Owning a farm is very rewarding. Putting in the time and effort and being able to not only quite literally see the fruits of your labor, but also help sustain the environment and feed people in your community, is a truly great feeling. But it’s not an easy task.
On top of the work you have to put in to produce the food, you also need to ensure all the animals are kept out of your crops so that they don’t cause any damage. However, the good news is, there are some simple preventive measures you can take in order to protect your fields from animals.
In this article:
When it comes to different crops like wheat, corn, and rice, it’s often a good idea to spray on an anthraquinone-based solution. This type of solution has been found to be very effective when it comes to keeping animals out.
It’s especially effective when it comes to blackbird control for farmers trying to grow rice crops. That’s because, as luck would have it, the ideal time for planting rice seeds coincides with blackbird mating season – which means there’s a lot more of them around than usual.
Anthraquinone is a naturally-occurred substance, and the solutions which have it as the active ingredient are often used to treat the seeds before planting them. The solution doesn’t affect the seeds, and it isn’t deadly to the birds either.
Instead, it acts as a repellent of sorts – causing digestive problems in birds that might try to eat the treated seeds, and as a result, the flock will quickly learn that those are best avoided. Of course, the solution works on different kinds of birds as well, such as grackles, starlings, and more.
If there are rabbits living on or near your farm, you know how much they like nibbling on your vegetables. One way to ensure they can’t do as much damage is to build a raised bed vegetable garden that has a small fence added as well.
There are plenty of ways in which you can build such a garden. It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated. Concrete blocks are a popular material to use for this kind of project because it’s affordable and incredibly durable.
You can also use pine boards or even old tires. You might also consider using wire mesh (at least 18 inches high) to keep your veggies safe. As long as you position the vegetable garden bed in a place that ensures your veggies will get enough sunlight and water, this kind of garden would definitely work.
3. Livestock Fencing
There’s a reason livestock fencing is so popular. No matter how valuable they are, cows, sheep, and goats can do serious damage to your crops if they get access to it.
Installing a simple livestock fence around the perimeter of your fields will ensure they stay safe. Plus, it can be a beautiful addition to the overall look of your farm. Of course, it might be a good idea to keep an eye on your goats if you keep them since they do tend to be very mischievous.
If you keep them, reinforcing the fence with chicken wire could be a good idea. However, in the case of all other livestock, a simple fence should suffice. You can build it from wood or metal, and you’ll want it to be at least three feet high. The post should be well-spaced as well, so the animals don’t come up with a way to break through it, as they can often do if you’re not careful.
When it comes to keeping wild animals away from your crops, an electric fence is often a very effective deterrent. The idea is simple enough – you install low-voltage wires around the area where you want to protect.
Wires are attached to PVC posts, and they’re usually stretched out about every three feet. A solar charger powers the system, so there’s no need for any additional wiring. The animal will get an unsuccessful shock and learn quickly that your crops and fields are not a safe place to be.
Make sure to position the wires in a way that will deter both a smaller critter as well as a deer, hog, or elk. It’s important to note that you need to put up a sign warning other people that there’s an electric fence in place.
Even when it’s obvious for what it is, the last thing you want is someone stumbling into it when they’re not paying attention – if there are no signs warning passers-by about the electricity, you might even end up with a potential lawsuit on your hands.
If the animal damaging your crops is a squirrel, a simple yet effective way to protect your fields is to plant chili peppers around the perimeter. The chemical Capsaicin – the thing that makes them hot, is a natural repellent to squirrels as well as other smaller forest animals.
Chili peppers are pretty easy to plant and maintain. All you need to do is mix the seeds in some soil and wait for them to sprout. They grow fast, are pretty resilient, and they come in a variety of colors, so they look really nice as well.
As an added benefit, once they ripen, you can sell them as they are always popular during the fall. Of course, you can even create a homemade chili-pepper paste, which is incredibly popular in many locales, to help you make extra cash.
Finally, there are ultrasonic repellents that you can purchase online. While they might be a bit pricey, they’re definitely worth it in the end. The way this works is that the device emits high-frequency sound waves whenever it senses an animal coming into your area.
The frequency is outside of the human hearing range but will annoy animals to no end – and it’ll keep them from coming back. While this is probably one of the most expensive ways to keep animals out, for large farms or orchards, it could be a life-saver as you won’t have to worry about any damage to your crops.
They are an especially good option if you live in an area that is plagued with mice, deer, rabbits, and coyotes.
While there are other methods for protecting your fields, these are some of the more effective ones. Which one – or which combination of these – would work best for you will depend on the size of your farm, the crops you want to protect, and the animals in your area. However, with some careful consideration, and some elbow grease, you can ensure that your crop yield is never affected by animals.