6/26/2011

Not every story has a happy ending!!

Cougars are common around here but since we have so many deer they have never been a problem with my sheep... They traverse a wide range and usually make a kill and move on.  Now though I have a female with young hanging out in my forest.  It didn't take her long to spot the vulnerable, mutilated little orphan lamb I took in  and she killed it and came back four nights later and got my bottle baby.  Needless to say I was just devastated....

The Wildlife officer says that once she's made those kills she will keep coming back until she gets all my lambs. So now all the sheep are locked up in the greenhouse which is totally unacceptable for summer because of the heat.  All projects are at a screeching halt now while I convert the tractor shed into a night shelter for the sheep.  It will be perfect as it is close to the pasture near  the house....

The ironic thing is that because of all the rain, I have the greenest, lushest grass and my sheep are penned up eating baled alfalfa.. but also the lush tall grass provides extra cover for the stalking cougar..  I am not walking in my woods these days..

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

how terrifying! Here, we have bears and coyotes- last year, we heard our guinea fowl being picked off for a week, one to two a night until only 2 left. (and a doe, too) A few years before, every chicken 15+ and a few guinea fowl gone in one day by coyote. I am wary of walking alone, too.- Ellie

Judy said...

It must have been very hard to have your lambs killed.It is hard to strike a balance between wildlife, and domesticated animals.
Good on you for coming up with a good solution.Pity about all that lovely grass...

Momma Bear said...

Yipes! how frightening!
we used to have coyote but with all the housing developments going up they have moved on.
be careful and don't let morris out on his own!

Suztats said...

This is scary. How awful about your little lambs. I suppose there is nothing to be done but hope the cat moves on once she finds your sheep are protected. Do be careful.

~~Sittin.n.Spinnin said...

Its hard to take, hard to come to terms with. I have given up on chickens for the time being, coyotes have taken them twice now, I don't want to put any more in danger till I'm sure the 'yotes can't get into the pen.
It could have been much worse though Gerry, I have a friend in Oregon that lost 18 adult sheep in one night to a cougar teaching her young cub to hunt. It was devastating, she no longer raises sheep at all.

sheravery said...

Holy Hannah- How terrible for you and your little bundles! I have taken to going out at night with my Cocker Spaniel for her 'bedtime constitutional' as we have coy-dogs here. I have come within several yards of them and it's very frightening. Perhaps you could come up with a way to get your field mowed some to cut down on the 'prowling area'. Good luck to you and your fluffy friends. Please let us know that all is well. Be safe.

-Sherry-

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