Predators

Homesteading in the mountains means a large variety of predators to contend with.  We have found that defensive measures are the best way to keep our losses to predators minimal. We build our livestock housing as sturdy as possible, bury wire around all fencing to prevent digging in, close all animals in from dusk to dawn, and we have an excellent farm guardian dog living with the livestock as well.
Despite all our defense strategies sometimes predators win. Today was one of those days. We had another aerial attack on a chicken. Earlier this year we put up a “web” of fishing line above the barnyard after losing two chickens to an aerial predator and we have gone months without problems. But today it came down through one of the larger gaps of the “web” and attacked Ginger, our only Wyandotte and my son’s “pet” chicken. The guard dog, Tundra, went after it, saving Ginger from it. There is also evidence that the dog might have injured the predator. Unfortunately, Ginger’s wounds were too extensive and we had to put her out of her suffering.
We will be keeping the chickens in their pen until we can put up some more line to tighten the “web” above the barnyard.
Not two hours later the kids saw a glimpse of something moving across the yard. They said they barely saw it before it went out of sight but it looked like a big shaggy brown dog. I instantly knew it was the bear that has been hanging around lately. He was headed towards the barnyard when the kids saw him so I headed that way with the gun. We shoot into the ground and yell to scare bears off.  Between Tundra going at the bear aggressively through the fence and my noise he ran off pretty quickly.
Quite an exhausting day on the farm as far as predator protection goes. But just another day homesteading in the Rockies.

One thought on “Predators

  1. Our place is up near Allenspark and I know we have a lot of predators up there. Trying to figure out how to keep bunnies, chickens, and goats out of the paws and maws of aerial and terrestrial predators is quite a challenge. We’re thinking of putting some sort of covering like chicken wire or possibly something solid over the area we plan to keep them in (next to our barn) as well as burying the chicken wire about a foot deep for the digging variety. We also have a dog, too, and are not afraid to take a shotgun to someone looking a free meal. Definitely sounds like an exciting time! Sorry about the pet chicken. 😦

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