because there's more food there: your chickens. It may be a little more work to get through the wire, but sooner or later it will happen, and you will no longer have chickens. You will still have foxes, though, probably for years to come.

My neighbor used to have a commercial chicken house a half-mile from me. It took about six months of operation before the coyotes moved in. I can't say they weren't here before, but we hadn't seen them before. They were drawn to his chicken house, and we had to kill quite a few coyotes as they were killing other domestic animals... including some of the smaller pet dogs around. The chicken house is long gone now (the poor guy died a while back), but we still have quite a few coyotes around.

My chickens are well-fenced, but they still manage to break out now and then. So far we have not lost a single one to predators (knock on wood!), but I attribute that to the two dogs and me with a gun. We also have rabbits, a goat, and a sheep. Coyotes can kill any one of those (although I think the goat would be a challenge), and thus I kill every coyote that shows up. The ones who stay away get to live.

The foxes I know of live a little ways down the mountain. They have never bothered the chickens, probably because of the dogs, and thus there is no reason to hurt them. Possums are killed whenever they show up; they are extremely destructive, potentially dangerous, and one of the prime carriers of rabies in this area. Coons are left alone as long as they leave us alone, and the dogs, again, see that they leave us alone.

Should we have an animal get sick and die, we make a special effort to haul the dead animal up to the top of the mountain, far away from our place. Why? Because something is going to eat it, and we don't want that something to get the idea that our place is a feeding ground. That way it doesn't try to eat our animals and we don't have to kill it. It's the same reason zoos have "Do Not Feed The Animals" signs up; they're not there because the zoos are just afraid of what we'll feed them. They're there because people feeding predators teaches the predators that people equal feeding time, and sooner or later someone without food to appease them will become food. That's rationalizing nature... understanding how nature really works and living within those rules. Not trying to change the rules nature follows because we don't like how they work.

Our way works, and has worked since people have lived here. Your way has worked since you had chickens. Good luck; you will need all the luck you can get.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 10:00 AM
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reply to post by Gazrok

There are advantages to having the panels, but I don't know about cheaper. You mentioned earlier a cost of $400 for 180 feet, compared to $200 for 330 feet. And that is for grid wire, with the added advantage of smaller grids at the bottom to keep smaller critters out. Home Depot calls it "field fence."

Oak does not make good fence posts. Oak is strong wood, but oak will rot after only a few years. That's why we use cedar or poplar; neither of them rot easily (and neither does cypress if you have cypress trees). Oversize isn't that big of an issue either; most of our posts are anywhere from 6-12" in diameter, and larger trees can be sawn into quarters (local sawmill will do it cheap) if needed.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 

The last sentence in your post just sums up human ignorance or, more accurately, resistance to change, we have always done it this way therefore any alternative is wrong. I sincerely hope that we can evolve from this mind set sooner rather than later, while we still have a richly bio diverse planet to enjoy.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 11:57 AM
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reply to post by nake13

Change is not always a good thing.

Evolution cannot happen outside of natural laws.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 12:22 PM
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Originally posted by nake13
reply to post by TheRedneck
 

The last sentence in your post just sums up human ignorance or, more accurately, resistance to change, we have always done it this way therefore any alternative is wrong. I sincerely hope that we can evolve from this mind set sooner rather than later, while we still have a richly bio diverse planet to enjoy.



And.... Thinking that we can isolate ourselves from the laws of nature, and entertaining the idea of “tweaking” nature is the height of human arrogance.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by Mr Tranny

Originally posted by nake13
reply to post by TheRedneck
 

The last sentence in your post just sums up human ignorance or, more accurately, resistance to change, we have always done it this way therefore any alternative is wrong. I sincerely hope that we can evolve from this mind set sooner rather than later, while we still have a richly bio diverse planet to enjoy.



And.... Thinking that we can isolate ourselves from the laws of nature, and entertaining the idea of “tweaking” nature is the height of human arrogance.


