It has been a bit of a tough stretch with losses lately. I discovered a hungry coyote had been helping himself to the odd lamb from the group of sheep which was left near the yard. Normally it is a safe area, but a pair of coyotes that has been hanging around I think have discovered the taste of lamb. So after chasing one out of the pasture twice and shuffling some groups together, I brought Ruza back from the main flock (where the dogs seem to be keeping the coyotes at bay) to watch over the small group of ewes. This combined with a few losses to pneumonia and parasites, has made trips to the pasture depressing instead of enjoyable.
As I head out each day, I get a feeling of apprehension about what trouble I may find. Yesterday, things seemed to be ok, nothing noticeably sick or dead, a new set of twins, and a couple lambs I had caught to treat looked no worse. As I checked the other side of the pasture, Chief (the collie) came across what looked like a coyote path under the fence. About this same time, the pups, who often follow me while I’m in the pasture, seemed to have found something of interest. My heart sank as I thought I would find a kill when I reached them. As I got closer, legs up in the air went another step to confirming my dread. Until the legs moved! Instead of a dead ewe, I found one that had been cast (stuck on her back). I turned her over, and after a few minutes of resting, she was able to walk back to the rest of the flock under the supervision of the pups.