Saturday, 14 May 2011


A question from one of my blog post readers asked how we deal with our gopher problems... but the truth is we haven't had this problem for a long time so I wasn't exactly sure how we did it!!! Don't fear though, I asked my Dad!!! and since it is a teenage girls instinct to not listen right away (or so I'm told) I also did some research to make sure he wasn't way off base! Basically what dad told me was that he used a rotational grazing method. When you rotational graze the grass doesn't get as clipped and it leaves it a lot taller. According to my research this could very well have helped!! The Richardson Ground Squirrel (AKA Gopher!) doesn't feel comfortable in the taller grass as they can't see predators as easily and therefore become easier prey. They much prefer shorter grass and flatter fields. Therefore all our gophers moved to the sheep pasture according to Dad! He isn't sure what happened next but I have a theory on it! A momma fox and her litter moved in shortly after all the gophers were forced into one area and we believe she was a little more then a good hunter... she was a GREAT one! This worked out for us as she never touched the lambs, chickens, or the beagles! Now I am quite aware that everyone can't be so lucky and that a fox could also cause problems around the farm. However thats how ours worked out and we haven't had gophers for years! If you look after your fields with rotational grazing however it will become and uncomfortable environment and the gophers will hopefully relocate so you are at least saving your machinery from them on your main fields! To get rid of them without effecting the ecosystem, however, would be simply impossible. There is a reason that your gopher population is at the number it is and thats because whatever is preying on them has maintained them to that certain number. However I do believe that it is one sacrifice for another, the gophers will find another place to live and you are taking good care of the land and grasses by using rotational grazing! I hope this answered the question fully :)! I tried to get you guys a picture of our fox, and usually we see her everyday at the log pile but as soon as the camera comes out she disappears! I'll keep trying and as soon as I do I'll post it for you guys!

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