A recent farmer’s information day was held in the Queenstown area on the farm Rookwood of Mr. Swithan and Mrs. Kate Webster. The reason for this farmer’s day was to once again underline the importance of a well maintained predator (jackal proof) fence. Mr. Smithons is also the key person and the main driving force to get government subsidized fencing for South African farmers, a great initiative welcomed and appreciated by all South African livestock farmers.
The day started off with power point presentations and the farmers sitting on lucerne bales in a well-furnished barn listening to the speakers, Mr. Hendrik van Pletzen from Voermol and Mr. Isak Staats from BKB. Thereafter it was my turn in which I delivered a presentation on predation management and the importance of a solid en well constructed jackal proof fence. Isolation by means of jackal proof fencing or electric fencing was detailed. Fencing is just one of our managing strategies from our “toolbox” of control methods but surely the most effective when it comes to protect your livestock. Unfortunately also the most expensive method when looking at non-lethal control methods.
An illustration was given on how to construct the correct jackal proof fence and apply the correct anti crawlers and overhang for different kinds of fences and needs. To finish of my presentation I gave the farmers an insightful look at the route that a jackal, fitted with a GPS collar followed across 42 farms ‘well fenced off’ with jackal proof fencing. Or so did the owners of these farms believe. Indicating the weak spots and wrong construction methods which the Black-Backed jackal quickly identified and used to his advantage to travel where-ever he wanted to. Highlighting again that constructing this expensive control method is only fifty percent of your success and the real effectiveness lies in continuously maintaining your fence.
The day ended off with all the farmers getting on the back of pick-up trucks and travel to the veld for a practical session to have a look at how a jackal proof fence should be constructed. I provided information and practical advice on the construction and correct planning before building your fence.
The bonus of the day was the raffle when one lucky farmer won five rolls of jackal proof netting sponsored by BKB. Many thanks again for Mr. Swithan for his great initiative and Kate for this well planned and very successful farmers day.