Estate fencing is on the rise in the off-grid community. You’re using an off-grid power source: solar, wind, hydro, or your own generator. You’ve removed yourself from the grid. It’s an important achievement and a win for self-sustaining living. But what about security?
When I was growing up, we never locked our doors. I remember my grandparents leaving the front door open on sultry southern summer evenings. The keys were left in vehicles and neighbors watched out for one another. Those days are gone. Security on the homestead is a vital part of our survival in this world.
Most modern security systems rely heavily on the power grid and need a continuous supply of electricity. What if you supply your own power? How will you protect your homestead in uncertain times? We’ll discuss some of the choices other than estate fencing for homesteading today.
The easiest alternative would be to set up a standard security system and integrate the additional energy use into your strategies for consumption. Most businesses will give you the energy requirements of their systems so you can adjust your energy system. This can be a vital question to ask since you’ll need to be aware of the specs.
If you’re like us, this kind of system isn’t in the plans for our homesteading land. The main concern is the house. We sleep here, house our loved ones and keep our valuables. In looking at security on the homestead, let’s begin here and work our way out.
You could use battery-operated alarms. It’s possible to put them on your entryways, windows, and doors to generate a simple alarm system. Throughout the day, it will take little energy from your off grid power system to recharge the batteries. The biggest advantages of the system will be the easy installation and low energy cost.
Of course nothing beats a good solid door with a few locks. They allow you the time you need to react in self-defense, if you’re ever in the situation where you are the target of a crime. Also, make sure windows have the appropriate locks. With the right bush outside the window, it can be much more difficult for anyone to use this mode of entry. I had a holly bush outside my bedroom window when I was a girl. It also ensured I didn’t climb out!
Homesteading fencing is a time-honored security feature. It’s used to help keep out large creatures, be they moose or bear. A straight forward electric fence can prove to be quite successful in safeguarding your crops from smaller creatures like rabbits. Solar modules can be used to power this sustainable solution.
One of the main drawbacks for some people with regards to an electric fence is you have to check it daily. A limb may be on the fence or grass may be growing up into it, shorting it out. There’s also the possibility of breakage which can shut the whole fence down. For us, this is why a barbed wire fence, in tandem with an electric fence, is the best option when you consider upfront cost, upkeep and reliability.
Many people are turning to estate fencing. Sturdy estate fencing encloses the whole property or at least the portion containing the house. Estate fencing is costly upfront, but requires little to no upkeep.
Depending on your location, you’ll need to consider the terrain, as it can provide camouflage for intruders whether they be human or animal. Make sure you have a clear line of sight in all directions if at all possible. If you have farm animals, and I hope you do, make sure you can keep an eye on them or at least within earshot as a predator doesn’t need much time to wreak havoc on your herd or flock.
One of the oldest and still, in my opinion, the best security for your off-grid homestead is man’s best friend. Nothing beats a couple of good guard dogs. They’re loyal and the best breeds bond with their owners as well as their flocks and land.
Line of sight is not as big an issue when you have a great dog. They’ll pick up any scent unfamiliar to your homestead and investigate. They have the super power of their ears which seem to jar them from a deep sleep to find out what’s digging into the beehives on the other side of the barn. They will establish a patrol area and are diligent in keeping it. Even a homestead with estate fencing can benefit from the right dog.
Dogs have been used for many centuries and for good reason. If you get the right dog, he will find happiness in his job of patrolling and protecting his territory. The Pack is an important part of any homestead.
As good as dogs are, they work even better when you add other animals I call whistle blowers. Guineas not only eat bugs by the bucket load, but they also have a knack of raising the alarm when something or someone strange gets too close. Of course the ultimate watch bird is the attack goose! I remember as a girl being chased by an attack goose. They are intense to say the least when they decide to raise the alarm.
You also have a great option for your herd in the donkey or mule. They will bond with the herd and defend them to the death. Years ago, I had a neighbor who was keeping donkeys and mules with her dairy goat herd. She called me to come take a look at one of her mules. It had been attacked chasing away a bear or panther. She didn’t see the critter, but the wounds were evident. A pack of wolves or coyotes can easily kill a young goat or calf.
The best protection for your homestead is a combination of some or all of these options, but the most important thing is being aware. Being observant of your surroundings and investing in honing your own skills of self-defense. Cans of pepper spray placed in easy to access areas and self-defense weapons are vital. Most important is the training and use of these weapons to ensure you can safely and efficiently use them to protect yourself and those you love.
What form of homestead security do you use? Do you use estate fencing? Share your tips with us.
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack