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Badger troubles (animal lovers do not enter)

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Badger troubles (animal lovers do not enter)

Postby Alex » Thu Mar 21, 2013 4:39 pm

Last year 3 lambs were killed by badgers, and another lamb at around 8 weeks old was attacked also, but survived.

I want to protect my lambs from the badgers, their sett is on the farm land, and on occasion I have seen the badgers at night.

So apart from breaking the law (i.e. smoking them out of their set and shooting them), what else could i do? i.e. are there more friendly ways of putting mr badger off?
Alex
 
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Re: Badger troubles (animal lovers do not enter)

Postby MartinB » Thu Mar 21, 2013 7:06 pm

I'm not a farmer or skilled in farmy ways but to me the obvious answer to me is to put a badger proof barrier between them and the lambs like a good fence.
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Re: Badger troubles (animal lovers do not enter)

Postby Rod Taylor » Thu Mar 21, 2013 10:55 pm

Not a farmer either, but an uncle of mine tried all sorts to dissuade Badgers from making a mess crossing under his garden fence some years ago. It was unbelievable how much they were able to move back out the way to continue using their regular run, even concrete as they just dug deeper to get under it.
From this experience it would need to be very sturdy fence..............
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Re: Badger troubles (animal lovers do not enter)

Postby SimonFisher » Tue Mar 26, 2013 12:16 pm

Alex wrote:Last year 3 lambs were killed by badgers, and another lamb at around 8 weeks old was attacked also, but survived.


Can you be sure that these were the result of badgers? From what I've read [1], while badgers will scavenge from sheep and lamb carcasses, and eat afterbirths, incidents of badgers killing stock are rare, and more likely to the activity of a troubled/rogue badger rather than the group as a whole, in which case a license for its destruction can be sought.

Fencing to restrict badgers is difficult. We've about a kilometre of fencing around part of our wood to protect newly restored coppice from deer and rabbits. We knew before it was installed that badger routes crossed the proposed line of the fence. The badgers wasted no time in digging under the fence and the rabbit wire to re-establish their routes. We knew this was likely but at least they'd confirm where the routes were. The rabbit wire typically extends about half a metre up the fence from the ground and also goes under the ground a little and then turns so it's horizontal and extends maybe 30cm or so away from the fence.The badgers just dug under the lot. We then installed badger gates where they'd made their path known and made good the holes. The badgers were tempted to use the gates by daily baiting with peanuts. So far so good and this was OK for a few weeks/months/whatever. They then however stopped using the gates and either dug new holes under the gate or to the side. For now, we're still thinking about our next move. For us, the badgers themsleves aren't problematic but the holes will let rabbit move freely back and forth and possbly allow Muntjac through.



[1] Problems with Badgers, published by RSPCA Wildlife Department, ISBN 0901098043
http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00Ref/bookscontents/rspca-problems_with_badgers/Contents.htm

Badger damage to crops and livestock
http://wildpro.twycrosszoo.org/S/00Ref/bookscontents/rspca-problems_with_badgers/6_damage.htm#6.4
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Re: Badger troubles (animal lovers do not enter)

Postby Alex » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:33 am

Responses appreciated.

Well ultimately badgers weren't much of a concern, with the terrible weather affecting us much worse.

I think so far we only lost one lamb to a badger.

From my experience, the following signs are what distinguish what predator has killed a lamb.

Stomach and all organs removed, head still attached to neck - badger
Head removed, neck attached - fox
eyes / tongue , damage to naval - crow / magpie

I also think hawks were killing some also, the snow and coldness killed most, but it also led to nature being a little more cruel and hungry than usual.
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