Holes in pasture, dangerous?

Julia Mary

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I have two beautiful livestock guardian dogs who do their job wonderfully. However, this spring they began digging huge holes all over the pasture, trying to catch the moles (we have LOTS of moles.) We can live with a few holes here and there and just fill them in, but they have dug SO many, and they go at times close to 2 feet deep. I am worried that this could be dangerous for the sheep, if they get spooked and run wildly, wondering if they could break their legs. Also wondering how much this will damage our very productive and healthy hay field. Any advice on this issue? I tried filling them with feces, they just dig elsewhere, as there are moles everywhere. Two acres seems to be too big to try to eradicate all the moles. Thank you!
 

Ridgetop

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More dangerous for the hay production, and you when walking/driving tractor across the field. There are poisons that can be injected underground into their burrows, but you don't want the dogs to get hold of a poisoned carcass. In the citrus orchards, the farmers used a sort of thing that poked into the gopher burrows and injected cyanide pellets into the burrows and passages. I have one but stopped using it because our dogs dug out the burrows and I was afraid they would eat the poisoned gophers. My son in Nipomo had a resident badger that would dig down and eat the gophers and ground squirrels.

Where are you located? Could you get gopher snakes and release them into the burrows? Or ferrets? I'm not sure what would be legal in your area. What do other hay farmers do in the area? Worst comes to worst, you might have to pull the sheep and dogs out of the hayfield. Our dogs made our yard look like a minefield! It was so dangerous to walk across that we couldn't allow anyone to walk across it which made having BBQs dangerous since it was at the end of the patio and guests persisted in walking across it to look at the sheep and mule. We finally gave up trying to grow a lawn and put in artificial turf. Fine for a small lawn area not so much for a hayfield.
 

farmerjan

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If they are digging holes in the hay ground then they need to be out. If you have hay custom made by someone else, and they damage a tractor or anything, it could be the last time they will make it for you. If you are making it, once you drop a front tractor wheel in it and break a spindle and spend several 1,000's on parts and repairs, you will realize it is a serious thing. No offense, but a 2 or 300 dollar sheep breaking a leg is minor compared to 2 or 3,000 in just one equipment repair.
2 years running we dropped a tractor wheel into ground hog holes in one place we made hay on and broke a spindle on the front of the tractor. Different places in the field. That was it. The owners would not allow hunting of the groundhogs, and would not hunt them themselves.... cost us more than the hay was worth. And this was before the price of steel got outrageous and parts were not hard to get or back logged. You go and tear up a 35,000 discbine or a 25,000 baler, or like us, a 90 HP big tractor worth 50-75,000 new... which ours is 30 years old....
NOT counting the downtime when you are pushing to get the hay made while it is in optimum condition and stage of growth.... and having other hay fields that need to get made while there is a hay making window.

I don't have any solution for you with the moles. Seems to me that they frequent areas where there are alot of grubs for them to eat. Getting rid of the food source for them may be the answer. But I have never had a huge problem with them and my cats will often catch them even when they don't eat them.
 

Grizzlyhackle

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I didn't spend that much money on it ,got it at Harbor Freight. It didn't happen overnight, but I don't find tunnels in my yard anymore. I don't have 2 acres either.
 
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