I didn't suggest isolating ourselves from the laws of nature, and by "tweaking" nature, I was referring to our ability to rationalise our relationship with the natural world by modifying OUR behaviour toward the environment and other species.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 12:59 PM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 



You mentioned earlier a cost of $400 for 180 feet, compared to $200 for 330 feet


That was total cost for everything. The grid panels are basically $1 a foot (but sold as 18' panels for $18). I buy cedar posts (none growing wild around me, so that cost is factored in, as was the 150' gate, etc.)


I bartered a roll of gridwire from someone that I'll use to fence in the garden area we're doing....(and I still have a spare gate I can use). All I'll have to buy for it are the posts.....


That's something else I find we do a lot of here in the country.....barter....

If I put out any kind of food like one poster mentioned, I'd find nothing but a bunch of raccoons and possums there every night...
That is really going to come back and bite you when you find a hole in the coup and a bunch of bloody feathers left.
edit on 7-8-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 01:01 PM
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Originally posted by nake13
I didn't suggest isolating ourselves from the laws of nature, and by "tweaking" nature, I was referring to our ability to rationalise our relationship with the natural world by modifying OUR behaviour toward the environment and other species.


And what point does that rationalization serve beyond our own little egos? Nature does not give a flying fudge if we have “rationalized” it. It will not act differently because we modify our behavior in some vain attempt to try to help it. All it does is allow people to feel better about themselves when they can’t handle the harsh realities of life.

As I stated before, it’s an act of pure self delusion.



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 01:10 PM
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reply to post by nake13

Modifying our behavior toward nature is not a new idea. It is a very old idea, actually, and has existed at least as far back as my grandfather. It just wasn't taken quite so seriously quite so often back then.

Here's my observation of modifying our relationship with nature:

Every year or so, one of the houses continually for sale around here will be bought. Someone will move in it from the city, thinking they just got a wonderful deal. They did, but they are usually just not fully cognizant of the deal they got.

They will move in and try out some of those new and improved ideas about how to live in harmony with nature. It's not long until their initial joy at the fresh air, the lack of crime, and the scenery degrade into a realization that things aren't what they expected. I have seen some of them try feeding the predators too. Every single time it ends with them having to call for help from their neighbors to put down a ton of animals, or they simply give up and go back to the city leaving that infestation for someone else to quietly clean up to protect their own place. Every single time. Never has this approach worked, in over a hundred years, it has always failed.

They also decide that all animals are precious and should be repelled solely with organic repellants. That works for a little while, then they walk out to that garden they are so excited about finally growing and nothing is left but bare ground... the deer and the rabbits ate it all. Every bit. The grass around the garden will often be untouched. Of course, people around here will usually take a little pity on them and bring them some harvest from the gardens that were protected properly, as long as these particular slickers aren't overly obnoxious.

The worst ones are those who also decide they know better than those who live here how they should run their own place... and anti-gun fanatics are some of the worst. Around here, we mind our own business, and that means if I hear a gun go off down the road, it's none of my business. But of course, these slickers like to think it is their business, and I have seen more than one run off a man's property at gunpoint for crying about him shooting a predator.

I know, I know.... we're all just a bunch of hicks and old fogies who need to progress into the 21st century of enlightenment.


Problem is, we are in the 21st century, and we see everything you do. We just see it from a different perspective. Our perspective is one of learning throughout our lives how to handle ourselves in a way that provides the greatest return for the least investment in time and energy. We also practice real conservation. This mountain I live in has stood for over a hundred years and is today as pristine as it was back then. We have just as many critters: wild rabbits, deer, squirrels, groundhogs, coons, possums, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, and the occasional black bear and mountain lion (cougar, puma, whatever). We have doves, quail, hawks, eagles, buzzards, and more varieties of songbirds than I can count, all in abundance.

And we still kill problem predators.

We also have so much food from the gardens every year that you can't visit a neighbor without bringing back a couple of bags of fresh produce. I have about 30 eggs in my fridge right now, each one at least as large as a jumbo in the store, and each one so rich that it makes those store-bought eggs taste like cardboard. I have meat in the freezer, mainly venison, but if I want beef, there's a ranch with a few thousand head of cattle a mile away.

Ask him about dealing with predators. He makes his living doing it, and a fairly respectable living at that based on the amount of equipment he owns outright.

