Is It Possible To Have A Badger As A Pet?

The answer to this question is dependent on the specific state where you reside. Since badgers are not domesticated and are thus wild, some nations, states, provinces, cities, or counties have different policies. People have reported seeing badgers being kept as pets, but that was illegal. The explanation given is that getting them early enough can improve their domestication. Through training, they can become desensitized to people. However, no one should forget that they are wild animals, and these types of animals have a certain unpredictability level around people. The badger can into offensive mode and bite you.

The other thing that badgers like is digging. They are usually looking for grubs. This means that you may find holes in your doors and walls, which may be very costly to repair. It is also challenging (but not impossible) to get a vet who will neuter or spay the badger. This means that you will be dealing with hormonal defensiveness and pregnancies that you can’t control. Also, they molt and seasonally shed into their winter coats while marking their territories at the same.

Let us now look at the ins and outs of the badger. This article will give you clear-cut details that capture everything you need to know about this wild animal that can supposedly be made into a pet.

How Dangerous Are Badgers?

As captured in the primer of this article, badgers are undisputedly wild animals. They have aggressive behavior, and their temperaments make them more inclined to destruction. However, it is essential to note that they are not detrimental – only dangerous. If you don’t cause them any discomfort or annoy them, they will not act up.

They have claws and teeth they can use when they feel attacked, intimidated, or annoyed by a present predator. They are very reasonable creatures – they do not attack without a cause. For the most part, they have a particular reluctance to get into contact with other unfamiliar animals.

As you already know, badgers are small in size and belong to the family called Mustelidae. Taxonomically speaking, this family – that includes the badgers – is the largest carnivore family. The other animals which are part of the family are weasels, otters, stoats, and ferrets. Badgers have a low profile and flat legs. Their paws are sharp and long. On their face, you will see white stripes, and all over their tiny bodies, there are coarse hairs. The color of their coats can be anything between reddishness and grayish-ness.

There is no specific weight and size of wild animals. That information is dependent on the particular breed of the wild animal. Nonetheless, they can be anything between 20 and 30 inches, their rails being between 4 to 6 inches. They have a total weight of between 6 and 39 pounds

The Places That Badgers Live And Are Found

Badgers are predominantly found in North America in the Great Plains Region. However, you can also find them in the Western United States and Canadian Provinces, and the mountainous Mexico area. The other places outside the Americas where you can find badgers are Mongolia, China, Tibet, and Pakistan.

The carnivores prefer to live in open, dry, and airy grasslands. However, they have particular versatility. You will find some badger species living in forests, shrubs, and rock regions.

The Different Badger Species

There are eight main species of the badger, and this section will tabulate that information for you:

No.Scientific NameCommon Name
1.Mellivora capensisThe Ratel, Sand badger, or more commonly, the Honeybadger
2.Arctonyx collarisThe Hog badger
3.Meles melesThe Eurasian badger
5.Taxidea taxusThe American badger
6.MelogaleThe Ferret badger
7.Suillotaxus marcheiThe Calamian or Palawan stink badger
8.Mydaus javanensisThe Indonesian stink badger

What Badgers Eat

While badgers are identified as carnivores, some of them can be omnivores. A badger will fall on either side of the same coin depending on their specific species.

American badgers, which are flesh-eaters, will enjoy eating pocket gophers, woodrats, prairie dogs, moles, ground squirrels, kangaroo rats, eggs, birds, reptiles, insects, and fishes. Like the European badgers, some of the breeds are omnivorous and feed on corn, insects, slugs, nuts, earthworms, cereal crops, corn, and fruits. These omnivores also eat small vertebrates like rats, rabbits, snakes, frogs, newts, lizards, mice, moles, and shrews.

How Do Badgers Behave

Badgers are nocturnal animals, that is, their activity levels heighten at night. To tunnel quickly and rapidly through substrates like soil, badgers use their powerful forelimbs. During winter, they do not experience hibernation like most animals; they only go into torpor cycles lasting for about 28 to 20 hours. Mostly, badgers give birth during spring. The little ones stay with their mothers until right before fall. Then, they move far away from their nurses and live in separate places.

How Dangerous Are Badgers To Humans?

As mentioned elsewhere, the relationship between humans and badgers is not best describes by the word dangerous. Badgers do not attack humans unless they are provoked, charged, or harassed. On top of that, a badger takes a self-defense stance when it feels intimidated or is injured by a human. The teeth and claws of the badger are enough to get you gutted. Badgers rarely attack humans, and when left unbothered, they will likely flee the scene. It will only attack and bite you when you try trapping it.

Do Badgers Pose A Danger To Pets

It is correct to say that other animals are a threat to the badger’s territory. They have a destructive nature that stems from their wild instincts. You cannot consider badgers as being loyal to other animals. Also, they are not animals you would want near your pets.

