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Re: Woodchucks and fences

  • Subject: Re: [cg] Woodchucks and fences
  • From: David Smead smead@amplepower.com
  • Date: Thu, 24 Apr 2003 10:53:03 -0700 (PDT)

Sean,

You can actually keep raccoons and woodchucks out of you garden using an
electric fence.  It needs to be low enough so the critters can slither
under it, about 5-6 inches.  They typically won't jump this high either,
so a single strand is sufficient.

A woodchuck is `encouraged' to abandon a hole if it is surrounded with the
same kind of electric fence.  Put it in close to the hole so that if has
no room.

The fence does require maintenance.  Besides the obvious battery
replacement, you must diligently keep undergrowth from contacting the
fence or it will `short' the fence.  That not only prevents shocking the
intruder, but also wastes battery power.

Growing up as a VT farm kid, we used electric fences as quick change
pasture boundaries for the cows.  Not wanting to share the sweet corn with
the raccoons, I put up a low fence around the garden one year.  My Dad
quit laughing when it proved to work.

After a few days of power on the fence, cows are smart enough so that they
will observe the fence even if it isn't powered for several days.  We did
that just to save battery power.  Raccoons are smart, persistent, and
perhaps optimistic, because the fence could never be off around the garden
without an intrusion.

-- Sincerely,

David Smead
http://www.amplepower.com

On Thu, 24 Apr 2003, Sean C. Gambrel wrote:

> Hi again all.
>
> The latest drama with the up-and-coming Bath Community Garden is that the
> site we have chosen (and the only site available within the city limits) has
> at least 2 resident woodchucks, who feed on gardens throughout the
> neighborhood and the many grasses that grow in what is now just a vacant
> lot.
>
> I've done some research on the issue, and it seems that the best solution is
> to enclose our garden with a fence, the bottom buried and bent out at an
> agle to prevent digging under and the top bent out at an angle to prevent
> climbing.  Sounds like a fine idea, though labor intensive, but definitely
> do-able.
>
> Here's the glitch, though - I believe at least one of the little guys'
> burrows is partially under the spot we plan to use for the garden, and there
> is at least one entrance hole within the area we hope to enclose.  We don't
> have a lot of space to move elsewhere, as the ground becomes a little
> swampy, so we pretty much have to go with this area.  I don't think there's
> any hope to be able to avoid the woodchuck burrows on this property.
>
> It would seem that the logical thing to do would be to remove the animal
> from the site and seal its holes.  But my understanding is that trapping and
> transplanting the creatures is as inhumane as killing them, because they
> have nowhere to hide from predators and have to find a new source of food -
> which leaves them quite vulnerable for a long time.  Luckily the pups
> ahven't been born yet, but I'd hate to strand a mother out in the woods
> somewhere with no burrow for the kiddies!!  Plus, I'm not sure we can even
> locate all the holes because there are many porches, garages and sheds quite
> close to the property (where a hole might remain open because we don't know
> about it), where a new family could move in and pop up a hole within our
> fence!!
>
> So anybody have any suggestions?  I'm starting to feel a little like Bill
> Murray!
>
> Thanks,
>
> Sean Gambrel
> AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer
>
> Coastal Enterprises, Inc.
> P.O. Box 268
> Wiscasset, ME  04578
> (207) 882-7552 ext. 185
> scg@ceimaine.org
>
> CEI's mission is to help people and communities,
> especially those with low incomes, reach an adequate
> and equitable standard of living, working and learning,
> in harmony with the natural environment.
>
>
> ______________________________________________________
> The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org
>
>
> To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com
>
> To subscribe, unsubscribe or change your subscription:  https://secure.mallorn.com/mailman/listinfo/community_garden
>

______________________________________________________
The American Community Gardening Association listserve is only one of ACGA's services to community gardeners. To learn more about the ACGA and to find out how to join, please go to http://www.communitygarden.org


To post an e-mail to the list:  community_garden@mallorn.com

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