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Game farming: How many animals can you keep in your camp?

Question:
We have a piece of land of 64 ha available that we would like to fence and use as a small game camp. The aim is not to breed wildlife and we are currently considering keeping springbok, blesbok and gemsbok.

The land is in the Kuruman/Hotazel area in South Africa. I would like more information on the number of animals that I can keep here (carrying capacity), fencing and water requirements, and any other necessities that I have to keep in mind. I have no experience in wildlife management, so any advice will be most welcome. This camp will be managed as part of a recreational and educational institution.

64 ha in the area you mentioned is really a very small game camp. The animals you keep will have to be intensively managed since the carrying capacity can be easily exceeded, even if you keep a few animals.

It is a good idea to speak to a government wildlife official in your area to ensure that you keep within regulatory and legal constraints.

Fencing costs vary dramatically and are influenced by factors like the terrain, quality and material, electrification, and which contractor you use.

The carrying capacity in your area is around 15 ha per livestock unit, which means that you will only be able to support 3 to 5 gemsbok, 7 to 12 springbok, and maybe 4 to 7 blesbok. I would personally rather opt for red hartebeest rather than blesbok as they are true Kalahari animals. Duiker and ibex can also do well in your area.

I also expect that you would have to supply extra pasture during your winter months to ensure your animals are well fed. You’ll be able to manage with 1 permanent water source where clean water is available at all times.

Also read: Aldam Game School launching soon

  • This article was written by Dr. Douw Grobler and first appeared on Landbou.com.

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