Goodbye, Sweet Nibsy...
How're things going today?
I'm so sorry! I know how much you two love your goats and how intertwined they are in your lives. Hugs. Taffy
Goatberries Happen!
I am so sorry for your loss. My goodness, this makes me cry. We have coyotes here too and I've seen them trotting down the paved road right next to my house in broad daylight even with the dogs around and me standing right there. When I've had the pistol or bow out I never see them. I'm sure there are plenty of varmit hunters that would hunt them down and turn in the hides for bounty (if your area has bounties).

I recently lost my 50 mile endurance horse at 29 years of age. He and I had travelled hundreds of miles together on trails and he had packed many, many elk out during archery season. I feel as you do-a sweet family member is gone and there is a hole left in your life and heart.
Charlene in Central Orego
Oh Nanno, I am so very sorry for your loss. I know it doesn't take the hurt away, but this is not your fault. My guess is they would have gotten in if they wanted to, fence hot or not. We live in a area with a lot of coyotes and fight with them a lot in the summer. We have hot fence, but I don't trust it. If you're comfortable with the shotgun I would go out and sit with a predator call. They should come in and you'll be able to take several of them. Once they get something or a taste of it they can become a problem. Are you able to lock the goats up at night for now so you can get some sleep?
So sorry to hear about this. Please try not to be be so hard on yourself. Time will ease the pain...may Nibble's memory be a blessing to you. Strong thoughts going out to you, Phil, Cuzco, Lily and Petunia.
The electric fence does a great job of predator control--IF it's turned on! It's a very hot fence and I keep it tight. I walk it regularly and I check the actual zap on the line at the opposite side from the power source every time I turn it on. But there is always the possibility of user error, a downed tree branch, too much snow, or a part or battery that wears out/gets damaged and must be replaced by mail order. So yeah, a second line of defense is definitely in the works.

I think I may have just had tremendous luck on that front. I went on Craigslist today and a lady in Pueblo just listed a 3-year-old Pyrenees/Anatolian mix that has been with her goats since puppy-hood. The woman is downsizing her goat herd and has to get rid of one of her livestock guardians for financial reasons. She can't feed extra dogs that she doesn't need with a smaller herd. She thought she might keep the dog since her daughter wanted one to show in 4-H, but it's just not a show dog. It does well in the obedience class and isn't aggressive with people but she is nervous when strangers handle her. She doesn't want to be a pet--she wants to be with her goats. The dog is free to the right home, and the woman seemed very excited when I told her about my situation. From the description, she sounds perfect! I'm hoping I can get out there and meet the dog tomorrow or Friday at latest. I really hope this is the break I need! Wish me luck!

I'm also considering the baiting and shotgun approach. I have the perfect deck to sit on and call them in. My dad said he's going to buy me a coyote calling CD. A friend of mine also said she knows a trapper. I'd love to have a coyote pelt, especially one from this season. All the coyotes I've seen this year have had unusually thick, healthy, luxurious-looking fur. I know exactly where they run and would love to help someone lay trap lines so I can get one without holes in it.

As for me, I'm doing alright. It was a sad day, but I'm thankful we did not lose more goats by my carelessness. The ground was frozen, but Phil was able to dig a hole in the side of a big dirt pile down by the end of the driveway and we buried Nibbles there. I'm glad she wasn't mangled. She looked peacefully asleep, which made it easier to say goodbye. It doesn't look as though she had a very long or difficult struggle, and given Nibble's scrappy nature, she's probably the one who picked that fight, taunting the coyotes from the other side of the fence. She probably thought it was on and that she'd get a good laugh. I wonder if they'd have come into the enclosure at all if Nibbles hadn't gone down to the bottom of the hill. The top of the pen is right next to our house, and I think the coyotes were afraid to come very far into the pen. From the tracks, they stayed right by the fence line and left without their prey the moment they realized they couldn't get her out of the enclosure. Poor, brave little goatie. Sometimes over-confidence doesn't pay.
Good to hear things are in the works. I have a few suggestions. Dont call from your house or area where the goats are penned. If you do call from your own property, do it as far out as possible. If there is open land where the yotes are coming from, best to do it a half mile or so out. Dont bother with a shot gun when calling. They will never come close enough without a bait dog or if you dont have something visual to attract them in close. Also, they are dogs so their sense of smell is very good. Id invest in camo (winter if needed), maybe a portable blind and sent killer. As for the weapon, a 22 long rifle is the lowest call I would go, but Id suggest a 25-06 or a more common 30-06. Not to loud and either can reach out 300- 500 yards without dropping to much. I used a 25-06 to get my deer this year. It was a 300 yard shot and the bullet hit exactly where I aimed. Shot guns are good when you are tracking the yotes back to their den. Id suggest dedicating the time to track them after a fresh snow fall. Once you find a den, get within 50-100 feet, use the predator call to get them to poke their head out, and then bang! Though this can be done with the rifle just as easy and at a greater distance. Put any carcasses that you get (and dont skin) a 100 feet or so out from your fence lines. Like human pee, this is also said to detour yotes from coming in. Though I have even heard of people trying em to their fence posts. Watch some youtube videos for more insight into how they are hunted. Wish I was closer, Id so love to help in this area on site.
Pack Goat Prospects For Sale.

S.E. Washington (Benton City)
Ah... it was a wonderfully peaceful and quiet night. I slept like a rock and the goats look refreshed this morning too. Yesterday morning they were huddled in a pile, exhausted, because all of them had been on the alert all night like me. I hope Cuzco's mood improves today. After a brief morning nap, he spent the rest of the day in a towering rage and was charging and pummeling any goat that dared to come anywhere near him. Lack of sleep and loss of his best friend probably both contributed to his temper. He's usually at least tolerant of the babies, but yesterday they both got smacked hard any time they walked near him, and sometimes even when they didn't. He was going out of his way to bully everyone, which isn't his usual style.

Dave, my dad was saying I should shoot the coyotes right here near the house because it will deter others when they find out that coyotes die when they come here. I know that usually works for bears, but I don't want to assume coyotes are the same way. My dad also suggested I get a .223 ranch rifle for the ones that stay further down the hill. He used his for killing "varmints" and loved it. Of course, he also put a folding stock and a banana clip on his so it would be illegal during the Clinton "assault weapons" ban. Smile
In the end though any holes in coyote territory will be filled by a new young pair looking to start fresh. And they may be more or less bold about going for livestock. Killing them is a temporary thing and not really a solution... Like dragging a net to clear the reef of jelly fish.

Now is the time to wonder-- Are you going to get another goat? Are you going to save the space for more offspring of your existing goats? Losing an animal only has one upside and that is that perhaps room can be made for a new critter to have a good life. When I had to sell my yak, that very evening I went and picked up Bacchus. Made me feel better for sure. (Though someday I want to get another yak)
That is certainly the worst of the worst. It is one thing when one of your animals just lays down and dies, it is quite another to have them chewed up by a stinking predator.

I have to add, that when I was just getting started, everyone said, 'oh, cattle panels, cattle panels', but since I couldn't figure out how to get them up here, I went to my second choice, what was termed then as, 'no-climb horse fencing'. I have been glad more times than I can count that I ended up with this stuff as fencing. No coyotes can break through, although they were around for about a year and a half hoping, and my goats have never broken out... except through the gate, and I have that secured at this point. And due to our particular type of terrain, digging in is out of the question, unless the preds can figure out how to get through all the rocks. I am so sorry that you lost your boy this way!
Larry Robinson

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