5 days ago
Here's a little clip of the ewe that was attacked. She has rejoined the flock. Quite a bit slower but anxious to keep up. I noticed her 'baaa' is quite gutteral so I expect her vocal organs (?) were damaged. I took this clip last evening as the flock was making its way back to the barnyard. Don't know if you can tell from the video but she carries her head with a downward tilt to the right. Neither she nor the attacked lamb (not shown) can hold their heads fully up. ... See MoreSee Less
6 days ago
Don't enlarge pics it you're queasy type.
My flock was hit by coyotes 4 days ago.
The ewe in the last pic is the mother of the tiny lamb, last born of the year, that was hit by flystrike that I blogged about a while back.
The other evening bringing the flock in that little lamb didn't come but kept grazing on the edge of some taller grass. When I investigate I found the mother prone and cast (couldn't get up) and was covered with flies and maggots around her throat and back of neck, and on down into her shoulders. I helped her stand and was able to walk slowly with her as she wobbled back to the barn yard with the lamb following behind.
I treated her for the flystrike and thought how bizarre it was that the mother of a lamb who was previously hit by the flies was now herself hit.
Then I noticed the lamb in the middle picture. She was dripping blood from her throat and in clear shock. Then I knew it was coyote not just on her but on the ewe - the flies hit the ewe after she was injured. The purple colour on the lamb is an antiseptic wound healing spray. Then I saw another lamb, the one on the first pic, who was injured on one side of her throat (the side not shown - you can just see the bottom part of the wound). The two lambs hit were the 2nd and 3rd last born, and the ewe is the mother of the last born.
The fact that the sheep were wounded, in the throat, but not killed tells me that this was a young coyote(s) learning to hunt. And adult coyote would have successfully killed all three. I don't usually worry about young coyotes until mid August - maybe an early born littler.
The middle lamb has since died. The other lamb and the ewe were in the barn for the past few days on antibiotics and I released them back into the flock this morning. Both are grazing but very stiff and with limited mobility in the head/neck. The ewe still wobbles a bit but was eager to rejoin her flockmates.
I contacted the municipal person that deals with livestock kills. He informed me that he's been running ragged with sheep kills all week. Some farmers have taken to confining their sheep in the barn full time. One even had kills inside his barn at night (next road over from me!).
Usually when there are kills, the authorities authorize hunters to go after the predators. But he says there are very few hunters left because so many farms have been sold to week-ends who won't consent to hunters pursuing onto their properties.
I was surprised to hear of so many kills - I thought maybe the coyote population was entering its waning part of the cycle as I've seen quite a few rabbits, squirrels and groundhogs that have been virtually unseen in my area for the past several years. ... See MoreSee Less
Seems there is always something trying to take off with our livestock...here it's our turkeys. It's my feeling that if you're gonna kill my critters make it fast and eat the whole thing not injure for the animal to suffer a slow agonizing death. Hopefully your crew heals. Coyotes are nasty critters.
So so sad. I am sorry you have to deal with those nasty coyotes. You are so good to your flock. 😥❤️
This is terrible Doug! I’m so ☹️
2 weeks ago
Working on a lesson from the Natural Dye course I'm taking. I've got samples of cotton, linen,wool, and silk that I'm going to mordant in some red currants (last years crop) and some broadleaf weeds from the lawn.
You can check out more info about this on the course developers blog (Mel Sweetnam at mamiesschoolhouse.com) which is on her website. There are links to the courses she offers on her homepage if you are interested in checking them out. www.mamiesschoolhouse.com/blogarchive/2020/4/25/a-new-approach-to-plants-as-mordants ... See MoreSee Less
Covid Cut. I think I came home with the right dog.
Such a relief for him. The heat wave was nasty with the heavy coat he was carrying.
I can't even imagine the mess if I'd tried to do this myself. ... See MoreSee Less
I'm not sure if this is 4 little ones and two adults or 4 + 1. Either way, it answers why Jonah has been paying so much attention to the (abandoned) groundhog hole at the edge of the front lawn.
Just happened to be outside last evening when I caught sight of the family. It looks like they're moving out as they were headed towards the front creek and field.
So lucky I happened to be there cuz Jonah was out. I can't begin to imagine half a dozen skunk blasts on a dog overdue for shearing by 3 months!
It was interesting how tightly the skunks kept to their group. Difficult to count and, as they kept moving, difficult to get a decent pic. ... See MoreSee Less