4 Ways to Protect Your Livestock from Predators

Purebred border collie herding a flock of sheep on a summer day.

Owning and raising livestock is a full-time job, especially if you are just beginning. Your livestock is a crucial part of your agriculture business, and it is important always to ensure their safety and wellbeing. Farmers and homesteaders alike need to protect their livestock from predators. Since there are so many variables to consider, from the type of livestock you have, your property, resources, and the local predators, it can be tough figuring out an effective way to keep your animals safe.

Here are four efficient ways to protect your livestock from predators!

1) Invest in Fencing Solutions

Keeping your livestock in areas that have predator-proof fencing is incredibly difficult. Many predators like coyotes can squeeze through small gaps or go over fences, and birds can attack from above. However, there are alternative fencing methods that may help protect your livestock. Consider mesh wire electric fencing, which typically requires less maintenance and provides a better barrier than single- or multi-strand electric fencing. Also, install motion-activated lights and alarms around the edges of your property to help scare away ground predators.

2) Get a Guardian Animal

The most common guardian animals are dogs, llamas, and donkeys. They protect your livestock and can help relieve the herd’s stress. The correct guardian animal depends on your livestock, layout, and the farm predators you are struggling with. There are also non-guardian animals that help protect your livestock in indirect ways. Barn cats, for example, keep rodent populations down, which protects eggs that the rodents might otherwise eat. Roosters help alert you to danger in your chicken coop. Do some research for your specific needs to ensure the guardians you decide on will work well with your livestock.

3) Encourage a Buddy System

If you have multiple grazing animals, such as goats and cows, let them graze together. The cows’ size can deter predators that would target the smaller goats. Herd animals have a natural tendency to “bunch.” This defense mechanism is how cows and goats protect themselves from predators, who prefer a moving target to animals that stand their ground.

4) Provide Housing

Most predators are nocturnal, so having a safe, secure location for your animals at night is critical. It can be especially helpful if your animals roam a large area during the day, making predator-proof fencing too costly or difficult to install. Bringing your goats, sheep, and cows to an area with electrified fencing at night can help protect them when they are most at risk. Young and weak animals are prime targets of predators, so keep these animals close to the house or in a secure barn.

Here at Deer Creek Structures, we make custom barns and sheds to keep your animals safe and secure. We understand how important your livestock is to your livelihood, so we customize our products to fitLive  your unique needs.

Call us today at (254)546-2276 to learn more about our customizable barn structures!