More on the Farm
Creek's Edge Elk Farm is nestled right next to the Otsquago Creek in the heart of the Mohawk Valley.
The farm is a mother/daughter operation started about 4 years ago. After spending a year researching, we fenced off a corner of the dairy farm Susan runs with her husband, and purchased eight elk from Buffalo. We then invested in a handling facility and proceeded to build more pasture. There is now about 29 acres under fence. The fence is eight feet tall and made out of woven, high tensile wire. The fence is made to spring back if one of the animals runs or jumps into it. This prevents the wire from breaking and the animal from being injured. The pastures are connected to each other and the handling facility by series of laneways and gates. The handling facility allows us to separate the elk using a cubicle system with sliding door and swinging gates. There is also a squeeze chute to restrain the elk for routine vaccinations and TB testing. When captured, elk will stand quietly, but if provoked (such as by someone asking them to move to the next cubicle) they will lash out with their front feet or their teeth. The handling facility is designed to minimize physical contact with the animals and to guarantee the safety of everyone involved.
The above picture shows a veiw of the laneways used to capture the elk. I was standing in the laneway in which the elk exit out of the handling facility through. We also drive through this laneway to enter in one of the pasture. At the far end of the laneway the gate opens into a total of three pastures in which we can direct the elk to after the move through the holding facility. The laneway on the left is the smaller alley in which the elk enter in the handling facility.
The above photo shows what we call the wooden enclosure. We use this as sort of a waiting room for any elk that can't fit in the handling facility. The wooden boards nailed up to the fence serve to calm the elk. The boards form a solid, easily seen barrier and the elk will generally stand quietly when solidily confined.