A half-acre plot of land is usually large enough to house people and animals who are living off the grid, based on information from The Mother Nature Network. It is a lot of work to maintain the land, and those who make the decision to live the off-grid way also need to care for themselves and their pets and/or livestock. To ensure that your animals get the best of care, while you lower or end your reliance on the grid, you'll need to plan carefully and then implement an animal care plan that puts the best interests of animals first. These tips will help you to make it happen.
Use Solar Energy to Keep Animals Warm Year-Round
If you own animals who are going to be living outside of your house, you will need to keep them warm year-round. Climates vary, so you'll need to consider seasonal temperatures and plan accordingly. One of the best ways to keep animals warm outside of the home is to create (or modify) outbuildings for them which are heated via solar energy. Solar energy panels are practical choices for dog houses, horse stables and other types of off-the-grid outbuildings. Solar panels may also be used to power fans that keep animals feeling cool and fresh when the weather is warm.
Bear in mind that most people who utilize solar panels aren't completely off the grid. They tend to use a combination of grid electricity and solar power. Luckily, advances in technology are making it possible to sever ties with local utility companies. The key to doing this successfully, without putting the comfort and health of your animals at risk, is making sure that you install enough battery storage when you put in a solar power system.
Turn Your Dog Into a Working Dog
Dogs are loyal, intelligent creatures. They are fine companions and are also able to help their owners in off-grid situations. When you turn your faithful canine into a working dog, your working dog can help you to herd and care for your livestock. They may also be trained to protect properties from intruders. If you're going to put your dog to work, for the sake of your other animals, as well as the security of your property, you will need to treat your dog very well. This means offering rewards, including praise, playtime and treats. Train your pooch without using aggression. It will always take time to get a working dog comfortable with performing tasks on a farm.
If you don't have a dog yet, you should consider breed carefully before you acquire one. Some pooches take to herding and guarding better than others. Canines which are renowned for their capacity to gather livestock include Australian shepherds, border collies and collies. If you're more interested in the guarding aspect, an Australian shepherd will be a great fit. This dog guards tenaciously, in addition to herding effectively. If you don't plan on keeping livestock, a Doberman Pinscher will be a good guard dog breed to consider.
Protect Your Animals From Predators
You will also need to keep your animals safe from local predators. Fences up to eight feet in height may be needed to ensure that animals don't get snatched by coyotes, who can climb up to surprising heights. Livestock will need protected pens that they can return to when they are done grazing in pastures. Use hardware cloth to keep smaller predators, such as weasels, out of pens, such as chicken coops.
Start Creating an Animal Care Plan Today
When you utilize solar panels and battery storage to heat or cool outbuildings that house your animals, turn your pooch into a working farm dog and keep your animals safe from predators, you'll care for your animals effectively while you live off-gird. The key to doing it right is planning carefully and then implementing your plan in an organized and efficient manner. When you follow the tips discussed here today, you'll be on your way to self-sufficiency, with pets and livestock by your side.
Sally Keys is a professional freelance writer with many years of experience across many different areas. She made the move to freelancing from a stressful corporate job and loves the work-life balance it offers her. When not at work, Sally enjoys reading, hiking, spending time with her family, and traveling as much as possible.