Why are so many of you killing wildlife??

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by darbydog, Nov 30, 2014.

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  1. darbydog

    darbydog In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2014
    I'm shocked that so many of you have not taken the time to build predator proof chicken pens and instead seem to feel trapping and killing wildlife is a reasonable way to protect your chickens. As a predator friendly rancher who raises cattle and other livestock around mountain lions, coyotes and more, I find all this trapping unnecessary.
    There are so many effective non lethal options to protect pets and livestock that are cheaper, more effective and more humane than waging a never ending war on wildlife. A simple google search of predator proof chicken coops reveals tons of options and coupled with predator deterrent lights (Predator Guards, Nite Guards, Foxlights--there's tons of different brands and they have been proven effective in situations ranging from protecting livestock from snow leopards in Nepal to protecting crops from Elephants in Africa). or motion activated sprinklers, guardian dogs, electric fencing etc.. With so many effective options available to us today, there is simply NO excuse for the indiscriminate killing of wildlife to protect pets and livestock.
    Raccoons, coyotes, bobcats, skunks, opossums etc all perform important ecological benefits to ranch lands and neighborhoods. A single coyote can eat 1800 rodents a year, and the rest are no slouches at this either. Skunks too eat tons of mice as well as yellow jacket nests spiders etc, making these animals great, free, eco friendly pest control services for those of us wise enough to learn to live peacefully with them.
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  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. .....

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
  3. katbriar

    katbriar Songster

    Dec 15, 2012
    Northern New Mexico
    My father taught me that prevention was the best precaution because whenever conditions were right to support wild animals in the first place there would always be a new one move in to replace the one killed or removed.
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  4. KGreene

    KGreene In the Brooder

    Aug 23, 2014
    If I were to guess, I'd say $$ would be in the top 3 reasons. The cost (for me) to reload a shell is about .37 cents, as opposed to $25- hundreds of dollars in 'deterrents'.

    My reason is that many of the predators around my area can and have become quite bold, even to the point of attacking children, specifically coyotes (bears are becoming more and more less weary of humans). I've literally had to kick coons and possums away from cat/dog food bowls on the patio after several times of "scaring" them away and, eventually shot them for the same. Although, my coop/run is pretty much critter proofed, these predators continue to hang around...Hoping to catch an easy meal I suppose. I'll NOT take the chance of one of one of my grandchildren being attacked. I prefer to eliminate any potential problems rather than going around the issue and hoping for the best.

    But that's just me... To each his/her own.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2014
  5. emmyeagle

    emmyeagle Chirping

    Jun 18, 2014
    Central New Mexico
    When a hungry coyote decides to jump my 6 foot fences to get to my livestock....he's got to go. Same with loose dogs. My secure coop is inside 3 different fencelines.
  6. Once you have seen a pack of coyotes attack a birthing cow in a field and rip the calf out of her then pull it apart fighting over it or the bodies of several chickens with their heads pulled off even though they are in a predator proof pen (chicken run inside another run inside an enclose free range with electric fencing, buried 1/4 inch fence fabric and covered) because raccoons are really clever and persistent creatures, or a bobcat climb a tree, jump 10-15 feet across open space onto a metal roof of a metal barn and pull roofing up to get to the goats inside...you realize that predator proofing only works to a point. The final (and I emphasize final) solution is the more permanent solution...eliminate the predator. We here in West Texas do not like to kill any wild animal any more than anyone anywhere. But, we do take our responsibility to our livestock seriously and will take whatever measures are required in order to fulfill that responsibility.
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  7. torilovessmiles

    torilovessmiles Songster

    Sep 19, 2014
    Central West Virginia
    In my area, bears are very scared of people and rarely come near the house or coop. The rooster calls the alarm over birds of prey, signaling hens to duck in the brush for cover. Most predators are easy to take care of.
    Opossums? They're a nuisance. There are too many of them where I live, and there have been recent (severe) rabies outbreaks among raccoons within the past 5 years. There was a local alert about it. Some of these animals are not afraid and will attack people. The area I live also has a large population of wild coyote-dog hybrids, which are often larger than the typical eastern coyote, but with the coyote's cunning mind and aggression.
    At any given night, the forest is alive with howling, from one ridge to the other, so there is no lack of wild dogs/coyotes. It's quite beautiful and eerie to hear. As long as they stay in the hills, I am okay with them. But when they start getting gutsy and going after my chickens (which live right next to my house), it's not long before they could attack a local child. A predator that is unafraid of people needs to die. It's the unfortunate truth, and the reason why people need to stop feeding wildlife.
    That said, I have respect for the wildlife. I always, always will try to scare an animal away first, rather than shoot it. I chose to live in the country, so I'm living on their turf. We hunt, taking what we need from the wild and no more, and otherwise kill only when we see the animal as a threat to ourselves.
  8. darbydog

