"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others." A.Holmes

Saturday, January 31, 2009

They're Back!

~I have been doing more research on coyotes in Washington, and was astonished to discover there are an estimated 50,ooo coyotes in this state alone! I think the majority of them are right around our home. I checked my flock of sheep around 2:00 a.m. and saw or heard nothing amiss, no ewes showing imminent lambing. So off to bed for a good night's sleep without too much back pain . Ahhhhhhhhhh.......
~Remember, the coyotes made a raid on our place and devoured all but two of our ducks....~
~Well, they apparently love to dine here at Cedar Pond and last night came back and helped themselves to lamb. The little lass on the far left, looking away from the camera...well, she was a feast for the coyotes. I am so angry! The evidence of the feast is but a few yards away from where the rest of the flock huddled and had to have heard and seen the gory deed. I was shocked as I viewed my sheep pen from our 2nd story window this morning. I looked out and saw what looked like someone had sheared a sheep while I slept. I knew right away I would find a missing sheep. I tracked the path of the villains and left the evidence for Hubby to investigate. ~He discovered they had dug under the fence, and eaten most of her IN THE PEN, and then dragged bits of her off ( probably for snacks ? ). He saw coyote and deer prints in a well used path behind our home , in a wooded and brushy area. We are still finding coyote scat up and down our roads. See, most of the 50,000 coyotes live right around here. ~Hubby is installing electric fencing around the perimeter of our pens tomorrow. He has transformed my weaving area into his own personal "coyote blind" for observation and predator control .
~And then, there is this. The mole mountains have doubled in size and number....~
~The moles have sprung the traps without being caught....our lawn is caving in, YIKES!~
~As time races on we have learned over and over that we really do not have much control over even the simplest things in our lives. Our health, the safety of our animals, the lives of our children and grandchildren, the weather.....the economy, our nation, and it seems even more important to remember to "trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding..." Pretty soon the invasion of tiny black ants and ladybugs will start. A battle for every season here on earth.

19 comments:

troutbirder said...

Ouch! That's a lot of coyotes. Could a large dog keep them at bay?
We have a few around here but they never come close, to my knowledge.
Neat blog!

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Kathy, I am sorry.

I have an LGD that barks all night, so it seems sometimes. It irritates me because he seems to bark at the sky, yet, I hope he does a good enough job to keep whatever it is away.

I agree with you, it is all a part of nature, the battles that we endure. And it is a lot of work. With the good comes the bad, and sometimes things that are difficult hurdles to cross.

I hope your back is feeling better.

Amy said...

Oh how scary, we've heard coyotes hre before and even a bobcat but anyways our LGD's do a pretty good job though, we have 2 Pyrenees.

Southern Comfort said...

Oh, so sorry about your pretty lamb. I have seen coyotes go after baby calves and we have lost many dogs, chickens and ducks to them. We have also had a few bobcats over the years. I try to keep a close watch on my little dog, he is no match for them. That is one of the perils of living in the country.

LindaSueBuhl said...

Oh Kathy I'm so very sorry - to lose a nice large ewe like that - I have been anxious a bit lately about our goats since the coyotes have been quite vocal around here. With new babies the sound attracts them (my thinking) - so little we can do - coyotes were here before us and I think we've provided an all you can eat buffet with cats and dogs and small livestock in areas which coyotes used to have to hunt for rats and MOLES! So sorry

Mildred said...

So very sorry for your loss Kathy. Please take care of yourself and hope you and your husband are having a better weekend.

Shiloh Prairie Farm said...

Oh No! My heart just breaks and goes out to you, how awful! I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but those darn coyotes know where they can get an easy meal now, they will be back. They are very smart, you need a livestock guardian. If you lived closer I would loan you one of my adult dogs (we have 4) until you could find one. He drools some, but he saved our bucks from a neighbor's dog a couple years ago.