Do Badgers React Dangerously Against Other Animals Species?

People who live in areas where badgers are in high populations need to ensure that their pets are safe. This information and detail go a long way in ensuring that no pet animal casualties are recorded. Badgers like hunting during the night, so ensure that your pets are well-protected.

How Do Badgers Relate With Dogs And Cats?

Badgers try as much as they can to avoid making contact with dogs. The sight of dogs petrifies them, and they always try hiding when they see them. The canine sometimes makes mistakes and starts chasing the badger, which does not understand the idea of play. Then, they may charge the dog in self-defense. Generally speaking, badgers are never intentional about attacking or harming dogs.

Cats do not get preyed on by badgers. However, a dead cat is not something badgers cannot attend to; they love eating whatever they come across.  The badger cannot attack the cat as the feline have sharper claws and teeth, and they are quick-wittedly swift. However, a fight between cats and badgers won’t end well for the cats.

How Do Badgers Relate To Horses And Chickens?

It is obvious that badgers pose little or no harm to horses. To this day, no report has come about a horse that got rabies from a badger’s bite. Horse attacks on badgers are also sporadic.

Chickens are not a match for badgers – the latter is strong. Badgers can invade a farmhouse, tear off an opening into the chicken house and eat all the chicken there. Since they love preying on small animals, chicken serves as a good delicacy for them.

Should Badgers Be A Concern To The Society?

Yes, yes – they should. As mentioned a couple of times up to this point, badgers have destructive instincts. They can damage fruit and crop gardens. They can penetrate fences by hurting them. Also, they carry tuberculosis and may bring it to goats and cows.

This does not mean that they are unwanted – every creature has a role in the ecosystem. They are good pest control assistants, and their burrowing helps in aerating the soil. 

Keeping Badgers Away From Your Home

At this point, we have established the extent to which a badger can go. One of the findings is that they can invade gardens and cause destruction. Looking at that idea, we need to look at the methods we can use to keep badgers away. But before we do that, you need to answer the following question: why do badgers come into my garden? Let’s help you out.

Why Badgers Are Coming To Your Garden

1. Defecation 

As badgers make their evening rounds, they are usually looking for a toilet. Since it is not in order that they mess up their home, they will want to do their business in your garden. They will come out of their burrows or dens (called setts) and dig up holes in your garden. The poop dropped is usually of a dark color and muddy in form. It may or may not have insects and fruit stones in them.

2. Territorialize  

Most animals – even humans – like to mark territories. Wild animals use markers like urine and poo to tell others that this is their area or their female. Since they have no sense of human ownership and trespassing, they may mark your territory as their own. To help in keeping the badges out, try and plant some low shrubs that grow fast.

3. Feeding 

The territory spread of a badger is pervasive. They always have multiple domestic gardens in mind; these places are the ones they patrol when nighttime comes. One of the gardens may be yours, and it could be having everything that the badger needs to survive.

In human gardens, there may be a lot of earthworms – these are delicacies for badgers. This means that they will invade gardens and make multiple snuff-holes. Badgers do not give up easily; they will try as much as possible to dig out the worms. On top of that, they love many garden pests like snails, slugs, wasp nests, and leather jackets. While that may be a helpful thing that the badgers do (taking care of the pest mess), they destroy the landscape and aesthetic feel. Not many people like to see their lawn being dug up.

Some badgers are omnivores, and they will love the vegetables and fruits in your garden. They include apples, plums, grapes, strawberries, and sweetcorn. Badgers have a particular interest in the Windfall fruit. Actually, they can smell it ripening from very far off. If you have enough Windfall fruits, the badgers will not dig up your garden. You can use it as a strategy to control excessive burrowing by the animal.

Getting Badgers Off My Garden In The Legal Ways

As wild animals, badgers are protected by the law. This means that you just can’t do anything that comes to your mind. However, there are lawful actions that you can take against badgers and their setts. This section focus on giving you the best information on the subject. Any move you make here will in no way harm the badgers. Also, you won’t attract authorities to yourself.

1. Ensure That Your Lawn Is healthy

You can achieve a healthy lawn by doing the following: ensuring that there is adequate aeration. Also, you should not feed chemical fast food as this only encourages the growth of shallow roots. You can also use non-poisonous, eco-friendly ways of reducing the damage caused by insects on the lawn. Going this way would ensure that your lawn stays free from insects. Also, you won’t have any badger digging up or sniffing out. Neither the garden pests nor the badgers will survive.

2. Block Any Entrance Points To The Waste Bins

Being scavengers, badgers will shake everything they think has food in it – even bins. So, you need to ensure that all food bins are tightly sealed. Badgers are hard workers who will overturn bins easily. If a bin were left uncovered, the waste would still stay in the trashcan even when the badger pushes the bin.

