The addition of chooks to the backyard and seed/grain and food scraps in their pen has attracted a lot of birds, sparrows, Indian minors, but mostly pigeons, the pigeons like to scratch though the veggie garden makeing a small mess (nothing like the chooks can) we put up some shiny owl deterants that worked for about a week…until they realized they were plastic, lol.. Today however I observed when my little Jack Russell “MACK” went past them they flew away fast. This got me thinking… I could train MACK to chase the pigeons when she see them, I imagine they will eventual take a disliking to the area, after multiple experiences of being chased and will move onto safer ground. I believe this PATTERN could be applied in many instances.
Problem: Unwanted “Pest” animal in unwanted place destroying/messing/attacking something, Soloution: Natural “predator” something they are afraid of that can be trained or naturally responds. It’s open to applications, that’s what the thread is for to see if this is a useful PATTERN, And how people have applied is various contexts…
We have a family of groundhogs living nearby, "terrorizing" next door to the point the traps are coming out. They're eating the petunias, oh no! But in our garden, where there's all kinds of yummy veggies, they are leaving those alone, (so far) in favour of the red clover, daisies and tall sweet grasses we allow to grow in place of a manicured lawn. I saw one have a look at a cabbage, then turn back to the clover. In a new load of straw we mulched the beds with, we also got an ant infestation. In swooped the grackles. After a week or two of tossing the straw around and admittedly making a right mess, they had those ants under control for us.
This, I think, is what I like best about permaculture. Really working WITH nature. Deliberately or not. Christine
I have the same thing with groundhogs, our neighbour is trying to kill them cause they ate their lettuce 10 feet from their hole, and they haven't touched any of the 80 plus things im growing. I leave "weeds" grow around my property as well in addition to planting things like buckwheat and flax, I can honestly say that I dont have any pest problems apart from codling moth which took a liking to my peach/nectarine, but now the chix will take care of them for next year.
My own experience with groundhogs tells me that they usually have multiple burrows. Everytime they try to dig a new one near my food gardens I plug the entrance with a rock or a piece of log and they retreat to their old territory. They hate to be too far from the safety of their home. Also I've found that most animals understand territory. If they are harassed enough when they come around, they learn to avoid your territory.
We cannot change the waves of expansion and contraction, as their scale is beyond human control, but we can learn to surf. Nicole Foss @ The Automatic Earth