I repeat, IT WORKS! You can worry about how we should change what works all day long, but I can find enough things that don't work to fix without trying to fix the things that do work. That is progress; changing things that already work fine just for the sake of change is not progress... futility maybe, regression more likely.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 01:30 PM
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reply to post by Gazrok

Barter and salvage...

The chicken house I am trying to find time to build is going to be made of an old wooden fence. I knew the guy and when I saw it all piled up in front of his house for the garbage, I just asked if he minded me getting it instead. Of course he didn't, and I borrowed a truck to take two loads of lumber to the house. The pile I left for the garbage would have fit easily in the little garbage cans they use.

I had a guy a few years ago call me up and ask if I wanted some lumber. He said he had some "20' 2x4s" which turned out to be half a truck load of 5/4 x 6 decking lumber ranging form 12 to 16' lengths. I paid $40 for the whole lot, and he even brought it to my place. Two weeks later I had a nice new front porch to replace the stoop that was literally falling apart.

Heck, my father built the house I grew up in with scrap he got from tearing down a department store so the owner could build a new one. That house still stands and has actual real hardwood floors throughout; the building was old and primarily oak.

I've traded some welding for getting the yard mowed, and computer repair for food, both just this year. Now I'm talking to a guy about trading an old 4-wheeler I bought for $100 and am fixing for a small tractor.

That's how we do what we do out here: barter, salvage, and hard work.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 01:38 PM
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As a recent city transplant (I've lived on my ranch for a year now), I can back up everything said above.... I came into it knowing that I had a LOT to learn. Luckily, I had plenty of new friends and neighbors to advise me. I also made sure to get to know folks at my local feed and hardware stores, as they've seen it all.

The one overlying factor I've found about life in the country is that EVERYTHING is done for a reason...everything has it's purpose. No matter how insignificant something may seem (the shape of a tool, the way something goes together), it all makes perfect sense once you get why it is done that way.

Since moving here, I've learned a lot about animal husbandry (we have a veritable menagerie), and I've learned how to fix a lot of things myself. I've done carpentry, general construction, plumbing, electrical work, and landscaping all since moving here, and I've loved every project (or repair). I can easily see how the country life is not for everyone (especially if you like sleeping in....luckily, I always wake up at 6am, alarm or no alarm), but I'm really enjoying it, and look forward to it for a long time to come. Nothing shows you how close you are to nature out here like looking up at night and actually being able to see the stars. Out here, nature has its rules, and no matter how you THINK they should be....nature has very particular ideas about how they ARE.



That's how we do what we do out here: barter, salvage, and hard work.


Yep, the bunny hutch we got recently was through barter. Needed a roof, so I just used one of the spare sheet metal panels we have for repairing the stables' roofs. Just needed a little snipping, and it fits wonderfully and keeps the bunnies dry.
edit on 7-8-2013 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 7 2013 @ 06:02 PM
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reply to post by tigershark1988
 


Nothing more than a loud honk?

I know a good hard goose bite is no fun. . . . particularly in some places!



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 02:53 AM
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I'm still laughing at the idea of feeding predators.

Do you know what a badger is?????

If you feed badgers.... you're just going to be ett up with badgers!

And the whole "don't shoot it unless you intend to eat it" line is such pure D crap. Have a badger sandwich; if you don't die of trichinosis, I'll serve you all the badger stew and badger sausage you can choke down. Badgers have glands like a skunk, and can smell almost as bad, you see. Howabout another slice of badger pie?

Man could not extinctify the Badger even if he wanted to; and yet they will still be here after humans are extinct.

I have shot a rabid skunk before; and I wouldn't eat that for anything.


Some of you have grown up watching disney cartoons, and think you know about the real world just because you went camping 20 years ago and saw a real live deer.

Nothing like going broke in the livestock business to improve your aim!


Lotsa luck. You're gonna need it.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 06:18 AM
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reply to post by tovenar
 

Well I've certainly learned a lot from some of the posts by livestock/smallholding owners here, mainly that they have one of the worst cases of self-righteousitis outside of a Jehovah's witness convention, that I've ever seen.

