227: Jan Dohner on Predators on the Urban Farm.
Adjusting to a new normal with predators near our farms.
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Jan is a researcher and writer concerned with historic livestock breeds and husbandry, as well as issues surrounding predator control and the use of livestock guardians. She makes presentations on these topics at various conferences, including Mother Earth Fairs and The Common Fair in Maine. She has written several books and maintains a blog you can find on her website. She is also a longtime member of the American Livestock Conservancy.
Jan lives on her family farm in Michigan and has more than 35 years of hands-on experience with the use of livestock guard dogs for predator control.
In This Podcast:
We learn from Jan Dohner who has spent four decades researching livestock guardians and the predators they guard against. She helps explain why there has been a resurgence in these wild predators and what steps can be taken to guard our precious farm resources for both urban and rural farms.
Listen in and learn about:
- Moving to her farm 40 years ago and trying to find a livestock breed, then losing them to predators.
- The resurgence of predators that is happening now
- Her need to research livestock guardian dogs because they are not like pets
- Why predators are being seen in all areas
- What habitats have changed and why
- Why these predators cannot just be eliminated easily
- Strategies to live with predators
- Fright techniques
- Seasons and timing
- Neighbor training
- Her new book The Encyclopedia of Animal Predators and what can be found in this resource
- Descriptions, identifying from scene clues, etc
- Why she has not lost any livestock since she got her farm dogs except for a few occasions
- Tools to observe your farm while you are not there
- Planning ahead for neighborhood dogs on your property
As well as:
- Her failure – The times she lost ducks and sheep to predators
- Her success – Working with livestock guardian dogs
- Her drive – Her strong appreciation of domesticated animals, preserving historic breeds
- Her advice – People need to be aware that the predator situation is going to keep changing
Books written by Jan:
- The Encyclopedia of Animal Predators: Learn about Each Predator’s Traits and Behaviors; Identify the Tracks and Signs of More Than 50 Predators; Protect Your Livestock, Poultry, and Pets Storey Publishing, April 2017
- Farm Dogs: A Comprehensive Breed Guide to 93 Guardians, Herders, Terriers, and Other Canine Working Partners Storey Publishing, Sept 2016
- Livestock Guardians: Using Dogs, Donkeys, and Llamas to Protect Your Herd (Storey’s Working Animals) Storey Publishing, 2007
- The Encyclopedia of Historical and Endangered Livestock and Poultry Breeds. Yale University Press, 2001
Jan’s Book recommendations:
Stephen Budiansky – The Covenant of the Wild: Why Animals Chose Domestication
How to reach Jan: