Every farmer knows how much of a risk predators pose. There are few things in this world as devastating as waking up one morning to find carnage on your hobby farm—especially if you rely on your livestock to feed your family or make a living. Predators both large and small can wreak havoc on your farm and cause serious losses. If you want your farm to stay successful, you must implement a proper defense against the predators in your area. Keep your livestock and your profits safe with these tips for how to protect your hobby farm from predators.
Know Your Enemy
The more you know about the animals preying on your livestock, the easier it is to build effective defenses. If you put up a chain-link fence but hawks pose the biggest threat to your animals, you’ll have spent your time and money on the fence for nothing. Pay attention to the losses on your farm. If something is after your goats, you’re probably dealing with a larger predator, such as a coyote or a dog. If your eggs go missing, you might be facing a fox, snakes, skunks, or rats—which are all common chicken predators. Once you know what kind of predator is targeting your livestock, you can install the right fencing and other deterrents to keep them out.
You can’t always watch out for predators, but a guard animal can. When it comes to how to protect your hobby farm from predators, a guard animal can prove invaluable. Guard animals watch over your livestock and stand in the way of any lurking predators. Their watchful presence is often enough to make predators think your hobby farm isn’t worth the effort. A loyal dog is a traditional and worthwhile guardian for your animals, but dogs aren’t the only option. Many farmers enlist the help of llamas, donkeys, or mules to ward off predators. Just keep in mind that larger predators like wolves can still pose a threat to your guard animals.