Monday, January 25, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust...

The worst day of our stint here happened less than two weeks ago. Chesney came back after being gone about two weeks, she was here for about a week and then ran off again. The next night we had an attack from either dogs or coyote(s). I am still not sure which, but the result was dire. Our best doe (Jewel) was killed. She was also pregnant and due sometime soon (early February). There was a breach in the fence that I didn't know was there where I assume the perpetrator entered.

I woke up and ran out with my gun because Lindsay said she saw a dog running through the pen. Sadly enough the dog (which I never got sight of) didn't do the deed since when I found Jewel it was obvious that it had happened probably around midnight or earlier.

She wasn't just killed though; she was mangled and partially eaten too. It was a bad day to say the least. She was my favorite, second only to Guthrie our pet goat.

After that I started locking the rest of the herd up for the night in one of their shelters for a few days. The next day Chesney came back and ran right into the pen and back to "work." Since then we have had no signs of any foul play on the horizon...

This morning we woke to find Chesney gone again. I suppose I will be locking the goats up again tonight. Maybe she will come back though. Even if she doesn't keep some frisky dogs from "playing" with the goats, it seems like she keeps true predators at bay at least.

Now we are sadly down to one possible doe to milk come freshening time: our Nigerian dwarf doe Bopeep. Her udder looks to be filling up good, but she is actually the least friendly of all the goats we have left.

We have been contemplating a donkey as a guard animal. If Chesney doesn't come back we will probably start looking for a good jenny.

Lindsay asked me why we were keeping animals since it was so hard. It is hard to explain for me, but I am sure some of you other homesteading types can see the worth in it right?

Hanging in there...

3 comments:

  1. I'm sorry. I lock my goats up in the stall everynight. We have coyotes here and I won't risk it. If you get a donkey make sure it is one that has been around goats. Donkeys can kill goats just by playing with them.

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  2. Yeah. When we get a barn put together I think that will be our daily ritual. Until we have a legit guard animal I will be locking them up over night too...

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  3. Ugh! I am so sorry to hear you lost Jewel. I understand Lindsay's sentiments. I have felt that way before...around the time my father in law's dog murdered my favorite rooster. I kept thinking: "why do I go through the efforts if everything is just going to DIE?"
    It's a hard lesson.
    Someday you'll get it ALL figured out and you'll laugh about your first few years at your homestead....that's what I tell myself when stuff like that happens here.

    Coyotes have been especially thick around my place as of late. My coonhounds are noisy, and they yell at the coyotes every night. The coyotes are fearful of our property for that reason, but I do worry what they may try when my dogs are snoozing in the house at three in the morning. This is a good reminder for me to triple check our fences for possible weak points.

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Yours Truly,
The Crowsons