Friday, October 26, 2012

Farm Friday

We've been busy around the farm this week, with two CSA deliveries and several visitors to the farm.  The week we've been living dangerously.  Two nights ago, our trusty farm dog Ginny alerted us to the fact that things weren't as they were supposed to be.  There was a pack of these close to our barn pasture:
Lost Coyote
I'm sure if I knew a coyote in person (especially a pup), I'd love it like I'd love a dog/puppy or cat/kitten.  However, coyotes are a danger to our goats, especially to the kids or sick and weak goats.  They have killed some of our kids in the past.  Although Ginny was inside the house, she sensed a problem.  We became aware that she was barking a different kind of bark, one we had never heard before.  As soon as we opened the door, we could hear the pack.  They were close by, but not for long because Ginny's barking told them she meant business.  The next morning we also heard the pack, but they were much farther away.

Today I had another encounter of the dangerous kind when I was emptying my recycling bins at our local recycling center.  I had emptied one bin when something told me to inspect the bottom.  This is what I found:
Black Widow Spider
A black widow spider had hitched a ride on the bottom of my recycling bin and rode with me for 30 minutes in my SUV!  Although I do spider rescues, I only do harmless spider rescues. 

In goat news, Miracle continues to be a healthy and happy goat.  We had two sick goats that we were tending.  One, Sheeza, is doing fine but the other, Eleanor, still has not recovered so we gave her a new medication today in hopes of boosting her health.  I'll keep you posted.


Rubye Jack said...

The coyote has a redeeming side to him in that he looks so much like a dog, but spiders I can live without. Scary.

EcoGrrl said...

so curious, what kinds of ways besides your awesome pup do you use to protect the goats? i'm always curious because so many just go out there and shoot them :(

Cherie said...

Rybye Jack, thanks for visiting my blog. I've saved yours to go back and explore when I can give it the time it deserves.

EcoGrrl, we also have our Great Pyrenees guard dog Joey who lives in the pasture with the babies and their mothers. That particular night, he wasn't barking for some strange reason but I know had they entered the pasture he would have chased them.

Unfortunately, due to disruption of the ecosystem, coyotes have ventured far beyond their natural habitat - they now live in every state and even in cities - and they are a danger to livestock and pets. Plus they reproduce rather fast. As a result, their numbers now require drastic measures. :(

EcoGrrl said...

I would challenge you on "drastic measures" as I'm assuming you mean it's ok to kill them because they interfere with our lives. We as humans have infringed on their natural habitats, not the other way around, and killing wild animals because they don't fit into our domestic structures or because we have decided there are too many (when there are BILLIONS of humans - but no one would dare say we need to weed some of us out..) is to me one of the worst things that humans are doing - it's prioritizing our lives over theirs, rather than coexisting.

EcoGrrl said...

PS - here's a great article that talks about coyotes and how to coexist...

Cherie said...

EcoGrrl, I appreciate your feedback - and the link. However, I think you misunderstood me. I do not believe in wanton killing of any animal - and I long for the day that "the lamb will lie down with the lion." The reality of our world is often "dog-eat-dog" and sometimes you have to choose which "dog" wins. (And often this situation has been caused by human interference in the ecosystem.) I do not see coyotes as my enemy - they have done no harm to me. But they do harm my goats. One of my goats, Amy, was a first-time mother when a pack of coyotes got into our pasture and killed both of her kids. My husband found their mutilated remains the next morning. For days, Amy walked the pasture, wailing for her lost kids. It was heartbreaking to witness. We have never killed a coyote -although we have lost a total of 4 kids to them since our guard dog keeps them away for the most part - but one day it might come down to a choice between a cherished goat and an unknown coyote. A very tough decision.