Wednesday, 29 June 2011


There is a little rodent that runs around called a Richardson Ground Squirrel but I are most commonly referred to as gophers. They cause havoc and are a bit of a problem in the agriculture industry. We have thousands and thousands of gophers in our pastures and we do have to do something about it to control them. Some of you may not agree with killing them but I have to give you my side of this problem. Gophers do two things that cause problems:
  1. Gophers dig holes - They dig them everywhere, making mounds of dirt and tearing up grass. This is an issue in the well being of our cattle, they can hurt themselves if they walk in a gopher hole. It becomes more of an issue during breeding season when they ride each other, it's easier to hurt themselves if they step in a hole while riding.
  2. Gophers eat grass - They eat grass and pasture land, basically what our cows eat. Now one little gopher doesn't make much of a difference, but all together they do. A gopher weighs about a quarter of a pound, and will eat about seventy-five percent of their body weight. So, 0.25*0.75=0.1875 pounds a day. If their is just 1000 gophers together they are eating 0.1875*1000=187.5 pounds of grass. Now cows will eat about 1.4-4.0% of their body weight a day depending on the quality of food. So a 1200 pound cow would eat between 17-48 pounds of dry basis feed. So, just a thousand gophers, are eating about 11 or so cows feed a day! That is a lot!!
So, we do get rid of those annoying creatures, and there are a whole lot more than just 1000 of them, we have one field this year that is really bad, with thousands and thousands of them. And it doesn't seem to matter how many we get rid of, next year there is always another million of them. They are like a never ending problem in our area that we try to take care of as best we can!

No comments:

Post a Comment