Living out here off the beaten path isn't always pretty. We constantly are at odds with Mother Nature it seems sometimes. One of these areas is predators. In actuality we are a smorgasbord sitting right in the middle of the forest for many wild animals. When we first moved here we were horrified when a raccoon chewed all the legs off our chicks through the wire in the bottom of the brooder. Or the skunk cleaned out the chicken eggs for the 100th time. Or our barn cats were found half eaten by coyotes. Eventually we learned to fight back. We learned to bury wire around the perimeter of the chicken yard and turkey run to prevent them from digging under. We learned to cover the chicken yard with a mesh overhead to stop owl and hawk attacks. We learned to put cages over hens nesting on the ground at night to keep out the rats and possums. To never leave eggs in the nests overnight. To cover all feed storage containers with sturdy lids and keep all compost piles far away from these areas. The little dogs all must stay inside at night to protect them from the coyotes and we no longer even try to have cats. One of the greatest tools to prevent loss of livestock and crops is population control. There were years when we did not get one ear of corn. Even with electric fences, radios, and sprays. You name it we have tried it. Years ago O Wise One started trapping the area immediately around our house to help keep that population down. The result has been a considerable decrease in the loss of livestock and crops. An added bonus being some years we get a nice price for those pelts. We also hope that by carefully discouraging the wildlife from coming to the livestock areas by making it harder to get at the livestock and trapping every year to keep the numbers low in the immediate area that we will also discourage outbreaks of rabies, distemper, and mange that are so often found in wild populations of coyote, raccoon, possum and skunk. And especially skunk as the number of skunk seen this year have been more than we have ever seen. Reducing their numbers every year through trapping has made a huge difference in our struggle to garden and raise livestock in an isolated setting.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter