This spring in Colorado, a 4-day-old Gypsy Vanner foal was stolen from the pasture in the middle of the night. This was heartbreaking for the mare and owners, but there were no leads as to who did this crime. Can something like this be prevented?
Besides locking gates and limiting pasture access, one approach to the challenge of how to protect pastured horses is by using surveillance cameras along fence lines. Mounting a camera must take into account wind, rain, sleet, snow and hail conditions, and the camera needs to remain secure and steady.
The cameras themselves must be able to withstand environmental challenges of varied weather conditions. These surveillance systems tend to use poles placed a short distance from the fence without touching it to avoid vibrations from wind, weather or animals. The camera view extends over the fence line by several feet for monitoring.
Thermal cameras are also available to detect the heat of intruders (or wild animals) along a fence line.
Due to the lack of light over pastures in the dusk or night hours, it is necessary to use infrared technology incorporated into cameras monitoring a fence line. High contrast and good resolution are important for poor-to-no-light situations.
The breadth of an area that must be surveilled along fence lines and pastures necessitates selection of how the software is applied: motion detection, idle loitering, multiple trip wires, object detection and exclusion zones are terms you need to become familiar with.
This video feed can be viewed in real time and/or as a recording for later review.
Posting signs that inform outsiders that you are video surveilling the area can also act as a deterrent to trespassing or harmful activities.
Each situation is different, so contact someone in your area who is familiar with security camera systems and enlist their help in choosing the right setup for your monitoring needs.