Monday, April 5, 2010

Lost a lamb

Had a lamb disappear, which bugs me a lot. they're pretty big at this point; maybe 20-25lbs, and it's just gone, which led me to believe that it was taken by a coyote. A quick scout around the edges of my pasture turned up fresh coyote tracks. There's actually two tracks in that photo. The one above is older, filled in with rain water and some algae. The one below is pristine. You can clearly see the claw marks, and it's never been rained on, which means it was probably left this morning. Click on the photo for a larger version. The sheep hang out overnight basically right next to my buildings. I'll be penning the sheep with the cows at night until they get a big bigger to help with this problem.

At this time of year coyotes are hunting for their litters of kits, and while I'm sympathetic to making a living, I can't afford to put lamb on their menu, so I'm going to sit out and see if I can catch this guy coming back for seconds.


StefRobrts said...

I still think a llama (often you can find them free on CL) would be a wise investment for you. They are easy keepers, and they'll fight off coyotes, or at least give them a good chase. And for guarding you only need one, preferably a gelding - two will stay together and ignore the sheep, one will stay with the flock and protect them. I've seen one chase a dog out of our field, they're pretty impressive fighters.

Anonymous said...

I heard a lamb producer is supposed to aim for an average of 2 lambs per breeding female per year. Is that what it should be?

What are you producing right now?

Bruce King said...

We all aim for 3 lambs per ewe, but as with any goal, your results are sometimes different.

My lambing this year was just 1 lamb per ewe average. I'll be culling the ewes that didn't produce and keeping the ones that do. As I work with the flock I expect the lambing percentage to get better.