The this is my land and ain't no varmint a gettin' in attitude cracks me up, your land? a purely human concept definitely not in keeping with the natural order that you purport to uphold. And I see that you managed to get the blame the badger reference in ,nice one!, have you even looked at the evidence for the spread of bovine TB(for example),as being the preserve of the badger?, not a single shred of verifiable scientific evidence for it.

Anyway, I have foxes and cats to feed, got to keep on the right side of these ferocious predators after all!



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 07:33 AM
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reply to post by Mr Tranny
 
My brother has sheep, and they are either in a fenced field or the barn. He has border collies to herd them and guardian dogs to protect them from predators...generally coyotes. He won't shoot a coyote as they are territorial and the local gang have come to leave the sheep alone as they are intimated by the (huge) dogs. If he shoots the coyotes, a new pack will move in with a new alpha male that is going to cause a lot of grief until it, too, gets sorted out by the dogs.

Right now a mixture of fear and respect all round does the trick...and the sheep remain oblivious. Hmmm - now THAT'S got a familiar ring.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 10:09 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck

That's not the first time I have heard of something like that, and it does make sense... the coyotes will kill any predator that encroaches into their territory and the dogs keep the coyotes at bay. Essentially two layers of protection... nice solution!



Right now a mixture of fear and respect all round does the trick...and the sheep remain oblivious. Hmmm - now THAT'S got a familiar ring.





TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 10:22 AM
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reply to post by tovenar

I don't think we have badgers around here, and from the sound of your post I'm glad we don't.

Just keep laughing... whenever I see something like the fox-feeding project being posted, I have two purposes in replying: the first is to obviously let the person know the consequences of what they are doing, as I can only assume they are oblivious to those consequences. Everyone has to learn sometime, and it's easy to forget that. But when they simply don't want to acknowledge the future results of their actions, it becomes more of a chance to educate others who are reading. There are a lot of people out there, like Gazrok, who want to leave the mess society has created and get back to nature, and they have to learn too. So if I let something go without debating it, I am letting every reader believe that this is the correct way. If I refute it, and especially if others also refute it, readers get the whole story and hopefully won't make the same mistakes.

In this case... hey, it's his land and his chickens. He has the knowledge now and it is up to him to use it or not. That's another thing about country life... we don't force ourselves on each other. We offer advice and move on. My advice, and the advice of many others with experience, has been offered.

TheRedneck



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 10:36 AM
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reply to post by TheRedneck
 


Of course you are right.

On a serious level, the advocate of feeding the predators does not appreciate that the predator has selective pressure on it, every bit as much as the prey does. The food pyramid is remarkably shallow, as far as ratio of hunter to prey goes.

An example is the relative populations of cottontails and coyotes. The interplay between the two causes a mushrooming rabbit population; followed by a bust, once the coyote breed enough mouths to eat nearly all of those rabbits. Once the rabbit population collapses, there is SERIOUS pressure on the coyotes---the slow, the inept, and the sick will be heavily selected against.

Such happens with just about every predator population that has been studied.

If you feed the predators to a degree that makes a difference in their survival, then you are also removing pressure on them, which results in less competitive individuals reproducing and taking up the food supply. You wind up with too many slower, smaller predators, who nevertheless prevent the competitive individuals from getting enough food to sustain themselves. When the predator populations collapses, the WHOLE pop does so, fit and unfit alike.... and predators usually have a slower breeding cycle.

I'd much sooner advocate for feeding the prey population, be they deer or rabbits, that doing so the predator population, and risking an overpopulation followed by collapse.

Badgers be crazy.



posted on Aug, 8 2013 @ 01:40 PM
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reply to post by tovenar

And you're right as well. I alluded to that above where I mentioned that sometimes the slickers who come out here to live will try exactly what we are discussing, and the result is that the entire population of predators has to be destroyed before they either die slow painful deaths of disease and starvation or they virtually wipe out the prey species.

Man interfering with something he really has no control over... like tuning a Swiss watch with a chainsaw and a sledgehammer.

BTW, we are now starting to get armadillos here, and I hear they carry some nasty diseases too. I'm still learning about them. So far the only thing I know for sure about them is they're no better at crossing the roads than the possums are. lol:

"Why did the chicken cross the road?"
"To show the possum it could be done."

TheRedneck





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