Thekla McDaniels wrote: The gophers were beyond plentiful. I moved there with my cats, one of whom was a killing machine. I watched her catch gopher after gopher. Day after day. It was months before she took up hunting on neighboring properties because the numbers of gophers on our acre had decreased so much . Not all cats are as effective hunters as my Topaz, RIP.
Julia Winter wrote:
It sounds like what you need is an awesome cat. A good terrier would also be very effective, I think. Gophers would make a very good diet for either a domestic cat or a dog, my only concern would be parasites.
These are my thoughts as well. I doubt they would have as oily a coat as a meat eating mink or a water dwelling musk rat. I've never heard of ANYBODY anywhere selling gopher hides. Might make tough little gloves though. I do have some tanning experience. I'm going to get off permies and search out that trap design right now, before I comment further.
My thinking is that since they live underground, they don't need the kind of coat that protects water animals from cold and wet, nor surface animals from cold snow and wind.
They have the chance to be exposed to flea carrying rodents and there is almost no incidence of plague in modern times that I know of. The plague does not spring from nowhere. I think it needs live hosts/doesn't survive in the soil/ if the fleas don't get or have the plague, they can't pass it along, or hop to the cat from the rat, and then to the people...
Roberto pokachinni wrote:I'm pretty sure what I have here is a Columbian Ground Squirrel. Here's A Link to check em out.
I would have thought so too, in the past. Sadly, this local branch of the sect seem pretty bent on making money more than anything else, and although they do have some down to earth values, they don't seem to have much environmental/permacultural common sense. The close farm/colony is a dairy operation, and they regularly kill wolves, coyotes... and sadly some grizzly bears (Here's the Story)...these I know about. They probably also kill the birds of prey and anything that might kill a calf. The gophers are killed because the holes can break a cow's leg.
I would think there's a lot of common ground with Mennonite values and permaculture.
There is not enough time in their world to shoot all the squirrels. They do make a go of it though. There is no design to eliminate gophers/ground squirrels that I know of, short of multiple heavy discing when the animals are just coming out of hibernation... or use of predators to keep the population in check. These folks do the opposite, by killing the predators. This valley was teaming with way more of them in the past, and poison was widely used at that time to knock the population down. Now the poison is banned (although it is available in rat free Alberta, I hear... not that I'm interested at all), and the population has expanded since the ban.
not really Christian or communitarian of them to shoot all the "gophers"/squirrels on their land--maybe they'd be open to a more permacultural solution. Maybe trapping them and using them? maybe designing a bit differently so they're not attracting so many to begin with? I would think there's a lot of common ground with Mennonite values and permaculture.