Thursday, September 27, 2012

Relocating your headache

I hear a lot of people tell me about how they trap raccoons or groundhogs or foxes or skunks or squirrels in live-traps and then relocate them to a new area to be let go. The reason for relocation is because they tell me they feel "bad" for the animal and don't want to kill it but they also don't want it eating their garbage or chickens or getting into their attics. Well, guess what? That animal you just relocated from your property is now at someone else's property causing them the same problems it caused you.

Relocating a raccoon 12 miles down the road does not break its habit of getting into people's garbage cans. It's just going to find new garbage to get into. Then it is going to be live-trapped again and relocated back 12 miles to your property! It's a never ending cycle. That raccoon will have baby coons which it will teach to eat garbage. Those babies will get trapped and relocated to a new place where they will breed and teach their kids to eat garbage. Eventually the whole stinking area is full of raccoons who get into garbage cans because you felt "bad" for the animal and wouldn't shoot it.

If you do not break the cycle by euthanizing the problem varmints, they will continue to be problems. Don't ever assume that just because you drove 12 miles into the "wilderness" on what seems to be an uninhabited road that you aren't just dumping your problem varmints into someone's backyard. They WILL find a way to continue to eat garbage or chickens or get into attics unless you put a permanent end to them. Animals are very smart and once they find an easy meal ticket or a nice place to live, they will try to find that again even if relocated. Once they know the things that human habitation offer, like food and shelter, they will continue to seek out humans and continue to be a nuisance.

This is the reason nuisance bears often get euthanized. Once they learn to cause a problem, they never ever forget it. Bears are a lot harder to trap and relocate, plus they can cause fatal damage to humans, so euthanasia is the only option. Raccoons, skunks, squirrels, foxes and woodchucks, on the other hand, rarely cause fatalities. They do cause property damage, livestock losses, and can hurt people/pets. Is this no less a reason to foist this harmful animal on someone else?

Keep in mind too that all of these animals can carry rabies. Rabies is on the rise with more cases reported in this area each year. It can be fatal to you or your pets to have rabies carrying varmints around your property. Rabies is not a fun disease and is fatal in any animal that contracts it who isn't vaccinated or immediately treated. Treatment is a long process involving several series of shots. Those shots make your whole body ache to the bone. They are not something someone wants to do voluntarily. The vaccine is available for your pets and livestock. It does need to be updated every couple of years. If your pets or livestock come in contact with a rabid animal and you can't prove that they are up to date on their rabies vaccinations then you must put your them down whether or not they actually have rabies. Since rabies is so dangerous, the Health Department does not fool around. All potentially infected animals must be euthanized. My brother's dog was put down because the dog didn't get his rabies booster vaccination on time and then killed a potentially rabid skunk. My brother cleaned up the dead skunk. My brother had to get treated for rabies and the dog had to be euthanized because both of them were potentially exposed to rabies due to the skunk. My only comfort is in hoping that the skunk was a native of that area and not one that had been live-trapped and relocated by someone.

Please don't relocate nuisance animals from your property. If you are going to trap them, please be responsible and euthanize them.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fall on a Goat Farm

The air is crisp and cold
Frost is on the ground
Every leave and blade of grass has crystals reflecting light
Fall is coming

The kid goats are fat and growing bigger
The milk does will give the same amount of milk from now until infinity
Only one night of frost makes the bucks stink
Fall is coming

Fresh apples from the tree
A whine of a doe in heat
The lurking scent of male goat on the wind
All make me feel that
Fall is coming