We have been raising sheep since 2005 without a sheep guardian and this year, 2016, is the first time we experienced coyotes killing our sheep. We raise beef cattle here at Bear Creek as well, and have lost a few calves to coyotes over the years. After all the hard work of making sure these little babies survive it is very disheartening to have them killed by coyotes right when you think you are over all the hurdles of keeping them healthy.
We lost 3 lambs and a ewe while we were in Oregon at the Black Sheep Gathering in June. One lamb suffered injuries to her neck and after days of treatment and care she eventually died as well. Three more lambs disappeared later in the summer as well as another ewe lamb with neck injuries. She is my only Wensleydale ewe lamb and quite special. She had blood all over her beautiful wool on her neck, but thankfully after shearing that area and treating her she survived.
My boys and husband love to hunt, but were unsuccessful in tracking down the coyotes. We had the state trapper come and he set traps and snares but never caught a coyote.
We have a Golden Retriever that is useless as far as coyotes are concerned, since she stays close to us and sleeps in the house at night.
Losing 10 sheep this summer lead us to researching Livestock Guardian Dogs as an option. After talking to several shepherds we decided this was the route we should take. We purchased a 3/4 Great Pyrenees, 1/4 Anatolian Shepherd from our neighbor, he is 3 months old and we named him Angus.
He has a very different disposition than our Golden Retriever, which has been fun to watch. He is very laid back, has the cutest huge clumsy paws and sounds like a horse walking up the steps on our deck. He already seems to be aware of his territory, checking it over and barking during the night.
All the sheep are up in the yard now getting ready for breeding season, so they are safer for now until the sheep guardian grows bigger.
Hi Teresa! I love your work! Angus looks gorgeus and I hope he will be soon great guardian to keep your sheeps in save! x Teje
All the best … worked with a goat protector this summer. A great dog, but we each had to prove ourselves before he was comfortable with us. He grew up with the herd and not people so his orientation was that folks had to prove themselves not a threat. They had an electric fence to keep the goats from straying, but here our predators are different. Coyotes are a mix of western coyote and eastern timber wolves. Bigger. Feral dogs also a problem. But the predators also have a huge deer herd, hare, and a very different hilly forested environment, different prey wise.too.
Sheep and goats are all fenced in fairly small areas within hearing of folk’s homes, with movable electric fence so they can be moved to fresh pasture. Because of long and tough winters and this being a dairy area (until recently, now more beef) there are also barns and three sided shelters and the animals are all fed there and stay close. Interesting how very different animal husbandry is from place to place.
I have a Great Pyrenees (female) and I can assure you a Pyrenees WILL protect your sheep if possible. Good luck!!
Good to hear! Thank you!
Oh my I’m so sorry you lost those beautiful little sheep. Hopefully your new puppy will be able to chase the coyotes away but maybe you need more than one because he will be attacked by more than one coyote if there is a pack. I heard from some people with sheep that a mule of donkey will chase coyotes away. I hope you don’t loose any more babies.
So sorry about all the sheep and calves you lost. Angus is a cutie and hopefully will guard the sheep and calves well.
Thank you Carolin! 3 more sheep went missing this last week. This is the first time I’m wishing a puppy would grow quickly.