The coyotes are thick here, I hear them almost every night and have seen the evidence of deer not far from our goat pasture that they have devoured, but we haven't lost a goat yet since getting our Livestock guardian dogs. They do bark quite a bit a night, but not all night by any means and I suspect it is because there actually IS coyotes out there nearby they hear/smell and it is their main job to keep them away in the first place. I spotted a coyote that came up to the fence line a few weeks ago, brazen thing. Dreyfus and Bayla were at the fence in a flash barking and the coyote ran off, while our other dog in that pasture Abby stayed back with the goats and barked. I really hate that this happened, I know how much it would have broke my heart to lose one of mine that way.

A. Joy said...

I can almost hear his voice... "Hi, I'm Marty Stauffer and this is WILD AMERICA".
I'm thinking the coyotes dragged off the outside part of the lamb so they could wear it as a costume and come back later disguised as a lamb.

KathyB. said...

troutbirder, thank-you. yes, that is a lot of coyotes.

Mary,Amy, Shiloh Prairie, a LGD would be great, but we already have 5 Labradors and a Vizsla so cannot keep another dog. But I am thinking that if the coyotes leave us any sheep by the time one or 2 of our older dogs depart this earth I just might get one.

Linda Sue & Shiloh Prairie, yes I am sure the word is out , this here is an all you can eat buffet. That is why I went to bed at 5:00 a.m. as Hubby got up to relieve me for guard duty.

Southern Comfort, we have the raccoons, the possums, the coyotes and I am waiting for the cougars who prowl around here, maybe they will dine on coyote!

A.Joy, yes, the coyotes are so smart they just might come back wearing wool coats....

Linda Sue, I know, Coyotes are here to stay, and I even admire their ability to thrive in our urban areas, but I don't want to be feeding them anymore unless they start fining on MOLE!

KathyB. said...

Mildred, thank-you, I keep forgetting how bad my back is until just before the meds wear off...Hubby reminds me when he is home.

Candy Duell said...

I am so sorry that you had such a awful thing happen to you. I hope you dont have to tangle with them again. Take care!

LindaSueBuhl said...

Kathy - I certainly was preaching to the choir with my comment, sorry- talking aloud (sorta) about my own concerns having small penned animals who make noise in an area surrounded by predators. BUT - we do what we can and trust we are doing our best.I know you and your spouse are doing the same thing, hope it didn't sound otherwise. Hey - take care of that back!

Shiloh Prairie Farm said...

In a perfect world the coyotes would dine on your moles! Maybe after getting shocked with the electric fence they will decide mole is better than lamb! I am crossing my fingers for that! I don't know if you have seen this link or not but I thought you might find it interesting. I have no idea if these deterrents would work, I just came across it while surfing the web. http://www.qawebsites.com/coyote.htm

KathyB. said...

Candy, thank-you, I hope so too.

LindaSue, I completely agree with you! As I reflect on those coyotes and their ability to thrive in spite of us humans. We have just provided the coyote equivalent of our MacDonald's...fast, filling and easy food! We can't resist Micky D's, why do we think they can.....come on over to our place, penned and fat sheep just waiting to be eaten!

Shiloh Prairie, I will be checking that link out today...and I was hoping to hear a coyote scream as it hit the hot wire tonight!

Miss Linda said...

I am so sorry about the little lamb. That must have been a horrifying sight. I hope the new electric fence will work. I also hope you are starting to feel better!

noble pig said...

NO! Oh I am so, so sorry! I would be insanely insane over it. I am so sorry for you guys.

And those moles, my goodness they are such buggars. Ugh.

Farm Chick Paula said...

Oh no... I'm so sorry for the lamb, Kathy... I know how you feel- the anger and the hurt.

kenleighacres said...

I am so sorry to hear about your lamb. I know the coyotes have to eat, but it just seems cruel and unusual punishment for them to dig under the fence and take one of your babies. I will think good thoughts for the rest of your flock.

Daisy said...

Oh, Kathy, I am so sorry to hear the coyotes have attacked again. What a frightening experience and yes, I would be very angry too if I were you. The mole troubles too--YIKES! We live in town with only on occasional groundhog or raccoon or deer coming through and those are all very rare. Outside the city limits there is much more wildlife of course. Mostly here in town, all we see are birds, rabbits and squirrels. I hope the new fencing will help solve the coyote problems for you.