    darbydog In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2014
    Really? How many kids have been attacked by coyotes there? Attacks are so incredibly rare that they normally make the national news and I haven't heard a thing about this.
    Killing animals for simply being seen is, frankly, irrational.
    Wild animals aren't lurking to eat your grandchildren. Your grandchildren have a far greater chance of being attacked by a neighbors dog, or for that matter, their own dog, than they do from a wild animal.
    What a great lesson it would be to teach them children the benefits that wild animals provide to ecosystems and the intrinsic value that nature brings to our lives. Instead of teaching them wild animals are to be feared and killed, they could instead learn how to respect and enjoy them from a distance.
    And shooting is not a more cost effective method to protect property. Nature hates a void and thus compensates by creating a 'vacuum effect' in which territory that is opened after the death of an animal is immediately filled by another. Killing requires an endless cycle of killing just to maintain the status quo.
    However with open minds and a little tolerance, humane and effective solutions are possible.
    Humans not only can, but should, learn to share the land with the wild animals that were here first.
    2 people like this.
  9. darbydog

    darbydog In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2014
    Coy dogs are almost unheard of and let me explain why. Dogs breed year around while female coyotes only come into heat once a season. Even if a female coyote and a dog found each other while a female was in season, the resulting pups would unlikely survive. Coyotes mate for life and the males share equally in raising the pups. The prior seasons siblings often help as well. Even with all this help, most coyote pups don't survive their first year. Male dogs don't participate in raising their young and a single coyote successfully raising coydog pups, is very very rare. Coywolves are more common due to their similar mating cycles and social structures, but it still only occurs in areas where man has caused packs to fracture due to hunting. Yellowstone for instance, where coyotes and wolves live closely together has never had a coywolf born. This is because the packs are relatively stable due to the lack of hunting.
    Also, coyotes howls are meant to sound like there are many more coyotes in a pack then there really is. Two coyotes can sound like a half dozen. Just a trick they use to sound big and bad to coyotes outside of their packs.
    Although you might think that 'there are 'too many opossums' that is not a very scientific designation. Opossums do much good for us. They are great hunters of rats and mice as well as snakes and incests. Due to their low body temperatures, they almost never get rabies and despite their looks, they are incredibly gentle animals that will avoid a fight whenever possible.
    As far as rabies, people panic about any mention of rabies but the truth is, it is an incredibly rare disease. The only way to determine whether an animal has rabies is to cut off their head for testing. a The symptoms of rabies and distemper are almost identical, yet every time a person sees a wild animal out during the day or behaving strangely they assume that its rabid.
    Rabies is a very fragile virus that does not survive outside the host, so even if someone somehow manages to get bitten by a rabid animal, simply washing the wound often is enough to kill the virus.
    So, kill if you feel like you must, but at least know the facts first.
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  10. darbydog

    darbydog In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2014
    Actually I'm glad you brought this up because my husband and I are cattle ranchers. We raise 300 mother cows using only non lethal livestock protection methods. Our cows calve in pastures with coyote packs and in areas with mountain lions and we rarely lose animals to predations.
    In fact, we value and appreciate the predators for the free pest control they bring to our pastures and without the coyotes, our ground squirrel populations would swell. Also the presence of predators makes us better ranchers. They force us to keep a closer eye on our stock which helps us catch things we might otherwise might miss like calving problems or sick animals that need to be doctored.
    We have had the occasional attack but it is very rare. I even saw a golden eagle chasing one of our calves ( one far to big for it to kill) across the hills. Don't know what that was all about, but I do know that even if we killed every predator we came across, we would still suffer an occasional loss, so we consider it the cost of doing business.
    Overall though, predators have proven to be much better neighbors that the vast majority of humans I have lived next to.
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