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

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Hush My Darlin' The Coyote Sleeps Tonight

I had two new lambs born today, and as I was outside tonight checking on them I heard a coyote barking . The coyote was so close that had there not been trees between myself and the coyote I would have easily seen it. I wondered what it would be like to be one of my sheep, hearing the coyote and knowing it lurked nearby, smelling my new lambs and knowing instinctively it will kill me given the chance. Then I wondered at the many centuries past and even in some places present where people also fear animal predators. I remembered the song "In The Jungle" and I hummed this song to myself substituting 'coyote' for 'lion' and 'lamb' for child. I don't think it helps the sheep though, they are helped by me being there to protect them. Unlike God, who never sleeps or slumbers in His watch and care of us, His sheep, I need sleep and sometimes the coyote gets a lamb, or my whole flock of ducks. " He who keeps you will not slumber." Psalm 121:3


Andrea said...


Connie said...

Oh my, hearing that coyote bark would frighten me, Kathy! Yes, it is hard to imagine what the mother sheep feels at that sound. I'm sure it strikes fear in her heart. That verse from Psalms is a very reassuring one for us, indeed.

Timi said...

I've never heard a coyote barking before, it was so interesting to hear it and watch it, but I can imagine that it was quite scarry for you...to hear it sooo close!

Pondside said...

That must have been a bit spine tingling. I saw coyotes for the first time last month - mangy, nasty looking cratures.
I'll have to have a look at your other blogs - all sound so interesting!

LindaSue said...

We know coyotes have their place in nature - but not in our pens right? We hear them frequently - we are pretty sure it has been big cats (cougar type) or packs of dogs which have done our herd the most damage. Coyotes kill to eat not for fun (as dogs will kill). I hate sometimes hearing the coyotes calling back and forth - knowing they are on the hunt and my goats only have the protection of a sturdy 3 sided shelter and lots of human smell around them. Hard for all the mamas whether two or four legged when predators are on the prowl.

Anonymous said...



Deanna said...

Dear Kathy,
Your babies are so sweet!
When we lived on the farm, we were in the glassed-in porch and the coyotes began to yap and howl. Way too close for comfort.
Sometimes we just gotta walk with a big stick!

Kathy, I enjoy our blogging friendship and am so glad to hear from you.
God bless you,

Julie Harward said...

Those howling coyotes are here too, we hear them at night, they love to hang around the cattle and they eat the after birth after a baby is born. Your babies are so cute! Come say hi :D

Eggs In My Pocket said...

I know what you mean. We always hear coyotes in the distance, but during this time of year they come right up into the yard and they sound scary. Hope your babies stay safe! blessings,Kathleen

Anonymous said...

That is spooky! Congratulations on your new lambs and good luck in keeping all of your animals safe from the coyotes.

Wobegon Cottage said...

Sounds scary to meeee..do you carry a weapon to protect yourself and the babies??

Mary said...

I have been hearing the coyotes too. One dark evening, I was outside and said, "You cannot have my babies." I can only pray the dog does his job.

Your lambs are beautiful. They will certainly make beautiful wool for your gorgeous weaving.

Carol............. said...

I have to admit..I love to hear the coyote packs talking to each other behind our Washington State mini-farm.

We do take special care to keep our animals safe from them because coyotes really can't differentiate between a domestic meal and the natural one that's available in the fields around us.(Mice, rats, and other small rodents, etc.)

Occasionally we are minus a barn cat or chicken and my only consolance is that God created coyotes as he's created everything else so there must be a good reason for their existence. Guess eventually we will find out the mystery!!! LOL

KathyB. said...

Andrea, thank-you!

Daisy, now when I hear the coyotes I get a little fearful for my sheep.

Timi,the coyote numbers are increasing every year, they are thriving in all areas, and I know they love fresh lamb and duck!

Pondside, just tonight the local news was talking about the increase and danger of coyotes around here, they are very, very bold too.

LindaSue,The funny thing is I actually admire coyotes, and I have seen some very well-nourished coyotes around here that one would call magnificent. I even love to listen to them, just not close to my newborn lambs and my poultry. We have big cats ( cougars ) aplenty here too. They do love to eat fresh goat and lamb, don't they?

goatpod2, Amy, thank-you.

Deann, I am going to have to remember the big sticks, and I think I might have to learn how to shoot too, more for protection from the 2-legged predators in abundance around here. And I value your blogging support and friendship too, thank-you. That means a lot.

Julie, you probably have as many or more than we do....although we have a lot more tree and bush cover. They are doing well in the cities around here too.

KathyB. said...

Kathleen, do you fear for your cats? My husband and I unintentionally cornered a coyote one night as we came home late. It was in an enclosed outdoor area and could not get around us , we gave it wide berth , it fled,and we were all relieved. But that made me aware they are all over our place, and boldly.

Shannon, do you lose many lambs to coyotes or do your llamas take care of that problem? And thanks!

Alice, no, I don't carry a weapon but Jim has been encouraging me to, more because of the dangerous humans around and one encounter we recently had.

Mary, I love listening to them, but when I hear them so close we sleep with the windows open, flashlight and shotgun near-by. The coyotes are such swift and silent killers though....

Carol it seems we both feel the same about them. I don't begrudge them going after my livestock and pets, more often I am upset with myself for not being better able to protect my animals successfully.But make no mistake, as much as I admire coyotes, if we catch them in the act of going after our animals and we have a gun, then we aim to kill.

Dolores said...

Oh Kathy, your baby lambs and the mother are so sweet!! It must be so frightening for the mothers, who have no way of protecting their babies. Thankfully, you're there part of the time, which I'm sure gives comfort to the mother.

It sounds like the coyote population is growing all over the country.

I enjoy your pictures and reading about your life with your family and animals.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the new young ones.
Like the others I like listening to their calls but do not want them in my own yard. Unfortunately man takes away their natural habitat and they move further into populated areas.
Even though my dogs are hundred pounders I do not want them to get into a fight with anyone.

KathyB. said...

Delores, thank-you!The mama sheep and ewes all move close to the front gate of their pen, which is very near our front porch when the coyotes are active close-by. However, this means we have to be watching and listening to be able to protect them and those coyotes are mighty smart.Good thing I am up into the wee hours of the morning and check frequently!

dogsmom, I have 5 Labrador Retrievers and when the coyotes are very close, ALL the dogs hunker down and get very quiet. I think , based on footprint evidence around our home, the dogs know they are very much outnumbered and they just want to make it through the night without a fight they would probably lose. Our dogs did not even bark the night a pack of coyotes killed almost my entire duck flock and footprints showed the coyotes came right up to the dog enclosure and walked around it,the enclosure with 2 Labs in it!Not to mention the 3 Labs indoors who had to have heard or sensed the slaughter~so I think domestic dogs know to lay low when so many coyotes come for blood . And I don't blame the coyotes or the dogs for being true to their nature.