A few days ago I spotted a pack of dogs roaming around in the river bottom. Usually dogs stay a fair distance away from our place but they become much bolder when travelling in packs. I watched as they roamed around a bit then started heading closer up the ridge. I suddenly realized they were heading straight up the hill and it didn’t look like they were stopping.
I ran downstairs and put on my boots, grabbed the .22 and made it outdoors just as the pack came upon our yearly. They had surrounded poor Ferdinand and were nipping and barking like they smelled fresh rib eye.
My .22 is a single shot gun I’ve had since I was twelve. It’s pretty terrible. If I’m within ten feet I can usually plink off my target but then it takes me at least twenty to thirty seconds to reload. I made an attempt to save Ferdinand and shot in the direction of the biggest dog. I think I scared him more than I injured him but the pack was off and poor Ferdinand was spooked.
It made me realized how careful we need to be on our small farm. Our chickens are running all over the place and are easy targets for the plethora of predators in the area and our cows are pretty defenseless against a gang of (take your pick from the list below).
Predators in our area include:
- Weasels (Maddox shot one last month on its way to our chicken coop)
- Cougars (one was shot up river last year by a good friend of ours)
- Bears occasionally meander down stream and feast in the river bottom
Protecting animals is one thing. The thing that really scares me is thinking of our kids out and about when any of these predators are around.
A few of the things we have done to minimize the risk of predators include:
- Bought and are training a live stock guardian dog. The dog barks all night but is still a wuss. I found the LSG dog underneath the porch after the pack of dogs incident
- Kid’s all play together. It is very rare one kid is outside by themselves
- We don’t allow the kids to go into the river bottom alone
- The chickens are locked up at dusk. The lights may still be on but the door is shut and there is no way into the coop after dark
- Looking for electric netting so we can move the chickens around without them being totally exposed
- Animals are situated fairly close to the house so when we are here we can monitor them
It’s not a great list now that I’ve read it over. I’m wondering what everyone else does to prevent against predators?