Ways To Treat Wildlife Humanely When Creating A Homestead

Beginning a homestead and trying to live as sustainably and being self-sufficient was once a lifestyle for a huge proportion of the population, but today this low-impact way of living is seeing something of a resurgence. One factor that can sometimes be overlooked when starting a homestead is the impact that this type of lifestyle can have on wildlife in the area, but by being conscious of the implications of the homesteading approach, you can take steps to ensure that you are living in harmony with the wildlife around your homestead.



Preparing The Area For A Homestead

Once you have obtained the land on which you want to build your homestead, one of the first steps is to try and remove and keep wildlife away from where you will be building. A temporary fence here can work very well, preferably one with a relatively small mesh so that even small animals cannot get to the building area and hurt themselves. If you are seeing signs of animal activity in this area, it may be worth speaking to an animal removal expert so they can be safely removed before you start the building work.



Building Your Homestead And Outbuildings

Building sites can prove to be great spaces for animals to hide and build their nests, so when you are building the homestead, try to leave as little material as possible around where animals could try to nest. When it comes to dealing with the debris, waste materials and other building materials, you should also try to ensure it is kept in a dumpster or debris skip before it can be disposed of safely. Otherwise, birds or other wildlife can get access to this debris, and could harm themselves.



Fencing And Growing Crops

An important part of homesteading and developing self-sufficiency involves growing your own food, and these crops will often attract “pest” animals that can damage the crops. The best way to prevent animals is to put up barriers to keep these animals away, such as appropriate fencing that will prevent wildlife from getting in. Small wire mesh fencing less than one centimetre thick is needed to keep out rabbits and rats and smaller rodents that can squeeze through tight spaces. Avoid using poisons or artificial fertilisers, as both can harm the wildlife in the surrounding area, while still not always guaranteeing to deliver the kind of results that you will be hoping for. No one wants to find dead animals in their garden and then have to dispose of them.



Photograph by Engin Akyurt (pexels)

Keeping Domesticated Animals

Chickens are probably the most common domesticated species that are kept by homesteaders, as they produce eggs without really needing too much in terms of chicken food to produce them. However, they can also come into conflict with wildlife. It will usually be fine to allow the chickens to roam the farmyard of your homestead, but try to always feed them in the pen so the food doesn’t attract other “pest” species. If you are keeping a few larger animals such as sheep, goats or cows, try to use natural food and try to keep them within a fenced area so that they are safe from wildlife.



Wild Flowers
Photograph by Kristina Paukshtite (Pexels)

Keep A Wildflower Meadow

This may not always be possible, but one of the best ways of promoting diverse wildlife is to set aside a small part of your land to develop as a wildflower meadow. This approach will attract bees, butterflies, birds and other species that can have an overall positive effect on the area around your homestead. The types of flowers to plant depend on what is native in your area. Most nurseries provide a blend of native wildflower seeds to your area because they are readily available. Native plants are important because they are naturally suited for your environment and will flourish with minimal maintenance. A wildflower meadow is a beautiful addition to any homestead, and if you install a few bee hives, it can also turn into a great source of tasty honey for you as well.



Ongoing Homesteading Measures To Continue Treating Wildlife Humanely

While creating a homestead in an area that wasn’t previously settled can have an impact on the wildlife, there are also ongoing measures you can take to maintain your humane treatment of wildlife. Natural resources are king, so using natural deterrents and not using poison to deal with pest animals can make your impact on the area surrounding your homestead much less dramatic. Rotating crops in your fields can also help reduce the impact on local wildlife, as it ensures that not all of one type of nutrient is taken from the soil, which will also benefit your growth rate as well.

If you would like more information on the humane treatment of wildlife on your property, please visit us at Thank you!


Elizabeth Gatto

Elizabeth is a lover of wildlife and promoter of wildlife conservation. She believes that all animals are fascinating creatures and that each has its own purpose on this planet. It is an unfortunate truth that humans are taking over many animal habitats as our population increases. Wild animals have no choice but to adapt, which means they enter people’s homes, which can lead to people and animal conflict. Elizabeth understands that people don't like sharing their homes with animals for a variety of reasons. Wild animals cause damage to personal property, they are noisy, can bite, scratch and leave poop. They can also carry the risk of hosting parasites and diseases that are transmissible to pets and humans. Therefore, people often kill wild animals in their home without consideration of the animal’s life. Elizabeth’s goal is to promote humane nuisance wildlife removal so people know there are alternatives to needlessly killing wildlife. It is possible to respect nature as well as maintain safety in your home.


  1. Nice article! 👍 We live next to a national park, no doors, no windows, no electric lights (because of the wildlife), we don’t try to push them back, we welcome them… and yes, sure, sometimes we have to ‘share’ something 🍌🍠🍍🥑 😁 a kiskadee has a nest in the living area, the purple gallinule meanwhile takes the banana from my hand and the daily visit of the crab-eating racoon finishing up with the left-overs from dinner is rather a joy than a nuisance 😁 However, we just posted a quote from Bill Mollison on instagram: ‘You don’t have a snail problem, you have a duck deficiency!’ That’s about our guideline…

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