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Liz P

fencing and predator control options

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35 acre farm in the mountains. Known predators in the area are coyote, black bear, mountain lion, bobcat and grey wolf (recently sighted by neighbors who raise sheep and goats). Perimeter fence has contained sheep in the past, but I'll need to bring in goats to take care of some areas that are overgrown with brush. There are holes that a goat could slip through. I thought I might concentrate the goats in overgrown areas with electronet, then sell them off and bring in sheep. This is very steep terrain (think Scottish highlands).

 

A guard dog is probably not feasible given the proximity to other small farms, tourists who like to pick up loose dogs and the highway. Would strands of hot wire on the existing fence keep out the hungry beasts? Or maybe I could build a night pen with 6 ft fence and put hot wire on that?

 

Thoughts and advice appreciated.

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HI Liz

 

I take it you are moved :)

 

Why, oh why do we not have pictures????????????

 

Why, oh why do we not have a detailed discription??????????????????

 

We need to know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

:PB):rolleyes::PB):rolleyes:

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Hi Liz,

 

I'm familiar with the general area of your new stomping grounds, and I know of one documented gray wolf kill not too far from you (Shelburne). The wolf, a young male, was killed.

 

Multiwire electric fence will not provide adequate protection from your two main threats: domestic dogs, and the Eastern coyote (which is probably a red wolf hybrid). Both will find ways through seven strands, even with 8,000 volts on them -- at least they did in Amherst.

 

It may work for a while, but when it fails it will fail suddenly and permanently, so you might as well have something else in place from the get-go.

 

FWIW, I think you'll find that your sheep, if managed correctly, will do as good a job as goats on your brush.

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I understand what you are saying about the guard dogs...but....you may want to research some other less used types: ie: Mastiffs, etc. Helmut Lang, an often contributor to Countryside Magazine seems to have a situation similar to yours and has tried many things to combat predators. He approaches the issue from a very matter of fact, practical attitude and has had relative success with his efforts. If you can't find any of his articles, let me know and I'll send you some of my SHEEP and/or Countryside Magazines so you can read about his sorrows and solutions.

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Just did a google for Helmut Lang and discovered there is a designer or something similar to that with the same name. The Helmut Lang I'm referring to is not the more "noted" one on google. Try Countrysidemagazine.com

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Oh, whew. Correction again: www.countrysidemag.com

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Yes, I've moved into my new place. I don't have internet connection yet, so I check my mail when I can. Don't expect a fast reply. ;) I will flood everyone with pictures as soon as I get a new camera.

 

Bill, do you mean sheep should take care of the brush if I contain them in those areas and force them to eat it? I was going to buy some buck kids from a dairy and use them for brush control. I don't think I want to overwinter anything this year so was going to invest my money in quality ewe lambs in the spring.

 

Everyone in my neighborhood has given up on guard dogs because they keep getting picked up by tourists or hit by cars. They have all built barns or other structures and put up their stock at night. They also walk their dogs around their pastures at night so they will mark the area and discourage predators. I've been doing that for the past week; walking my dogs around the pasture at sunset.

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I also would not be confident in depending solely on fencing. As Bill said, it will be effective for a time and then you will have problems. It is much easier to stop the predator problems from starting than to stop them once they start.

 

As suggested a donkey or llama might be a solution, but I cannot imagine a tourist even trying to pick up one of my lgds or one of my lgds being caught and taken away by a tourist. Maybe if they were carrying a 22 with them... The right dog and the right fencing will be effective against predators and tourists.

 

gail

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Liz if you got serious about bonding a dog it might work. Then electrify your fence to keep the dog in too. My neighbor might have a litter of Anatolians upcoming.

 

Elec fencing helps and there is only one type of fence that will keep a goat in!

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Hi Liz,

 

Yes, sheep will control brush. They can't reach quite as high as dairy goats, but otherwise they are at least as effective and easier to contain. But if you are looking for short-term stock and have access to goats, then you should give them a try. The problem you're going to run into with dairy bucklings is that the dairies will want to get rid of them pretty early on, and they may not suit your purpose until they are older.

 

Do you know what kind of brush you're trying to clear out? Glossy buckthorn is a pretty common invasive often found at the margins of fields. While you can control it with sheep, we never found a way eradicate it by grazing. We were running stocking densities as high as 500,000 pounds per acre, but it refoliates so quickly that the best we could achieve was stem mortality, not plant mortality. However, a little bit of glysophate goes a long ways with it.

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Claudia: Your ass is rather old and flabby, but still very sweet and fun to kiss. I just wish it wasn't so hard to get moving.

 

Bill: No idea. Some sort of weed with a thick green stalk and leaves that come right off the stem. It's taller, maybe 3 ft or so? Then there are assorted saplings, some briar bushes and other weeds.

 

Right now I am starting to lean towards building a night enclosure (shed), but I want to do some more research first.

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Claudia: Your ass is rather old and flabby, but still very sweet and fun to kiss. I just wish it wasn't so hard to get moving.

 

Bill: No idea. Some sort of weed with a thick green stalk and leaves that come right off the stem. It's taller, maybe 3 ft or so? Then there are assorted saplings, some briar bushes and other weeds.

 

Right now I am starting to lean towards building a night enclosure (shed), but I want to do some more research first.

 

 

:lol::P:lol:

 

My Ass thanks you :lol: and yes, I like old and flabby but sweet :D

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