Beavers On Milligan’s Gander Hill Farm

Beaver on our pond

I went to our farm recently and walked around the property and I noticed on the back side of our pond a beaver has taken up residence. He has cut an entrance to his den into our island and you can see left of the entrance a beaver mound. He has also stocked piled a bunch of willow trees on and below the ice to eat this winter. It was very close to 1 degree above zero (F) and I was surprised the beaver has been able to keep the area in front of his entrance from freezing  so he can get to his willow stash.Beaver mound

I am excited to see this animal has decided to make our pond his home. I know some people might be worried of what damage the beaver might do, but not us. We have so many willows on our land, which is one of the beaver’s favorite trees to eat, we hope it helps keep the willows from getting out of control. As long as we put some wire fencing around the trees we don’t want him to eat we should get along just fine. I would like to work with them, than try to remove them, which would probably take a lot of time and effort anyway with little chance of eliminating them for good. Plus its real cool to see them swimming in our pond and we hope to make Mr. Beaver a friend instead of a foe. That fits right in our farm philosophy of trying to work with nature instead of against it.Willows on our farm

As you can see from the picture above that the beavers have lots of willows to choose from.

When I was there it was very cold and there was a snow storm going on. It was the only time I had my camera with me to get any winter shots. I found it so serene with the snow falling and the peacefulness that I felt while there was so relaxing. I never get tired of hanging out on our farm.Winter on the farm

Gander Hill Pond

The beaver den is on the other side of our island in the pond. You can also see in this picture where the beaver has dug out a channel from the pond around our embankment so he can swim to where the willows are instead of just crossing over the embankment to expose himself to predators.

I went there to talk with our builder and supplier of our building materials for the home we are going to start to build this coming April. I had also went there to do some ice fishing with a friend of mine but we found it was too cold for that. Still it was fun to get out of the city for a few days and enjoy the country. We still have lots of plans for the coming year and will soon be sharing that with you all. So until next time enjoy more pictures of our farm in winter.winter on our farmwintr on our farm




About Gordon Milligan

I am a retired conductor for a commuter railroad in Chicago IL, I now live in and have bought a 40 acre farm in South Central Iowa that I have built from the ground up. My wife and I are trying to raise and grow most of my own food using sustainible and organic methods. I have a blog that journals my journey to becoming a farmer.
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13 Responses to Beavers On Milligan’s Gander Hill Farm

  1. Lisa says:

    We only have 12 acres, but I’d love to have a beaver occupying the pond !! How cool is that?!?! Kudos to you for wanting to ‘work’ with it instead of getting rid of it!! We’re going to build a pole building to live in! I’ll be looking forward to your future posts!!!

  2. MAXEY says:


  3. Ricky Umphryes says:

    You have any deer on your property? You need to put a trail camera out.

    • We do have lots of deer on our property and if you go back about 3 post you can see a deer that a friend took off our land this past fall. We will be putting out trail cameras once we move there.

  4. Allan Brown says:

    Your land looks great. Good luck building!

  5. Thanks Allan, I appreciate that.

  6. Zephyr Hill says:

    I’m glad the beavers are doing something you want them to do! We had beavers in our pond on our Alabama farm, and they were naughty beavers. They dammed the outlet of the pond and made it flood over the road next to it. We had to put drainage pipe under their dam to let the pond drain down a bit, and they didn’t like it and left. I did love seeing them there and wished they hadn’t left, but that road was our only way to access the back of the farm. I hope your beavers will be happy campers for many years.

    Thanks for sharing the peaceful, beautiful shots of your farm. Just think, next winter you’ll be living there!

  7. Thanks Susan, beavers can be a problem like with your situation. Thankfully we don’t have any culverts for them to dam up. We do have some trees we will have to protect or they will cut them down even if it is not one of their favorite trees to eat. They do it so more of their favorite trees like Willow and cottonwood have the sun light to grow.

  8. Very cool! I’ve only seen one beaver on my parents’ property in all the years I’ve looked.

  9. swede says:

    I’m glad u like the beaver in the pond I made for u see u in the spring

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