Also, avoid leaving empty cat and dog food dishes out during nighttime. This also goes for bird feeders. Ensure that everything remains in the house. Badgers are particularly interested in peanuts, and leaving the nuts out would mean serving the animals with their delicacies.

3. Get Raised Beds Protected From Badger Digging And Burrowing

You can use a thick wire grid to discourage badgers from digging up your bulbs. You need to get the grid cut to size and fit into the bed, just under the soil’s surface. This will not discourage the plants from growing. However, the badgers will not dig through them. The grid is likely to hurt their claws when they try. If you need to do any compositing or weeding, you can remove the grid and put it back again when you are done.

4. Getting The Lawn Protected From These Destructive Animals

If you’re getting a new lawn and something tells you that you’ve got badger problems, you can start preparing a surface well. You can then use a wire (of the tennis-court type) to lay a turf of grass on the well-prepared surface. If you choose to use seed, get the netting laid 2 to 3 inches down into the surface. Then, you can go about the normal way of sowing the grass seed.

What happens after some time is that the grass will start growing the wire mesh. The netting formed will discourage the pets from digging. If you have an already existing lawn, you can employ this method with little hassle. However, starting from scratch is a better option as relaying and lifting the turf will take much of your precious time.

All the steps given are supposed to deal with the food, which is a great motivator. This does not mean that the badgers will not try to get into your garden; they are very resilient and will try every way they can to get into your garden.

5. Dealing With The Setts – Destroying Or Filling Them

As mentioned in the kicker to this section, you cannot treat badgers any way you feel like – they are a species protected by the law. If you feel like badgers are being too problematic in terms of structural damage, severe economic harm, and subsidence, you can ask the relevant authorities to give you a license so that you can relocate them. The wildlife agency you consult will not count garden wrecking as a serious issue.

When you trap badgers or destroy their burrows, the law considers you cruel to the animals. This may attract a prison sentence and hefty fines. Also, trying to push them away will only make another badger family, making it a total waste of time. If you feel like your problem is severe enough to warrant a big move, you can get some money and talk to your local badger group.

Avoid Using Any Chemical Repellents

You cannot use any chemical repellent to deal with badgers – this is considered illegal. If you do, you are likely to defy the wildlife protection laws and violating pesticide regulations.

Ensuring That You Garden Is Badger- Proof – That Will Surely Keep Them Out

You can go for a fencing wall, electrical fence, or hole blocking. Any of these moves may be easy or challenging and cheap or expensive. The method picked and the garden’s size is the main determinants of how much you are going to spend.

Since badgers can seamlessly climb wire fences and roughly-built walls, you need to go for a fence that is not less than three feet. Also, going for a wall would mean getting a super smooth one. Ordinary fencing panels will not work; badgers have strong teeth and toughened claws on all their feet. Actually, badgers will dig out wall footing parts or dry stonewalls.

Before you choose any of the emboldened options, you should take a look at your garden’s perimeter. You may find that the solution need is a quick fix, such as blocking holes and repairing the fences. The perimeter inspection will inform you of how the badgers are making their way into your garden. It could be small holes that badgers are expanding, gaps and spaces in old fences, and the opening under a fence. Let us look at hole blockage and electrical fencing:

Hole Blockage – Getting All The Holes Fixed

If you have a wall high and smooth enough that a badger cannot climb over, you could be dealing with holes. The only thing you should do is block or repair holes. You will only need to set a paving slab (made of concrete) at the bottom of a trench. The slab should be in concrete to prevent the badger from dragging or moving it out.

You can block a gap or a hole by hammering long sticks or metal rods into the ground. You should do the hammering vertically and in front of the weak points or holes. This will prevent the badgers from digging deeper; the sticks or rods will be obstructive enough to deter the badger from burrowing.

Using An Electric Fence To Keep The Badger Out

One of the best and most successful ways of dealing with destructive badger is getting an electric fence. This option can be cheaper and simple to execute than building a permanent item like a wall. The electric fence will be removable, and you can only use it only when the badgers are excessively stubborn. The wall will comfortably cover all possible entry points. The badgers will be prevented from entering the lawn or the whole garden. Your fruits and vegetables will stay intact together with the aesthetical landscape created by the garden itself.

When you go for electric fencing, you need to know about how the item will be powered. You can either use mains or battery electricity, but that will depend on the model you pick. The fence you get should be extensive enough to cover the entire garden. Also, they should withstand all weather conditions and stand from dusk till dawn.

It is crucial that you firmly and adequately install the unit. You should use three taut wires that will stand at heights of 75, 200, and 300 millimeters. The wires must get support with every three meters that they are horizontally rolled. Also, it should dig into the earth and follow the ground’s contours.

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